Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

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married and lives on a farm in Platte county. A niece, Miss Anna Borcher, now makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. George Borcher.

  The religious faith of the family is that of the German Baptist church and Mr. Borcher aided in organizing the congregation which met near his home when he was upon the farm. He held various offices in the church and at all times he has been active in advancing the cause of religion, taking deep interest in the moral progress of his community. Since 1914 he has lived retired, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves, his residence being at 1707 Olive street.


JOSEPH G. MUETING.

  Joseph G. Mueting is a leading merchant of Cornlea, where he is also filling the position of postmaster. In the community where he lives he is recognized as a man of influence and the part which he has played has constituted an important one in advancing the material interests of the district. He has ever displayed sterling qualities, which have won for him regard, and his course is one which may well be followed by others. He was born in Clayton county, Iowa, August 11, 1872, a son of John and Frederica (Schutte) Mueting, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father came to America in the spring of 1861 and made his way to Clayton county, Iowa, where he worked as a farm hand for many years. However, he carefully saved his earnings, being ambitious to engage in farming on his own account, and eventually his capital was sufficient to enable him to purchase land, which he owned and cultivated until 1880. He then disposed of his Iowa property and came to Platte county, Nebraska, where he made other investments in land in Burrows township. This he continued to improve and develop, converting it into one of the excellent farms of the district, and thereon he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in 1895, when he had reached the age of sixty-one years. His wife survived him for two decades, dying in May, 1915, at the age of seventy-three years.

  Joseph G. Mueting was a little lad of eight summers at the time of the removal of the family to Nebraska, so that his education was largely acquired in the district schools of Platte county. He remained with his parents upon the home farm until he attained his majority, when he began working as a farm hand for others, spending three years in that way. He afterward rented land, which he cultivated for six years, after which he purchased eighty acres in Burrows township and thereon followed general farming for four years. Once more he sold out and removed to Cornlea, there establishing a saloon, which he conducted for one year. Disposing of that business, he next operated a dray line for two years and later opened a general mercantile store, which he has since conducted. He carries a carefully selected line of goods, buying the best that the market affords and at all times studying the wants and wishes of his patrons in making his purchases. His stock is attractively arranged and his honorable business methods bring to him growing success. On the 15th of March, 1910 he was appointed postmaster of Cornlea and has since occupied that position, conducting the office in connection with his store.

  On the 30th of July, 1901, Mr. Mueting was joined in wedlock with Miss Ida

 

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Kruse, a daughter of Joseph and Carrie (Hay) Kruse, who were natives of Germany. The father was a farmer by occupation and came to America in the '50s, making his way to Illinois, where he purchased land across the river from Dubuque, Iowa. There he carried on farming until 1878, when he came to Platte county, Nebraska. In this county he purchased land, which he developed and improved until 1900, when he retired from active business life and is now making his home with his children. His wife passed away in 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Mueting have become the parents of six children, Joseph, Lawrence, Leota, Marcella, Lavera and Adelia.

  Mr. Mueting and his family in their religious faith are adherents of the Catholic church. Politically his indorsement is given to the democratic party and he has served on the town board of Cornlea. He is actively interested in all that pertains to the welfare and upbuilding of the town and of the county and his influence is always given on the side of advancement and progress.


DIRK ALBERS BECHER.

  Dirk Albers Becher has been a resident of Platte county for the past thirty-five years and since 1911 has held the position of cashier of the Commercial National Bank of Columbus. He has likewise been a prominent factor in public life, representing his district in the Nebraska legislature for two terms. His birth occurred in Hanover, Germany, on the 17th of January, 1859, his parents being Siefke Dirk and Johanna (Mohlman) Becher, who were born, reared and married in that province. The father passed away in Hanover, in 1874, and six years later the widowed mother emigrated to the United States, her demise occurring in Platte county, Nebraska, in 1886.

  Dirk A. Becher acquired his education in the schools of his native province and was twenty-one years of age when in 1880 he accompanied his mother and four sisters on their emigration to the new world. In the fall of that year the family established their home on a farm in this county, and our subject devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits continuously and successfully until 1904. During the following four years the Bechers lived in Columbus and then all returned to the farm. At the end of three years, in 1911, D. A. Becher came back to Columbus and entered the Commercial National Bank as cashier, having since served in that capacity and being also a director of the institution. He has proved an able and popular official of the bank and his efforts are an element in its continued success.

  Mr. Becher has been married twice. In 1880, in Illinois, he wedded Miss Anna Johnson, who passed away in 1887, leaving three sons: John S., Frederick and Dietrich. In 1888, in Platte county, Nebraska, Mr. Becher was again married, his second union being with Miss Catharine Gesine Johannes, by whom he has two sons and four daughters, as follows: Herman; Anna, the wife of William Inselman; William; Hannah; Emma; and Louise.

  Mr. Becher gives his political allegiance to the democracy and has been an active worker in party ranks. In 1901 he was chosen to represent his district in the state legislature, serving for two terms and ably advancing the interests of

 

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his constituents as a member of that body. In 1904 he was chosen county treasurer of Platte county and by reelection was continued in the office for two terms. His religious faith is that of the German Evangelical Lutheran church, the teachings of which find exemplification in his honorable and upright life. No breath of suspicion has ever assailed his good name and on the contrary he stands as a splendid type of the honorable, reliable, successful man, the public-spirited citizen and the trustworthy friend.


ANDREW JAROSZ.

  Although of Austrian descent, Andrew Jarosz has spent his entire life in Platte county, his birth having occurred in Burrows township on the 12th of September, 1891. His parents, William and Agnes (Garka) Jarosz, were natives of Austria and came to the United States in early life. They settled in Platte county, Nebraska, where the father followed farming upon rented land for two years, during which period he carefully saved his earnings and then bought property in Burrows township, developing and improving a good farm there. He spent his remaining days upon that place and died in 1901. His widow still occupies the old homestead.

  Andrew Jarosz was reared on the old home farm and pursued his education in the district school and in the parochial school at Tarnov. When not busy with his textbooks his attention was given to the work of the fields, and he continued to assist his parents until he reached the age of twenty-one, when he went to Omaha, where he learned the barber's trade. He then came to Tarnov, bought out the pool hall at that place and also established a barber shop. He is still continuing business along both lines and is liberally patronized.

  Mr. Jarosz is also the present marshal of Tarnov, in which position he has served for two years. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party, while his religious faith is that of the Catholic church, and he is a member of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America. He has always been a resident of Platte county and is widely known among the citizens of Tarnov and that locality.


GEORGE A. WITTLER.

  George A. Wittler, a retail liquor merchant of Cornlea and also conducting an insurance agency, was born in Chatsworth, Illinois, March 30, 1879, his parents being Frank and Mary (Weibel) Wittler. The father was a native of Germany, while the mother's birth occurred in Switzerland, but in early life they came to the new world and were married in Chatsworth, Illinois. They began their domestic life upon a farm in that district and in fact Mr. Wittler became identified with agricultural pursuits near Chatsworth almost immediately after reaching the new world. His entire life was devoted to the work of the fields and he remained in Illinois until 1880, when he removed to Staunton county, Nebraska, becoming owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land upon which he spent his

 

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remaining days, his death there occurring in 1886. His widow continued on the old homestead for eighteen years or until 1904, when she went to Humphrey, where she passed away August 7, 1910.

  George A. Wittler attended school in Stanton county, Nebraska, and was also a pupil in the parochial schools of Humphrey. He received good business training on the old homestead farm and worked for his mother there until he attained his majority, when he rented the place and engaged in farming on his own account for four years. He was afterward employed for eighteen months as bartender at Creston, Nebraska, by John Mattheissen and in like capacity was employed for two and one-half years by George N. Smith, of Humphrey. He then entered into partnership with Mr. Smith, since which time the business has been conducted under the firm style of Smith & Wittler. He owned and conducted a pool hall in Humphrey until 1914 and then went to Columbus, where he was employed by Christ Wunderlich until 1915. On the 1st of May of that year he removed to Cornlea and opened a retail liquor store, which he still conducts. He is also agent for the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Lincoln and for the Security Mutual Company of that city.

  On the 7th of January, 1909, Mr. Wittler was united in marriage to Miss Mollie Olk, her father being Jacob Olk, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this work. They now have two children, namely: Jacob, who was born December 14, 1909; and Sedona, whose birth occurred August 20, 1911. The parents are members of the Catholic church and Mr. Wittler gives his political support to the democratic party.


JOHN JAMES GALLEY.

  John James Galley is a prominent representative of financial interests in Columbus as president of the Commercial National Bank. His birth occurred in Utah on the 29th of August, 1858, his parents being George W. and Mary Ann (Pyatt) Galley, who were married in that state. The father, born in England in 1831, emigrated to America in 1851 and in 1859 brought his family to Platte county, Nebraska. Here he continued to reside until his death nearly a half century later, being widely recognized as one of the substantial and esteemed citizens of the community. He passed away on the 4th of March, 1907, having long survived his wife, who was called to her final rest in the year 1866.

  John J. Galley, brought to this country in his infancy, here attended school to the age of eighteen years and after putting aside his textbooks followed farming: until 1879. Subsequently he undertook other occupations and sojourned in various places, spending a year in Idaho and being largely engaged in railroad work. In l884 he was married and began farming on his own account, devoting his attention to the work of the fields with excellent success until 1909. In 1912 he was chosen vice president of the Commercial National Bank and in 1914 became president of the institution, having since remained at its head. He keeps well informed on the financial interests of the country and in his management of affairs has followed a safe, conservative policy which has won the commendation of the patrons of the bank and gained the confidence of the general public.

 

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  On the 14th of March, 1884, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Galley was united in marriage to Miss Emily L. Button, her father being Stephen G. Button, who is deceased. To them have been born three children, as follows: Charles Button Galley, whose birth occurred in 1884; Alfred Ernest, born in 1887; and Nellie Lobine, who died November 19, 1909, when nineteen years of age.

  Mr. Galley is a democrat in politics and for eleven years held the office of justice of the peace in Columbus township, this county, while for four years he served as county assessor, making an excellent record as a capable and trustworthy public official. From 1879 to 1880 inclusive he was a member of Company K, First Regiment Nebraska National Guards. His salient characteristics are such as have gained for him the friendly regard and goodwill of all with whom he has been associated in the various relations of life and he is entitled to a place among the representative and valued citizens of Platte county.


REV. GUSTAVE F. F. MUELLER, D. D.

  Rev. Gustave F. F. Mueller has largely devoted his life to the work of the ministry and has not been denied the full harvest of his labors nor the aftermath as a preacher of the German Evangelical Lutheran church. He is a man of very liberal education, broad-minded, looking at life from the standpoint of sympathy and charity. He was born September 27, 1860, near Marienwerder in West Prussia. His collegiate and university work were extended and developed tile talents with which nature endowed him. He has been at different periods a student in Jena University, in Greifswald University, in Breslau University and in Berlin University, studying law and later theology after determining to devote his life to the ministry. In 1885 he went to Chicago, where he completed his theological studies by graduation from the German Theological Seminary of the General Synod with the class of 1888, and in the year 1912 Midland College of Kansas conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

  Having prepared for the ministry, Dr. Mueller accepted the pastorate of the church at Lanham, Nebraska, where he remained for two years and nine months. He then came to St. John s church, Bismark township, Platte county, where he continued for nine years, and later in Russell, Kansas, during his year's stay there, he organized the congregation and built the church. He was afterward for two years and two months engaged in work as a traveling missionary, at the end of which time he was called to the pastorate of the church at Yutan, Saunders county, Nebraska, where he continued for five years and three months. He then went to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he had charge of the Tabitha Home for nine months, and in 1909 he returned to Platte county and again took up his work at St. John's church, where he is now living, his home being on section 24, Bismark township.

  On the 22d of March, 1886, the Rev. Mueller was united in marriage to Miss Deborah Greiner, who was born in the grand duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, May 5, 1864. To them was born a daughter, Margaret, who is now the wife of George Engel. In politics Dr. Mueller may be termed an independent democrat, for while he usually votes along party lines, he does not consider himself bound by party ties and casts an independent ballot if his judgment so dictates. He is not remiss

 

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in the duties of citizenship. In fact he looks out broadly over the field of public concern and gives his aid and his influence where he can further the public welfare. It would be tautological in this connection to enter into any series of statements showing him to be a man of broad scholarly attainments, for this has been shadowed forth between the lines of this review; but it is only just to say in a history that will descend to future generations that he combines with his strong intellectuality a marked human sympathy that has gained for him confidence and high regard. He is ever ready to extend a helping hand, to speak a word of encouragement and his understanding of human nature tells him how, when and where to do this.


LESTER A. GATES.

  Lester A. Gates, a partner of George D. Hoar in the ownership and conduct of the Diamond Bar, was born near Central City, Merrick county, Nebraska, October 26, 1877, a son of Amos and Emma (Whiteaker) Gates. The father was a native of New York, born near Buffalo. The son acquired a fair education, being graduated from the high school at Silver Creek, Nebraska, with the class of 1896. He learned the barber's trade, which he followed for sixteen years at Silver Creek and then in 1910 came to Columbus, where he established a saloon. He has since been connected with this line of business and in 1912, in company with George D. Hoar, bought out the Diamond Bar, which is liberally patronized, making his business one that yields substantial profits.

  On the 26th of June, 1899, Mr. Gates was united in marriage to Miss Ethel Lundy, whose birth occurred in Missouri, May 24, 1877. To them have been born four children, namely: Ila, Dorothy, Wilma and Nina, all attending school. Mr. Gates belongs to Columbus Lodge, No. 1195, B. P. O. E., is a charter member of Platte Aerie, No. 1834, F. O. E., and also belongs to the Columbus Gun Club. In politics he is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment without regard to party ties.


FRED W. LUEDERS.

  Each community has its representative citizens, men who are the leaders in business enterprise and are therefore most active in advancing the welfare and upbuilding of the town. Such a one is Fred W. Lueders, proprietor of a harness shop. He is thoroughly acquainted with the trade, is able to manufacture harness of the highest grade and is accorded a liberal and desirable patronage. He was born in Quincy, Illinois, December 7, 1885, and is a son of Fred W. and Anna M. (Bonhoff) Lueders, who were natives of Germany. In early life they left the fatherland and crossed the Atlantic to the new world, settling in Iowa, but finally removed to Quincy, Illinois, where the father worked in the stone quarries and also engaged in teaming for many years. He still resides in that city at the age of sixty-five years, but his wife passed away in October, 1906.

  Fred W. Lueders was reared and educated in Quincy, his youth being unmarked

 

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by any event of special importance until he started out in the business world on his own account. He decided that he would like to learn the harness maker's trade and spent three years in a shop in Quincy, during which he gained a comprehensive and accurate knowledge of the business. On the expiration of that period he went to Omaha, Nebraska, where he worked at his trade for four and a half years and then removed to Fremont, where he spent three and a half years in a harness shop. On the expiration of that period he came to Cornlea, where he established a business for himself, opening a harness shop and putting in an entirely new stock. He has the only shop of the kind in the town and enjoys a very gratifying patronage, for his business methods are thoroughly reliable, his prices are reasonable and his enterprise is unfaltering.

  Mr. Lueders has not only won for himself an enviable position in business circles, but is also attractively situated in his home life. He was married in June, 1911, to Miss Gesene C. Moller, a daughter of Frederick and Anna M. (Deirks) Moller, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Nebraska. In early life her father crossed the country to this state in company with his parents, the family home being established in Fremont county, where he now lives, filling the position of city mail carrier. His wife also survives. Mr. and Mrs. Lueders have become the parents of a son, Wade Frederick, now an interesting little babe in his first year.

  Mr. Lueders is a member of the town board of Cornlea, to which position he was elected on the democratic ticket, making an excellent record in office. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church and he is ever loyal to its teachings and its purposes. His life is at all times honorable and upright and the success which has come to him is the merited reward of earnest, persistent labor.


JAMES EDWARD MAHER.

  One of the enterprising merchants of Platte Center is James Edward Maher, who owns and conducts a harness shop. He has led a busy and useful life since putting aside his textbooks and making his initial step in the business world. He is one of Platte county's native sons, his birth having occurred in Lost Creek township, January 26, 1874, his parents being John and Catherine (Butler) Maher. The father was a native of Ireland and when a youth of sixteen left Dublin and sailed for the new world, making his way to Keene, New Hampshire, where he worked in a tannery. He afterward became a resident of Lowell, Massachusetts, where he was living at the time of his marriage. In 1871 he removed westward to Nebraska and took up a homestead of eighty acres in Lost Creek township, Platte county, thereafter devoting his time and energies to general agricultural pursuits. He died in October, 1904, while his wife survived for less than a year, passing away in September, 1905. In their family were eight children, of whom seven are still living.

  James Edward Maher, who is the second oldest, is indebted to the common-school system of the county for the educational privileges which he enjoyed. During vacation periods and after his school days were over he worked upon the home farm until he reached the age of twenty years, when his father sold that

 

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place and removed to Platte Center, after which James E. Maher engaged in farming with his brother for several years, while for five years he worked in or near Platte Center. In 1906 he purchased the harness shop of D. P. Mahoney and has since conducted the business. He carries a large line of well-made harness and the thorough reliability of his business methods and his earnest efforts to please his customers have brought him a substantial trade, his business being now a large and desirable one.

  On the 10th of November, 1908, at Platte Center, Mr. Maher was united in marriage to Miss Mary Alice Weddell, a daughter of S. A. Weddell, who was formerly a resident of Whiteside county, Illinois, and removed with his family to Nebraska when his daughter Mary was a maiden of fifteen summers. Mr. and Mrs. Maher have become parents of two children, Norbert and Roberta.

  In his political views Mr. Maher is a democrat and has filled the office of city and township assessor for sixteen consecutive years, his public service being marked by the utmost fidelity to duty. He belongs to the Highlanders Lodge of Platte Center and to the Catholic Order of Foresters, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the St. Joseph Catholic church. He is a progressive man, constantly seeking to make advancement along all those lines which affect tile general interests of society and promote individual welfare. He is social and genial by nature and is therefore well liked.


CAMDEN J. GARLOW.

  Camden J. Garlow, who has been an active representative of the legal profession in Columbus for the past three decades, has the reputation of being one of the three most prominent attorneys in this part of the state and makes a specialty of insurance litigation. He likewise enjoys an enviable reputation as a leading and successful business man, his ability in this direction being no less pronounced than as a member of the bar.

  His birth occurred in Marion county, Virginia (now West Virginia), on the 23d of March, 1859, his parents being Joseph and Retta (Morgan) Garlow, the former a native of Virginia and the latter a daughter of Colonel David Morgan, who served in the Union army together with his five sons. In 1863 Joseph Garlow served for three months in the West Virginia Infantry with the rank of major. His demise occurred in 1889, while his wife was called to her final rest in 1878.

  Camden J. Garlow acquired his early education in the schools of his native county and subsequently attended the Fairmont State Normal School at Fairmont, West Virginia, until within a month of graduation, when he left college on account of the death of his mother. In 1881 he came to Creston, Platte county, Nebraska, and for about four years followed the profession of teaching in the country schools, while for one year he acted as an instructor in the third ward school of Columbus. He had begun studying law and afterward entered the office of the late Judge John G. Higgins, being admitted to the bar in 1886, since which time he has practiced in Columbus continuously to date. He makes a specialty of insurance litigation, in which branch of the profession he has won recognition and success in gratifying degree. His manifest ability and sound judgment have also been called into requisi-

 CAMDEN J. GARLOW

 

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tion in the conduct of important business enterprises and at present he acts as chief executive officer of the Platte County Independent Telephone Company, the Columbus Gas Company, the West End Sewer Company, the Humphrey Telephone Company and the State Telephone Association.

  On the 14th of September, 1886, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Garlow was united in marriage to Miss Mamie A. Winslow, her father being Henry M. Winslow, a native of Vermont, who has passed away. They have one daughter, Ethel Gwendolyn, who is the wife of Grover Long.

  Politically Mr. Garlow is a stanch republican and for two years he served as a member of the city council in Columbus. For two years he was a member of Company K, First Regiment of the Nebraska National Guard, acting most of the time as quartermaster. His fraternal connections come next in importance to his professional and business interests. He has taken the degrees of the York and Scottish Rites in Masonry, also belongs to the Mystic Shrine and has held the highest offices in the lodge, chapter, commandery and council. He is past master of Lodge No. 58, A. F. & A. M.; past high priest of Orient Chapter, No. 18, R. A. M.; past eminent commander of Gethsemane Commandery, No. 21, K. T.; and thrice illustrious master of Gebal Council, No. 12, R. & S. M. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church. Such in brief is the record of one of Platte county's leading attorneys, business men and citizens -- a gentleman who in every relation of life has manifested the high principles which govern his conduct.


HERMAN LOSEKE.

  Herman Loseke is numbered among the pioneer residents of Platte county and for many years has been an interested witness of the growth and development of this section of the state. He devoted his attention to farming for an extended period but is now living retired, making his home in Columbus. A native of Germany, he was born in Oldenburg, July 9, 1840, and is a son of John Henry Loseke, who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume. On coming to the United States Herman Loseke settled in Bismark township, Platte county, on Loseke creek, at which time the survey of the county was just being made. He secured a homestead claim and began farming in accordance with the primitive methods of the times, using ox teams and machinery that is very crude in comparison with the farm implements of the present. At that day all merchandise was hauled from Omaha and the most farsighted could scarcely have dreamed of the wonderful changes which would occur, converting wild prairie land into richly cultivated fields stretching away for miles and miles. He engaged very extensively in stock raising and became the owner of large tracts of land, adding to his possessions from time to time as his financial resources permitted, but he has given most of his farm property to his children.

  His wife, who bore the maiden name of Anna Johannes, was born in Oldenburg, Germany, November 18, 1844, a daughter of Henry and Katrina Johannes. Her father was a native of Germany and in 1867 left the fatherland to become a resident of the new world. Making his way to Nebraska, he secured a homestead claim and lived with his sons in Shell Creek township, where he remained
Vol. II-10

 

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until his death. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Loseke are nine children, as follows. Emma is the wife of August Schutte, an agriculturist of Colfax county, Nebraska, by whom she has five children. Gustav, who was born April 11, 1870, follows farming in Columbus township, is married and has three children. William, who was born March 6, 1870, follows farming in Colfax county, is married and has six children. Otto, who was born January 7, 1875, follows farming near Creston, this county, is married and has seven children. Anna is the wife of William Hespe, an agriculturist and hardware merchant of Leigh, Nebraska, by whom she has five children. Ida gave her hand in marriage to Henry Hespe, who is a brother of William Hespe, and is an agriculturist of this county, and they have two children. Bertha is the wife of William Asche, who is a farmer of Platte county and by whom she has two children. Herman, who was born October 1, 1884, follows farming in Platte county, is married and has one child. Clara is at home.

  Mr. Loseke was active in public affairs of the early days, was a stalwart supporter of the democratic party and a zealous member of the German Lutheran church. He retired and removed to Columbus, November 1, 1911. At different times he held some local offices and from the beginning of his residence in the county he has taken an active and helpful interest in movements relating to the general welfare. His work has been especially helpful along agricultural lines and yet he has not neglected his duty in promoting political and moral advancement. He can look back to the past when the highly cultivated farms of Platte county were tracts of wild prairie, starred with a million wild flowers in June and covered in December with a dazzling and unbroken sheet of snow. But as the years passed, settler after settler came to take up the land and use it for the purposes of civilization and conditions of pioneer life gave way until now all of the conveniences and comforts of the older east are to be obtained in Platte county.


EDWARD JOHNSON.

  Edward Johnson is president of the First National Bank, which position he has held during the past six years. His birth occurred in Dexter, Maine, on the 15th of July, 1861, his parents being Samuel and Sarah Ann Johnson, who were born, reared and married in England. The father was born in 1825 and in the year 1857 crossed the Atlantic to the United States. He passed away in January, 1919, having for nearly a half century survived his wife, whose demise occurred in 1864.

  Edward Johnson acquired his education in his native state and following the completion of a high-school course at Bridgton entered the medical department of Bowdoin College, from which he was graduated in 1883. He then made his way to Shell Lake, Wisconsin, and there began the practice of medicine but a few months later removed to Andover, South Dakota, where he followed his profession for three years. On the expiration of that period he located in Fullerton, Nance county, Nebraska, where he remained for about twenty-three years. In 1908 he. came to Columbus and was made vice president of the First National Bank, of which institution he became president the following year and has since so remained. He studies the banking business from every possible standpoint and is thoroughly informed concerning the money market. While he seeks progress, his progressive-

 

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ness is tempered by a safe conservatism and none ever questions his business integrity or the honesty of his methods.

  In November, 1885, in Andover, South Dakota, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Fannie R. Boyington. His political allegiance is given to the democracy, while fraternally he is identified with the Knights Templar Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. In all matters of citizenship he stands for that which works for the best interests of the community and he holds to high ideals of life in every relation. Anyone meeting Mr. Johnson face to face would know at once that he is an individual embodying all the elements of what in this country we term a "square" man -- one in whom to have confidence, a dependable man in any relation and any emergency. His quietude of deportment, his easy dignity, his frankness and cordiality of address, with the total absence of anything to conceal, foretoken a man who is ready to meet any obligation of life with the confidence and courage that come of conscious personal ability, a right conception of things and an habitual regard for what is best in the exercise of human activities.


MICHAEL J. CLARK.

  Michael J. Clark is now living retired in Cornlea but still has extensive landed possessions, his holdings embracing five hundred and sixty acres in Platte county. This indicates what was formerly the nature of his business, for through many years he was actively engaged in general agricultural pursuits. He has lived on this side of the Atlantic since early manhood, his birth having occurred, however, in Ireland in September, 1847. His parents were Michael and Julia Clark, also natives of the Emerald isle, where the father followed the occupation of farming until his life's labors were ended in death. He passed away in 1889 and for six years was survived by his wife, who died in 1895.

  Michael J. Clark spent his youth in his parents' home and obtained his education in Ireland. He continued to work with his father until he reached the age of twenty-seven, when he came to America, attracted by the favorable reports which he heard concerning business conditions and advantages on this side of the Atlantic. Landing at New York, he there remained for a month, after which he went to New Jersey, where he resided until he heard and heeded the call of the west, making his way to Platte county, Nebraska. However, the grasshoppers totally destroyed the crops of the state and he returned to Omaha, where he was employed until August 25, 1875. Believing it would then be possible to carry on farming advantageously, he took up a homestead in Platte county and sought to improve his land, which he operated until 1913, when he retired and removed to Cornlea, where he has since lived. In the meantime he had won a place among the progressive and substantial farmers of the county. He performed the arduous task of converting the wild prairie land into productive fields, breaking the sod and planting the seed and in due time gathered rich harvests. As time passed his financial resources increased and he kept adding to his holdings until he had five hundred and fifty-six acres in Joliet township. This he still owns and has rented, so that he now derives therefrom a very gratifying annual income. When

 

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upon the farm he engaged quite extensively in feeding stock, shipping about two carloads annually. He is now identified with the financial interests of the county as a stockholder of the Cornlea Bank.

  Mr. Clark has been married twice. In 1880 he wedded Miss Mary Sheedy, who passed away the same year. The child born of that marriage died in infancy. In January, 1885, Mr. Clark was united in marriage to Miss Bridget Whalen, a daughter of Mort and Mary (Wrath) Whalen, who were natives of Ireland, where they spent their entire lives.

  Mr. and Mrs. Clark belong to the Catholic church and he gives his political support to the republican party. When one analyzes his life record it is evident that his success has been built upon the sure foundation of industry, energy and perseverance and his course in this regard furnishes an example well worthy of emulation.


WILLIAM OLMER.

  William Olmer, a successful young farmer of Granville township, was born January 8, 1884, on the farm on section 24 where he now lives and which he rents from his father. He is a son of Richard Olmer, who was born in Wisconsin, March 16, 1852. His parents, John and Frederica (Degenhart) Olmer, were natives of Germany and on coming to America in 1851 settled in Wisconsin, where John Olmer purchased government land and began the development of a farm, to which he devoted his energies throughout his remaining days. He died in February, 1891, while his wife passed away December 8, 1894. Richard Olmer spent his youthful days in Wisconsin and there engaged in farming until he attained his majority. In 1873 he arrived in Platte county, Nebraska, and preempted land which he sold two years later. He then returned to his native state, where he engaged in farming from 1875 to 1878, when he once more came to Platte county and purchased a homestead right of eighty acres. He afterward obtained eighty acres more in Granville township and lived upon that farm until 1910, when he retired and removed to Humphrey. He afterward bought one hundred and sixty acres and is today the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of valuable and productive land. On coming to Humphrey he purchased a good home within a block of the main street and there still resides. He is a stockholder and director in the First National Bank of Humphrey and also in the Farmers Elevator Company. Further mention of him is made on another page of this volume.

  William Olmer attended school in his youthful days, dividing his time between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the work of the fields. He continued to assist his father until he reached the age of twenty-four years, when in 1908 he began farming on his own account a mile east of the old home place. In 1910, when his father retired and removed to Humphrey, William Olmer took up his abode upon the old homestead and has since resided there. He owns eighty acres of land on section 13, Granville township, and cultivates altogether three hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land. He carries on general farming and stock-raising, breeding shorthorn cattle and also raising a good grade of horses and hogs. He feeds all the grain that he raises and sells

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 201

his stock to shippers. His business affairs are carefully conducted and able management and sound judgment are bringing to him success.

  On the 20th of January, 1908, Mr. Olmer was united in marriage to Miss Catharine Lubischer, a daughter of Peter and Catharine Lubischer. Her father was born in Germany, March 15, 1846, and her paternal grandparents were Phillip and Anna (Roos) Lubischer, also natives of that country. Phillip Lubischer followed farming throughout his entire life and remained a resident of Germany until called to his final rest December 31, 1885, while his wife passed away on the 22d of May, 1855. Peter Lubischer is a self-made man. He started out on his own account when but thirteen years of age and after working for some time as a farm hand secured employment in the factories of Germany. In 1872, when twenty-six years of age, he sailed for the new world and after a brief period spent in Chicago was employed as a farm hand in Illinois until 1878. He then returned to Germany to see his parents but came again to the United States in 1879 and was employed in a brewery at Omaha. He also worked in a lumber and coal yard there until 1889, when he came to Platte county and bought eighty acres on section 23, Granville township. To this he afterward added sixty acres on section 24 and has since given his time and attention to the improvement of his farm. He was married February 4, 1886, to Catharine Nick, a daughter of Peter and Catharine (Rothenberger) Nick, natives of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Lubischer became parents of ten children and more extended mention of the family is made on another page of this volume.

  Mr. and Mrs. Olmer have become parents of three children, namely: Margaret, who was born October 26, 1908; Helen, whose birth occurred August 23, 1910; and Cecelia, born February 22, 1912. The parents are members of St. Francis Catholic church of Humphrey and Mr. Olmer is identified with the Catholic Order of Foresters. His political indorsement is given to the democratic party and he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. He has worked hard to attain success and his persistency of purpose, his energy and determination have been the salient points in winning for him the prosperity which he now enjoys.


ALBERT CLOETERS.

  Albert Cloeters is actively engaged in general farming and stock-raising on section 6, Burrows township, where he has eighty acres of land. His farm, however, embraces three hundred and twenty acres, lying in three different townships, and in the management of the property he displays sound judgment and unfaltering energy. He was born in Germany, August 22, 1867, and is a son of Albert and Mary (Schnitzel) Cloeters, who were also natives of the fatherland, where the father followed farming for many years. He is now living retired in that country at the venerable age of eighty years. He did military duty for his country, serving in the Franco-German war in 1866 and 1870. His wife passed away in 1895.

  After acquiring his education in the schools of his native country Albert Cloeters rendered military service to Germany, joining the army when a young man of nineteen years and remaining in the service for three years. Then exempt from further military duty, he determined to try his fortune in the new world and in

 

202PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

1890 came to the United States, making his way to Platte Center, Nebraska, where he arrived with a cash capital of but five dollars. His financial condition rendered it imperative that he seek and obtain immediate employment and for a year he worked as a farm hand; He then rented the Duseman place, which he occupied and cultivated for eleven years, during which period he carefully saved his earnings until industry and economy had brought him capital sufficient to enable him to purchase a farm. He then invested in one hundred and sixty acres in Boone county, Nebraska, but afterward sold that property and bought two hundred and forty acres in Platte county, to which he subsequently added an eighty-acre tract. His farm is in three townships, one hundred and sixty acres being on section 31, Granville township, eighty acres on section 1, Joliet township, and eighty acres on section 6, Burrows township. His home stands in Burrows township and for the past twelve years he has cultivated and developed this farm, which is now a splendidly improved property, the fields yielding to him golden harvests as a reward for the care and cultivation which he bestows upon them. In addition to general farming he makes a specialty of raising thoroughbred Hampshire hogs and he feeds about two car loads of hogs and two car loads of cattle each year, his sale of stock bringing to him a very substantial financial return.

  In June, 1894, Mr. Cloeters was united in marriage to Miss Anna Kehn, a daughter of Gottfried and Louisa (Rappuhn) Kehn, of whom more extended mention is made on another page of this work in connection with the sketch of Fred Baumgart, brother-in-law of Mrs. Cloeters. Mr. and Mrs. Cloeters are the parents of six children, as follows: Amanda, who is twenty-one years of age and is the wife of Carl Jansen, a blacksmith of Cornlea, Nebraska; William, who is eighteen years old; Hilda, a maiden of sixteen; and Adolph, Anna and Mary, who are twelve, nine and three years of age respectively.

  The family are German Baptists in religious faith, and Mr. Cloeters belongs also to the Modern Woodmen camp. He votes with the republican party and keeps well informed concerning the salient questions and issues of the day. Coming to the new world in young manhood, he has worked his way steadily upward, placing his dependence upon the substantial qualities of industry, perseverance and integrity. In his life there have been few leisure hours and his farm indicates what may be accomplished when there is a will to dare and to do.


THEODOR MEYER.

  Theodor Meyer, who owns valuable farm property on sections 25 and 26, Granville township, was born in Osnabruck, Germany, April 27, 1843, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Meyer, who were also natives of the same locality. The father, who devoted his entire life to the occupation of farming, passed away in Germany.

  Theodor Meyer remained a resident of his native country until he reached the age of thirty-two years, when in 1875 he crossed the Atlantic to the United States. He had previously engaged in farming the old home place in Germany and was there married, in June, 1872, to Miss Katie Wilhelmina Rielag, who was born in Osnabruck, Germany, December 26, 1846, a daughter of Henry Rielag. Her

 MR. AND MRS. THEODOR MEYER

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 205

father was a native of Germany and a distiller of that country. She is now deceased, passing away at Columbus Hospital on the 5th of November, 1914.

  On coming to the United States Mr. and Mrs. Meyer had made their way to Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 1875 and for four months lived with his brother, the Rev. George Meyer. They then went west to Carroll county, Iowa, where Theodor Meyer established a home, purchasing land and carrying on farming there for nine years. In 1885 he arrived in Platte county, Nebraska, and invested in two hundred acres of land on section 26, Granville township. With characteristic energy he began its further development and improvement, bringing his fields under a high state of cultivation and adding to the place all of the equipments and accessories of a model farm. Year by year he carefuly tilled his fields, gathering good crops for which he found a ready sale on the market. In 1910, however, he retired from active life and removed to Columbus, renting his land, but indolence and idleness are utterly foreign to his nature and he was not content in the city without some occupation. Accordingly in 1913 he returned to the farm, whereon he now resides. although he is leaving the active work of the fields to his sons, who carry on farming and stock-raising.

  To Mr. and Mrs. Meyer were born seven children, as follows: Henry, who wedded Miss Letta Moore and is a practicing attorney of Omaha; George, an attorney of Los Angeles, California; Annie, the wife of Dr. August Kuhlmann, of Melrose, Minnesota, by whom she has five children -- Laurence, Arnold, Louise, William and Raymond; August, at home; Joseph, who passed away on the 17th of August, 1911, when twenty-four years of age; John, at home; and Michael, who is also on the home place with his father and who wedded Miss Annie Heine, of Afton, Iowa. She is a daughter of John and Margaret (Trouth) Heine, the former owning and operating a brewery in Afton, Iowa, until his demise.

  In his political faith Mr. Meyer is a democrat and he and his family are all members of St. Francis Catholic church of Humphrey, while he is also connected with St. Joseph's Men's Society. His son Michael belongs to the Knights of Columbus of Humphrey, being a charter member of that organization. His son August is a member of Company H, Fourth Regiment of the Nebraska National Guard. Mr. Meyer deserves much credit for what he has accomplished, as he started out in life empty-handed and has always been dependent upon his own resources for financial advancement. Gradually he has worked his way upward and his record is a most creditable one.


SAMUEL E. EWING.

  Samuel E. Ewing is the proprietor of the only drug store at Creston and enjoys a liberal patronage from his fellow townsmen and from the citizens of the surrounding country. He is a western man by birth, training and preference, and the spirit of western enterprise and progress finds manifestation in his business career. He was born in Chariton, Iowa, August 1, 1879, a son of John and Rachel (Evans) Ewing, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Iowa. The father followed farming and stockraising in the east and at an early period in the development of Iowa took up his abode in Chariton, where he resided until 1885.

 

206PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

  He then removed to Boone county, Nebraska, purchased land and carried on general farming until 1893, when he went to Edmund, Oklahoma. There he engaged in the live-stock business for three years, after which he returned to Boone county, where he lived for five years. On the expiration of that period he became a resident of California, where he purchased a fruit ranch, which he cultivated for ten years. He then established his home in Gary, Oklahoma, where he continued to live until his life's labors were ended in November, 1913. For two decades he had survived his wife, who passed away May 21, 1893.

  Samuel E. Ewing pursued his education and spent his youth in Cedar Rapids, Nebraska. He remained with his parents until he had passed the twentieth milestone on life's journey, when he started out in the world independently, securing employment in a drug store, in which he remained for five years. Wishing more scientific training than his practical experience had given him, he then entered the Creighton College of Pharmacy at Omaha, from which he was graduated with the class of 1905. He then secured employment as a drug clerk in Omaha, where he remained until 1907, when he came to Creston and bought out a drug store. He has since conducted the business and, having the only store in the town, is liberally patronized. He not only carries a large line of drugs and druggists sundries but also handles jewelry, and his business is enjoying a substantial growth. That he ranks high in his chosen field of labor is indicated in the fact that he has been made a member of the state board of pharmacy examiners, having served for two years of a five years' term.

  On the 14th of July, 1908, Mr. Ewing was married to Miss Leila Graham, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Graham, pioneers of this county. Arriving here at an early epoch in the development of this part of the state, her father homesteaded and has since cultivated his farm, although he is now seventy years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Ewing have become the parents of two children: Eugene G., born December 18, 1910; and Helen R., born October 5, 1912.

  Mr. Ewing has always voted with the republican party since attaining his majority and does everything in his power to promote its growth and insure its success. He is now a member of the town board of Creston and has served in the office for five years, making a creditable record through his capability and his fidelity to duty. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge and attends the Methodist Episcopal church -- associations which indicate much of the character of his interests and the principles which govern his conduct.


JOHN SCHMOCKER.

  Among the well known and successful business men of Columbus is John Schmocker, a real-estate and insurance agent. He was born in Canton Bern, Switzerland, November 22, l848, and is a son of Jacob and Anna (Hostetter) Schmocker, who were married in Switzerland in 1815 and came to the United States in 1866. For one year they lived in New Philadelphia, Ohio, and then removed to Osage county, Missouri, where they resided upon a farm for about ten years. The father served as president of the school board in Chamois, Missouri, and was highly

 

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