Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

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esteemed in his community. He passed away November 30, 1871, and was survived by his widow until October 15, 1888.

  John Schmocker received his education in his native land and accompanied his parents on their removal to the United States. He remained with them until 1878, when he came to Columbus, Nebraska, where he worked in a lumberyard for two years. At the end of that time he located on a farm in Platte county but ten years later he again took up his residence in Columbus, where for twelve years he engaged in the poultry business. Later he turned his attention to collections and was for four years clerk in the county assessor's office but is now engaged in the real-estate and insurance business. He is alert, energetic and possesses sound judgment, and it is but natural that he should prosper in his business affairs.

  On the 27th of December, 1879, Mr. Schmocker was married in Chamois, Missouri, to Miss Mary E. Wuethrick, and they have become the parents of the following children: Fred C.; Louise, now Mrs. J. W. Becker, of Ottawa, Kansas; Lena M.; and Oscar E.

  Mr. Schmocker is a democrat, has served as justice of the peace since 1911, was for one term constable of Platte county and since 1905 has been registrar of births and deaths in Columbus and vicinity. Fraternally he is connected with Camp No. 35, Woodmen of the World, of Columbus, and since 1902 has been clerk of that body. His religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a valued citizen of Columbus and all who know him entertain for him high regard and sincere respect.


AUGUST BOETTCHER.

  Various business interests have claimed the time and attention of August Boettcher but at the present writing, in the fall of 1915, he is living retired, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. He now makes his home at No. 324 East Ninth street in Columbus, where he took up his abode in 1882. His birth occurred on the island of Rügen, Germany, March 15, 1850, his parents being Carl and Katrina (Hader) Boettcher. The father worked as a laborer in his native country and there passed away, but the mother afterward came to the new world and died in Columbus.

  August Boettcher had very limited educational privileges in his native country and at an early age began earning his living as a fisherman, continuing in active employment of that character until the fall of 1871, when he came to the new world, establishing his home in Dodge county, Wisconsin. There he engaged in clerking in a general mercantile store until the spring of 1873, when he came to Columbus, where he gave his attention to the sale of harvesting machinery. He also homesteaded eighty acres of land, for considerable sections of the country were at that time unclaimed and uncultivated. After devoting six years to the improvement of his farm he purchased a hotel in Duncan, which he conducted for a year and a half or until the spring of 1882, when he made a trip to the old country and returned with his mother and sister after spending six months in the land of his birth amid the friends and scenes of his early youth.

  In the fall of 1882 Mr. Boettcher took up his abode in Columbus, where he

 

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purchased grain for an elevator for about two years. In 1884 he purchased the hardware store of E. Pole & Company and conducted the business for twenty-four years, during which time he was accorded a liberal and gratifying trade. He always recognized that satisfied customers are the best advertisement and made every effort to please his patrons and give them full value for money invested. His reasonable prices and his honorable dealing brought him success that now enables him to live retired. However, he is still the owner of two hundred and forty acres of valuable land west of Columbus and two hundred acres lying to the northeast and is also a stockholder in the German National Bank.

  Mr. Boettcher has been married twice. In April, 1874, he wedded Miss Mary Loseke, who died of diphtheria. In October, 1885, Mr. Boettcher was again married, his second union being with Miss Jennie Adamson, by whom he has twelve children, eight sons and four daughters.

  In his political views Mr. Boettcher has always been a democrat since becoming a naturalized American citizen and he has served as a member of the city council and also as mayor of Columbus, his administration being characterized by many needed reforms and improvements and by active service for the welfare of the city along those lines which are ever a matter of civic virtue and of civic pride. He belongs to the Independent Lutheran church and is identified with the Woodmen of the World, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Sons of Herman and the Maennerchor. He has made several trips back to his native land and in 1915 visited the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. He now has leisure for the enjoyment of those things which are to him a matter of interest and recreation and his prosperity is the fitting crown of a well directed life of labor, characterized by honor and honesty in all transactions with his fellowmen.


CARL ROHDE.

  Carl Rohde, a popular and prosperous citizen of Columbus, has made his home in Platte county for more than a quarter of a century and since February, 1908, has continuously served as secretary of the Sons of Herman, a German fraternal organization. His birth occurred in Hanover, Germany, on the 30th of March, 1856, his parents being Louis and Artemise (Lyssmann) Rohde, both of whom were natives of Hanover, Germany, the former born December 15, 1793. Louis Rohde was in the battle of Waterloo, under the command of the Duke of Wellington, and afterward at Paris. He died in Hanover on the 12th of August, 1869, while his wife passed away in that province in September, 1889. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a lifelong resident of Hanover.

  Carl Rohde spent the first seventeen years of his life in his native province and then emigrated to the United States in 1873, making his way to Rock Island, Illinios, where lived a married sister. He secured employment as a farm hand near the town and worked during one year for a remuneration of eight dollars per month and board. He then took up his abode in Rock Island and there resided for four years, spending the entire period at work in a brewery with the exception of six months' labor in a lumberyard. Subsequently he went to Texas but at the end of six months returned to Rock Island, Illinois, and in the spring of 1879

 CARL ROHDE

 

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made his way back to his home in Hanover because of impaired health, for he had suffered from malarial fever contracted in Texas. Two years later, however, he again crossed the ocean to the United States and settled in Tecumseh, Johnson county, Nebraska, where he engaged in farming until the spring of 1884. He next followed farming in Minnesota for six months and then embarked in business in Jackson, Jackson county, that state, there continuing to reside until the spring of 1886. During the next two years he conducted a business enterprise at Auburn, Nemaha county, Nebraska, and in 1888 came to Columbus, this state, being here engaged in the liquor business for four years. Subsequently he devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits in Platte county for three years and then again embarked in the liquor business in Columbus, successfully carrying on the enterprise until 1907. During the next year he rested and in February, 1908, he was appointed secretary of the German fraternal organization known as the Sons of Herman, which he has served in that capacity continuously to the present time, winning reelection in recognition of his ability in the discharge of the important duties devolving upon him. He owns farms and other property and is widely recognized as a substantial, representative and esteemed citizen of Columbus.

  On the 29th of April, 1890, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Rohde was united in marriage to Miss Marguerite Mack, a daughter of George Mack, who is deceased. They now have four children, namely: Carl G., born July 23, 1891, who was graduated from the University of Nebraska with the class of 1914; Ernestine; Frank G., whose natal day was May 4, 1896; and Agnes Louise.

  Mr. Rohde gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is now chairman of the committee of forestation of the sand hills of Nebraska. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias and the Sons of Herman. He is a Lutheran in religious faith and belongs to the Maennerchor, of which society he is a trustee. Mr. Rohde has never had occasion to regret his determination to seek a home in the new world, for here he found the opportunities which he sought and has won both success and happiness.


EDWARD EDWARDS.

  Edward Edwards had passed the seventy-sixth milestone on life's journey when he was called by death to the home beyond. He had previously been closely identified with farming interests in Platte county for many years and his life record indicates what can be accomplished when energy and determination lead the way.

  Mr. Edwards was a native of Wales, born in May, 1833, and his parents, Thomas and Mary Eggers, were also natives of that little rock-ribbed country, in which they have always remained, never crossing the Atlantic to the United States. The youthful days of Edward Edwards were spent in the land of his nativity and to the public-school system he is indebted for the educational privileges which he enjoyed. He was ambitious to make the most of his time and opportunities and when twenty-five years of age he resolved to seek a home beyond the Atlantic. When his arrangements were perfected he bade adieu to friends and native country and made the voyage to New York, whence he traveled into the interior of the country, settling near Iowa City, Iowa. There he worked for two years, at the end of which

 

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time he purchased a farm, which he cultivated with growing success for sixteen years. He then sold that property and went to Red Oak, Iowa, where he also bought and operated land. Upon that farm he lived for fifteen years, after which he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and invested in another tract of land, which he at once began to develop and improve, continuing its further cultivation with good success until his demise, which occurred in 1909.

  Mr. Edwards was married in June, 1856, to Miss Ann Thomas, a daughter of Morgan and Margaret (Trutor) Thomas, who were also natives of Wales. Her father engaged in mining in that country, in which he spent his entire life, passing away there in 1843. His widow afterward came to the new world and died in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1866. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Edwards was blessed with nine children, namely: Mary; William; John and Ed, twins; Lou, deceased; Margaret, who has also passed away; Albert; David; and Richard.

  Mr. Edwards voted with the republican party but never sought or desired office, always preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs. This was one of the secrets of his success and another was his unflagging energy and straightforward dealing. He guided his life at all times by the teachings of the Congregational church, of which he was a consistent member, and in his career he attempted to follow the golden rule, doing unto others as he would have them do unto him.


JACOB C. ASCHLER.

  Jacob C. Aschler is now living retired in Columbus but for many years was actively connected with general agricultural pursuits in Platte county. He has passed the eighty-fifth milestone on life's journey and is therefore one of the venerable citizens of the state. His birth occurred in Canton Bern, Switzerland, where be pursued his education and continued his residence to the age of twenty-four years. At the end of that time he determined to come to the new world and bade adieu to friends and native country, after which he sailed for America in 1854, settling first in Minnesota, where he secured a homestead claim of eighty acres. Taking up his abode upon that tract, he there engaged in farming for sixteen years and in 1870 removed to Platte county, Nebraska, which was still a frontier district, much of the land being yet in possession of the government. He secured a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres and later he bought eighty acres more. With characteristic energy he bent his efforts to the development, cultivation and improvement of the place. He carefully tilled his fields and converted his farm into a productive tract of land, good crops annually rewarding his early planting and the later care which he bestowed upon his fields. He carried on general farming and also conducted a successful dairy business until 1889, when he felt that his industry and capable management had brought him sufficient capital to enable him to spend his remaining days in the enjoyment of well earned rest. Since that time be has had no business interests save for the supervision which he has given to his investments.

  On the 17th of March, 1870, Mr. Aschler was united in marriage to Miss Louise Disher, a native of Prussia, Germany, who passed away February 15, 1915. To

 

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them were born ten children, namely: Jacob; Samuel; Gottlieb; Ernst; Mary and David, both of whom are deceased; Bertha; Emma; Louise; and Ross.

  On September 20, 1915, Mr. Aschler was again married, Mrs. Lena Anthon, of Columbus, becoming his wife. She has lived here forty years and is a representative of one of the prominent old families of the county. Her parents, Adam and Josephine (Flicker) Lachner, came to Platte county in 1873.

  After coming to the new world Mr. Aschler studied the political situation and conditions of the country and became a stanch ally of the republican party, feeling that its plan of government, if carried out, would work for the best interests of the community and the country at large. In religious faith Mr. Aschler is a Methodist and has long been a devoted follower of his church, attempting always in his life to adhere closely to the golden rule and do unto others as he would have them do unto him. He is now one of the venerable residents of Columbus, esteemed wherever known and most of all where be is best known.


OTTO GROTELUESCHEN.

  Otto Groteluescben was born September 4, 1881, on the farm on which be now resides on section 2, Bismark township, being a representative of one of the old families long connected with the development and improvement of Platte county, especially along agricultural lines. His father, John Grotelueschen, was born in Germany and married Anna Loseke, also a native of that country. They came to Platte county among its early settlers and the father homesteaded eighty acres of land on section 2, Bismark township. His first home was a primitive one, a little sod house, but after the first years of struggle and hardships success attended his efforts and gradually he worked his way up financially. As his resources increased he added to his holdings and became one of the extensive landowners of the county, having nine hundred and twenty acres. His worth as a business man and citizen was widely acknowledged. He passed away in August, 1902, while his wife survived until November, 1913. They had a family of eleven children: Louis, who is living in Iowa; Ida, the deceased wife of Fritz Otto, of Colfax county, Nebraska; Adolph, mentioned elsewhere in this work; Lena, the wife of Louis Loseke, a resident farmer of Sherman township; Lizzie, the wife of William Loseke; Emil, living in Colfax county, Nebraska; Otto; Clara, who died in childhood; Rosa, the wife of Henry Luchen; Bertha, the wife of Otto Korte; and Minnie, who completes the family.

  Otto Grotelueschen, born and reared on the old homestead farm and educated in the public schools of this locality, is now the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of rich and valuable land which formerly belonged to bis father. He resides on the old homestead property and carries on general agricultural pursuits, raising both grain and stock, while his work along both lines is attended with good results. He has acquainted himself with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops and diligence and perseverance have at all times characterized his life's labors.

  Mr. Groteluescben was married in 1909 to Miss Minnie Dirks, a native of Sherman township, this county, where her father, Martin Dirks, is still engaged in farming. Mr. Grotelueschen takes no active part in politics but is a loyal member of

 

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the German Lutheran church. His life is quietly and unostentatiously passed, but his sterling worth is recognized by his friends and neighbors among whom he has always lived.


JOHN M. VAN ACKEREN.

  John M. Van Ackeren, who follows farming and stock-raising on section 7, Humphrey township, was born in Germany, June 24, 1876, a son of Joseph and Lena (Oenting) Van Ackeren, the former born in the fatherland in May, 1848. Joseph Van Ackeren was reared and educated in Germany and remained with his parents to the age of twenty-four years, when he began farming on his own account, following that pursuit in his native land from 1872 until 1881. He then crossed the Atlantic to the new world and, continuing his journey westward, at length reached Westpoint, Nebraska, where he was employed for a few months. He then went to Pierce county, Nebraska, where he cultivated rented land for three years, after which he returned to Westpoint, where he lived for a year. Removing to South Dakota, he secured a homestead and timber claim, which he improved, spending seven years in the development and cultivation of that property. He then disposed of his South Dakota land and came to Platte county, where for eight years he engaged in the cultivation of a rented tract of two hundred and forty acres. He next went to Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, where he engaged in farming for six years, after which he traded two sections of land for one hundred and sixty acres in Platte county and three hundred and twenty acres near Cedar Rapids. In 1911 he purchased his present place of one hundred and sixty acres on section 11, Granville township. and since that time has wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place. No finer improvements can be found upon any farm in the county. There is a large and commodious residence, substantial outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock, well kept fences and the latest improved farm machinery . He is most careful in cultivating his fields and practical experience has brought him a knowledge of scientific farming, for he has learned to know the needs of the crops, the condition of the soil and other things which are now taught in the agricultural schools. He is extensively engaged in stock-raising, feeding about two car loads of sheep and two car loads of cattle annually.

  Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Van Ackeren are the parents of six children, namely: John M., of this review; Edward, who follows farming near Cedar Rapids, Nebraska; William, who is also engaged in farming in Humphrey township; Ben, at home; Louise, the wife of Jim Gordon, a farmer residing near Cedar Rapids; and Cecelia, at home. The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church and Mr. Van Ackeren gives his political allegiance to the democratic party but has no desire for office.

  John M. Van Ackeren was a lad of five years when he accompanied his parents to the new world and through the period of his boyhood he attended the district schools, mastering the common branches of learning. In the summer seasons he worked upon the home farm' assisting his father until he reached the age of twenty-eight years, when a desire to benefit more directly by his labors led him to engage in farming on his own account. For two years he rented a farm in Humphrey town-

 

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ship and then removed to a place near Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, where by purchase and by gift he secured altogether three hundred and twenty acres of pasture land and bought one hundred and sixty acres of farm land. He remained thereon for three years, at the end of which time he sold all of his property and purchased two hundred and forty acres in Humphrey township, where he now resides. He today has a well improved place equipped with a modern residence which he erected in 1910, a large cattle barn built in 1911 and other substantial outbuildings which furnish ample shelter to grain, stock and farm machinery. He has secured the latest improved agricultural implements and his fields are highly cultivated, bringing forth good crops annually. He raises much small grain and also devotes his attention successfully to the raising and feeding of cattle and hogs, being regarded as one of the most successful of the younger farmers in the northern part of the county. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers Elevators at Humphrey and at Cedar Rapids.

  On the 24th of May, 1905, at the home of the bride in Westpoint, Nebraska, Mr. Van Ackeren was united in marriage to Miss Louisa M. Keller, a daughter of Henry and Johanna (Euvens) Keller, who were born, reared and married in Germany. On emigrating to the United States in 1881, they located first at Westpoint, Nebraska, where they spent a short time, while subsequently the father purchased land and took up farming in Pierce county, being thus engaged throughout the remainder of his active business career. He and his wife are now living retired in Westpoint. To Mr. and Mrs. Van Ackeren have been born six children, namely: Joseph, whose birth occurred March 2, 1907, and who attends St. Francis school at Humphrey; Carl Henry, who was born March 24, 1908, and died on the 21st of September following; Leona Mary Anna, who was born August 24, 1909, and attends St. Francis school; Albert William, whose natal day was July 14, 1911; Beatrice Marian Eleanor, born February 13, 1913; and Agnes Johanna, born January 30, 1915.

  Mr. Van Ackeren exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the democratic party and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day but does not seek or desire office. He and his family are members of St. Francis Catholic church of Humphrey and he belongs to the St. Joseph's Men's Society of that church and the Knights of Columbus. Much of his life has been spent in this county, where he has a wide and favorable acquaintance. His substantial business qualities, his progressive citizenship and his sterling traits of character have gained for him warm and enduring regard.


WALTER G. McCULLY.

  Walter G. McCully, the efficient manager of the local electric light, heat and power company of Columbus, is a native of Macon county, Missouri, and his natal day was August 24, 1850. His parents, Henderson and Mary J. (Harvey) McCully. were born respectively in Tennessee and Missouri. The father engaged in farming in Macon county, Missouri, and also operated a sawmill. He passed away in 1889 but was survived by his widow until 1907. The paternal grandfather of our

 

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subject was born in Tennessee but removed to Missouri when his son Henderson was an infant.

  Walter G. McCully received his early education in the public schools of Bloomington, Missouri, and later attended Central College at Fayette, that state, for several years. When twenty years of age he left school but continued to reside in Macon county, Missouri, the greater part of the time until 1906. In that year he went to Kearney, Nebraska, where he assumed charge of the electric light plant. Three years later he was made manager of the electric light, heat and power plant of Columbus, Nebraska, and has since resided here. He understands thoroughly all phases of the business and under his management the plant has given excellent service to the people of Columbus.

  On the 28th of April, 1875, Mr. McCully was married in Macon, Missouri, to Miss Mary M. Miller, and the children of this union are: Walter M.; Richard O.; Louise M., the wife of H. H. Maxwell; Howard H.; Mary M., now Mrs. Claude I. Freeman; and Allen M., at home.

  Mr. McCully is a democrat and served for a number of years as deputy tax collector of Macon county, Missouri, and for four years was tax collector. He is a man of high principles, and as a citizen manifests a commendable regard far the public welfare, while as manager of the electric light, heat and power plant his services have been very satisfactory to all concerned.


GUSTAV AUGUST SCHROEDER.

  As sole proprietor of the Columbus Roller Mills, Gustav August Schroeder is conducting one of the important industrial concerns of Columbus and Platte county. As the name implies, he is of German birth, his place of nativity being Prussia, and his natal day December 11, 1848. His parents, Carl L. and Wilhelmina Henriette (Dittman) Schroeder, were likewise natives of that country and there the mother passed away in early life, her death occurring in 1855. The father continued his residence there until 1865, when he emigrated to the new world and made his way to Cleveland, Ohio, where he joined his children. In that city the father's death occurred in 1868.

  Gustav August Schroeder was only six years of age when he lost his mother and was a youth of fifteen at the time of his emigration to the new world. Upon landing on American shores he made his way at once to Cleveland, Ohio, where he spent two years learning the cigarmaker's trade. He then went to Youngstown. Ohio, and there learned the machinist's trade, remaining in the latter city until 1868. In December of that year he made his way westward to Columbus, Nebraska, and after looking about for a location preempted one hundred and sixty acres of land in Bismark township, Platte county, paying for the same two dollars and a half per acre. He proved up on this land and subsequently, in 1872, disposed of it at five dollars an acre and the same land is today valued at two hundred and seventy-five dollars an acre. He then located on another homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Bismark township, but later disposed of it and took up his abode in Columbus. In 1878 he and his brother operated the first machine shop in the city. In 1875 he embarked in the implement business in this city,

  GUSTAV A SCHROEDER     MRS. GUSTAV A SCHROEDER

 

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becoming one of the early merchants here. Two years later, in 1877, he added a stock of hardware and continued to conduct the two lines until 1883, when he sold out and engaged in farming for three years in Stanton county, Nebraska. In 1885 the Columbus Milling Company was organized and Mr. Schroeder was made secretary of the corporation, with which he continued until the concern went out of business in 1891. He then secured the assets of the company and reorganized under the name of the Columbus Roller Mills, of which he has since been sole proprietor. Under his able management the mill has become one of the important industrial enterprises of that section of Platte county and the output has been increased from year to year until the capacity of the mill is now two hundred barrels of flour per day.

  Mr. Schroeder was married in Columbus, in 1877, to Miss Ida E. Hagel, a daughter of William Hagel, by whom he has two daughters and one son: Louisa Mary, the wife of L. A. Gitzen, of this city; Walter H.; and Clara Louisa, who is a musician. By a former marriage Mr. Schroeder also has a daughter, Melissa, now Mrs. Eddy, a resident of Warren, Ohio.

  In politics Mr. Schroeder is a democrat where national questions are involved but at local elections he votes an independent ticket. He has taken the degrees in the Scottish and York Rites in Masonry and is a member of the Mystic Shrine. He likewise holds membership with the Elks and in religious faith is a Lutheran. Although he has led a busy and useful life in connection with his private business interests he has yet found time to cooperate in matters in which others are interested, being a director in several manufacturing institutions, while for four years he was a member of the city council from the first ward. He put in the first arc light in Columbus and has always been up-to-date and progressive in his methods. He has ever been a tireless worker and has developed a robust constitution capable of undergoing much physical endurance. He started out in early life to make his own way in the world and perhaps the highest tribute that can be paid him is that he has been successful in all his undertakings and that he has so discharged his duties as a citizen and as a business man as to merit the confidence of those who know him.


JAMES HENRY GALLEY.

  During the formative period in the history of the development of Columbus along commercial lines James Henry Galley established a store in the little frontier city and with its growth his business interests have developed. In a word, he has been an element in the commercial progress of his city and outside the strict path of business he has done much to further public improvement and uphold high standards that have found expression in the city's welfare. A native of England, he was born in Macclesfield, April 23, 1840, a son of James and Ann (Whittaker) Galley. His father was a native of Manchester, England, and the straitened financial circumstances of his parents made it necessary that he begin earning his living at an early age. While employed in a cotton mill in Manchester he wrote upon the floor in front of him with chalk problems and lessons which he sought to master. In the evenings he would walk three miles to secure further instruction and it was
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in this way and under such difficulties that he secured an education, eventually becoming qualified to take up the profession of teaching. He pursued that calling with marked success for a number of years and displayed exceptional ability in the line of mathematics and noted skill as a fine penman. He wedded Ann Whittaker, a lady of liberal education, whose father was proprietor of a small store in Macclesfield and also owner of a number of brick residences in that city. He was likewise a member of the militia there and his command was ordered to join the forces of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo, where he arrived just in time to witness the surrender of Napoleon. As stated, his daughter became the wife of James Galley and to them were born nine children, of whom seven reached adult age. Among the number was George W. Galley, now deceased, but at one time a resident of Columbus. Martha became the wife of John Barrow and resided in Utah but has also passed away. Mary was the wife of William Draper and is deceased. Samuel followed merchandising in Creighton, Nebraska, until his demise. Sarah Ann is a resident of Creighton. James H. completes the family.

  In 1853 the father left England with his wife and children and on the 18th of January took passage on a sailing vessel, which reached the harbor of New Orleans on the 6th of March. From that point they proceeded up the Mississippi by steamer to St. Louis and six weeks later resumed their journey by steamboat to Keokuk. Iowa, from which point they traveled by team across the state to Council Bluffs, Iowa, which was then but a small steamboat landing. The Missouri river was then at high water the water spreading over the bottoms on the east side of the river as far as Florence. At that point the family crossed the river on a flat boat and then traveled on over the plains to Salt Lake City, Utah, from which place they soon afterward removed to Cedar Valley, where General Johnson established his camp in 1857. Not pleased with conditions in Utah, the father determined to return to the States and in September, 1859, arrived at Columbus, Platte county, Nebraska, where he purchased three hundred and eighty-nine acres of government land and began the development of a farm. Not only did he give his attention to agricultural interests but also cooperated in many movements of benefit to the community. He was a man of considerable ability and was elected one of the first justices of the peace in his part of the county. Death called him in 1861 and his wife survived him for only three months.

  During his early youth James H. Galley received instruction from his father and at the age of twelve years came with his parents to the new world. He earned his first money in America by herding sheep about twenty miles south of Salt Lake City, along the mountain sides, his employer being Abraham Hunsaker, the owner of a sheep ranch. After about two years thus passed Mr. Galley received twenty sheep and a yoke of three-year old steers in payment for his services. Money was almost unknown in that locality and Mr. Galley states that from the time of his arrival in Utah in 1853 until 1857, when General Johnson located a camp in the valley in which he lived, he never saw any coin or currency.

  When the family removed to Platte county in September, 1859, Omaha was their nearest trading point and they had to go to Calhoun or Milford to have their grist ground, it often requiring a week to make the trip. On one occasion, after going to the mill, Mr. Galley had to go into the woods and secure fuel to be used in operating the mill. The winter of 1859-60, the first winter which he spent in the state, was memorable because of the severity of the weather. In January of

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 223

that year he and a party of companions started to market corn, which they sold at Fort Kearney and at the ranches along the Platte. Mr. Galley was accompanied by his brother Samuel, his brother-in-law, William Draper, Tom French, of Plum Creek, and Pat Malloy. They took with them three wagons loaded with ear corn, each drawn by three yoke of cattle. After crossing the Loup river on the ice they camped for the night and ere morning broke a genuine blizzard had hemmed them in so that they were snowbound for three days. They just crawled out of their wagons to prepare a little coffee and then back into them to roll up in their robes. At no time during those three days could they see more than two rods from their wagon. They turned their cattle loose into the bushes to care for themselves, nor did the owners dare look for them until the storm was over. When the storm had passed, however, the cattle were found in safety and the young men proceeded to Fort Kearney, the snow laying upon the ground to a depth of two feet. They were obliged to sleep in their wagons at night, for there were few settlements along that route. When they reached the Platte river it required all day to ford the stream, which was accomplished by hitching the nine yoke of cattle to one wagon at a time, this being the only way in which they could get safely through the water and ice. Such were some of the hardships experienced by the early settlers and Mr. Galley could relate many another interesting tale of the conditions of pioneer times.

  In the fall of 1862 he enlisted as a private of Company K, Second Regiment, Nebraska Cavalry, and participated in the Indian war and in the battle of White Stone Hills in South Dakota under command of General Sully. After being honorably discharged at Omaha in 1863 he returned to Columbus and devoted his attention to farming until the spring of 1866. He then embarked in merchandising in partnership with Vincent Kummer, who at that time was county treasurer of Platte county. A year later, however, they disposed of their store to Dale & Willard and Mr. Galley resumed agricultural pursuits. In 1873 the firm of J. H. Galley & Brother was established for the conduct of a mercantile business and success attended the new enterprise so that in 1880 they established a branch store at Creighton. Their partnership was continued until 1892, when the firm dissolved, Samuel Galley taking the Creighton store, while James Galley retained the ownership of the Columbus establishment. Here he has since continued business and is one of the prosperous merchants and one of the most reliable, progressive and enterprising business men of this section of the state. Not to know J. H. Galley in Platte county and this part of Nebraska is to argue oneself unknown. He is one of the oldest pioneer merchants and has a most extensive acquaintance, being held in the highest esteem by all with whom he has come in contact.

  On the 22d of February, 1871, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Galley and Miss Helen Hudson, a daughter of the late Judge H. J. Hudson, of Columbus, who was one of the pioneers of Platte county. They have become parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters. Albert J., who is a graduate of the Columbus high school and of Rhoebaugh's Commercial College of Omaha, is now secretary and treasurer of the Galley Dry Goods Company. Vincent H. also attended the Rhoebaugh Commercial College, but has passed away. Walter, who completed a course in the Gem City Commercial College at Quincy, Illinois, is now living in St. Joseph, Missouri. Ethel G., who was graduated from the Columbus high school and from the University School of Music at Lincoln, is now the wife of Mark H. Rathburn, of Columbus. Earl R. occupies a clerical position in the First National Bank, Wil-

 

224PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

liam H. has been called from this life, Maud E. is a graduate of the Columbus high school and is now teaching in the public schools, and Clifford R., who was graduated from the high school of Columbus, is in Seattle, Washington.

  Mr. Galley rejoices in the fact that he was able to give his children much better educational advantages than were accorded him. He has always stood for that which works for progress and improvement and his efforts have been an element in public advancement. For twelve years he was a member of the board of education of Columbus and was treasurer of school district No. 9 for several years. His political allegiance has always been given to the republican party and he was elected on its ticket to the office of coroner of Platte county in 1867. He has also served for several terms in the Columbus city council, exercising his official prerogatives in support of many plans and measures for the general good. Fraternally he is connected with Baker Post, No. 9, G. A. R., and was honored with the office of commander for two terms, during which period he was instrumental in procuring the erection of a monument in the public park of Columbus in honor of the soldiers and sailors of the Civil war. Since 1878 he has been a member of the Royal Arcanum, has held all of the offices of the local lodge and has twice been a member of the grand council, but was forced out by the excessive rates imposed by the grand council on all members over sixty-five years. Aside from his commercial interests he has been vice president of the First National Bank of Columbus and over his business and political record there falls no shadow of wrong nor suspicion of evil. His life has indeed been well spent and is fruitful of good results, gaining for him not only a substantial competence but the merited respect and esteem which are the reward of a well spent life.


JOHN W. EGGERS.

  John W. Eggers, living in Humphrey, is proprietor of a delivery line and delivers goods for all of the stores and meat markets of the town. He has conducted this business for three years, meeting with growing success in the undertaking. He is one of Platte county's native sons, his birth having occurred in Lindsay, October 27, 1888. His parents were John H. and Augusta (Wends) Eggers, who were natives of Germany. The father came to America when eighteen years of age, crossing the Atlantic in 1882. Attracted by the opportunities of the growing west, he made his way into the interior of the country, settling at Lindsay, Platte county. He was a wagon maker, having learned the trade in the old country. where he followed it until he crossed the Atlantic, and he resumed work along that line in America. He also engaged in carpentering and worked at that business during the greater part of the time of his residence in Lindsay and in Humphrey. In 1911 he removed to Bellingham, Washington, where he now resides at the age of fifty-one years, and his wife has also reached the same age.

  John W. Eggers was reared in Humphrey, attending the public schools, and when his textbooks were put aside he began work as a farm hand, following that occupation for four years. He afterward carried on farming on his own account for one year, at the end of which time he removed to Humphrey and bought out the delivery line which he now owns and conducts. He has secured a liberal patronage,

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 225

delivering goods for all the stores and the meat markets of the town, continuing this business with gratifying success for three years.

  On the 12th of February, 1912, Mr. Eggers was married to Miss Anna Braun, a daughter of Joseph and Eva (Scheidemantel) Braun, natives of Wisconsin. Her father engaged in teaching school in that state, in Iowa and in Nebraska. After coming to Platte county in 1878 he put aside the work of the schoolroom and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in Humphrey township, which he has since owned and cultivated, making many modern improvements upon it and developing a farm according to enterprising agricultural ideas of the present. He is now sixty-five years of age, while his wife has reached the age of sixty-two years.

  Mr. and Mrs. Eggers have become the parents of one child, Dennis Jean, who was born June 4, 1915. Mr. Eggers is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and his religious belief is that of the Catholic church, to which his wife also adheres. His political faith is that of the democratic party, but he has never sought nor desired office, preferring always to give his attention to his business affairs. He has worked earnestly and persistently and his success has its root in his diligence.


GEORGE G. ENGELHORN.

  For an extended period George G. Engelhorn was actively identified with industrial interests in Platte Center, where for twenty years he engaged in wagon manufacturing. He then retired and is now resting from further labor, his previous success having been sufficient to supply him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life. He was born in Baden, Germany, November 2, 1850, a son of Jacob and Elizabeth Engelhorn, who in the year 1852 brought their family to the United States and settled in Lansing, Iowa, where the father purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land. He at once began to till the soil and carried on general farming until his death.

  George G. Engelhorn was only two years of age when brought to America and at the age of fourteen he put aside his textbooks and began learning the wagon maker's trade, which he followed for several years as apprentice and employe. He afterward removed to Albion, Iowa, where he established a wagon factory, conducting business at that place for eleven years. He next went to Hay Springs, where he continued in the same business for several years, and in 1893 he came to Platte Center, where he began the manufacture of wagons, continuing in the business up to the time of his retirement in the year 1913. During all this period he held to a high standard of excellence. His wagons were thoroughly constructed and well finished, having qualities of stability and endurance that recommended them to the public patronage. He therefore won a good trade and his business became a profitable one.

  On the 22d of January, 1878, Mr. Engelhorn was united in marriage to Miss Mattie Rippie, her parents being George and Katherine Rippie, of Germany. To them have been born six children, as follows: Lizzie, who is the wife of Peter Anderson, a farmer residing near Monroe, Nebraska; George; Edward, a resident

 

226PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Charles, who is on the United States battleship, Tennessee; William, living in Winnipeg, Canada; and Clarence, at home.

  Fraternally Mr. Engelhorn is connected with the Royal Highlanders of Platte Center, being a charter member of that organization. His political views coincide with the principles of the democratic party. He belongs to the German Lutheran church and his life measures up to its standards, for he has closely followed its teachings and has taken an active part in furthering its work and extending its influence. Mr. Engelhorn deserves great credit for what he has accomplished and may well be termed a self-made man, for he has been both the builder and architect of his own fortunes. Starting out emptyhanded at the early age of fourteen years, he gained thorough knowledge of the business in which he ever afterward continued until he put aside business cares, and his concentration of purpose and close application were salient features in his prosperity.


PETER RIPP.

  Peter Ripp is numbered among the early settlers of Platte county, and the farm upon which he now lives and which is one of the well developed properties of Burrows township was a tract of raw prairie covered with wild grasses when it came into his possession. He has lived to witness almost the entire development and improvement of the county and has contributed in large measure to its progress along agricultural lines.

  Mr. Ripp was born on the Rhine, in Prussia, September 12, 1839, a son of Henry and Gertrude (Hoch) Ripp. who were likewise natives of that country. The father was reared to the occupation of farming and in 1855 he came to the United States, settling in Springfield, Dane county, Wisconsin, where he purchased land and carried on general agricultural pursuits, making his home there for about fifteen years or until 1869, when he removed to Platte county, Nebraska taking up his abode six miles northwest of Columbus. There he purchased railroad land and settled upon it, concentrating his efforts upon its cultivation and improvement, his labors bringing a marked transformation in the appearance of the property, which he converted into productive fields. Upon that farm the father passed away and after his death the mother removed to Humphrey, where her demise occurred.

  Peter Ripp attended school in Germany and was reared upon the home farm. He came with his parents to the United States and continued to assist his father until he reached the age of twenty-three years, when he secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on section 26, Burrows township, and has since resided there, covering a period of more than a half century. He afterward cultivated, developed and improved this place until 1900, when he gave up active farm work and retired from business life, renting his land to his sons. In the meantime he had added one hundred and twenty acres to the original farm, but he has since divided his property with his children and now owns only one hundred and sixty acres.

  On the 31st of October, 1862, Mr. Ripp was united in marriage to Miss Agnes Warringer, a native of Germany. They celebrated their golden wedding in 1912, on which occasion their children and grandchildren were all in attendance. A big

 

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