Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 227

feast was held and the bride and groom of fifty years before received many beautiful and valuable gifts from friends and relatives. Mrs. Ripp was the daughter of Mrs. Gertrude Warringer, a native of Germany, who with her daughter Agnes came to the United States, settling in Chicago. Later they removed to Madison county, Wisconsin, where Mrs. Warringer passed away. She lost her husband during the early girlhood of Mrs. Ripp. To Mr. and Mrs. Ripp were born eleven children, of whom six are yet living, as follows: Henry, who was born August 6, 1863, and who is now a farmer of Buffalo county, Nebraska; Jacob, who was born July 28, 1865, and also follows farming in Buffalo county, this state; Annie, who was born in 1868 and is the wife of August Hamling, an agriculturist of Platte county; Elizabeth, whose birth occurred in 1870 and who gave her hand in marriage to Henry Juchter, a farmer of Burrows township; Katie, who was born May 7, 1871, and who now lives with her parents, being the widow of Joseph Leoffelholz, who died August 20, 1913; and William, who was born July 2, 1879, and is an agriculturist of Madison county, Nebraska.

  Mr. Ripp was one of the organizers of St. Anthony's Catholic church of Burrows township, to which he and his family belong, and for several years he served as one of the trustees of the church. In politics he is a democrat and has filled the office of road supervisor. There are few residents of Platte county who have remained within its borders for a longer period than Mr. Ripp, whose farm at the time he took possession of it was a tract of raw prairie covered with the native grasses and starred with a million wild flowers in June, while the winter months brought a sheet of snow. Comparatively few roads had been laid out and only here and there was a settlement to show that the work of improvement had begun. Mr. Ripp built house and barns upon his place and carried on the work of general improvement upon his farm for many years, gaining therefrom a good living, but in the evening of his days he is now retired and he well deserves the rest and comforts that are his.


HENRY W. ABTS.

  Henry W. Abts, who is at the head of the H. W. Abts Company, a wholesale grocery concern, has been a potent factor in the commercial development of Columbus. He was born in Cassville, Wisconsin, September 4, 1868, and is a son of John P. and Elizabeth (Greenhack) Abts, both natives of Germany, the former born in 1833. They were married in their native land and continued to reside there until 1858, when they emigrated to the United States, making their way to Wisconsin, where they located and where the father followed agricultural pursuits. In 1870 they removed to Cedar county, Nebraska, whence they came in 1877 to Platte county. The father died here in 1906 and the mother passed away in this county in 1900.

  Henry W. Abts received his education in the public schools of Cedar and Platte counties, Nebraska, but at the age of sixteen years put aside his textbooks and began providing for his own support. He followed agricultural pursuits until 1882, when he came to Columbus, Nebraska, where he engaged in the drayage business for about seven years. In 1888 he entered the wholesale grocery field and has built

 

228PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

up a large business which is conducted under the name of the H. W. Abts Company. Their goods are of high quality, their prices reasonable and their methods thoroughly honorable, and their line is popular with the trade.

  Mr. Abts was married October 26, 1887, in Columbus, to Miss Mary Henkelman, a daughter of the late John Henkelman, and they have six living children, namely: Matthew C., Clara C., John, Mary O., Henry J. and Dorothea B. They lost a daughter, Lizzie, who died July 8, 1900, when nine and a half years of age.

  Mr. Abts is a democrat but has been too much absorbed in his business affairs to take an active part in politics. He belongs to the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Knights of America and to the Foresters, and, as these affiliations indicate, is a communicant of the Roman Catholic church. He is a man of great capacity for work and unfaltering determination, and, although he began with nothing, he is now at the head of a large and growing business. He has not only gained financial independence for himself but has also contributed in no small measure to the commercial expansion of Columbus.


GEORGE M. SMITH.

  George M. Smith, who for a number of years was connected with the business interests of Humphrey, passed away on the 20th of June, 1913. He was then but forty-seven years of age, his birth having occurred in Missouri on the 22d of May, 1866. His parents were Benedict and Rehida (Wingburg) Smith, both natives of Germany, whence they came to the new world in early life, settling in Kansas. The father resided in that state for several years and followed the occupation of farming there, but his property holdings were entirely destroyed in a cyclone. He afterward came to Platte county, Nebraska, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits for several years or until his life's labors were ended in death in September, 1913. His widow still survives and now makes her home in Humphrey.

  George M. Smith spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native state, acquired a public-school education and remained with his parents much of the time until his marriage. However, before that event was celebrated he went to Omaha, Nebraska, where he learned the butchering business and followed it in that city for a time. He was afterward employed as a butcher in Columbus and in 1886 he came to Humphrey, where he opened a meat market in partnership with Walter Gehr. This they conducted for a year, at the end of which time Mr. Smith purchased his partner's interest and continued business alone for several years. He then sold out and established a saloon, which he conducted throughout his remaining days.

  On the 25th of April, 1886, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Snyder, who was born in Buffalo, New York, February 22, 1863, her parents being Phillip and Catherine (Natcher) Snyder, natives of Germany. They emigrated to the United States in the late '40s, locating in Sheldon Center, New York, where the father carried on general agricultural pursuits until his demise in July, 1888. The death of the mother occurred in November, 1878. Mr. and Mrs. Smith reared

 GEORGE M. SMITH

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 231

two adopted children, Minnie M. and Thomas, who are now eighteen and nine years of age respectively.

  Mr. Smith was a communicant of the Catholic church and passed away in that faith. Politically he was a democrat and,at one time was a member of the town council of Humphrey. Many of his fellow townsmen entertained for him warm regard and felt deep regret when he was called to his final rest.


DAVID T. MARTYN, JR., M. D.

  Dr. David T. Martyn, Jr., who stands in the first rank of the medical fraternity in Columbus, has there been engaged in general practice since 1902 and has won an enviable reputation as a skilled and successful representative of the profession. His birth occurred in Columbus, Nebraska, on the 13th of January, 1878, his parents being David Thomas and Susan P. (George) Martyn. A sketch of the father, "than whom no other physician was ever more loved and respected," is given on another page of this work.

  David T. Martyn, Jr., completed the high-school course in Columbus by graduation in 1897 and four years later received the degree of M. D. from the medical department of Creighton University at Omaha. In 1901 and 1902 he pursued post-graduate work in Chicago and then located for practice in Columbus, where he has since remained and where he has won merited recognition as a prominent and able physician. His skill has brought to him a liberal and gratifying practice, while his close conformity to the ethics of the profession has gained for him the high regard of his brethren of the medical fraternity. He is a man of broad ideals, scrupulous conscientiousness and superior professional attainments and has advanced through his own efforts to a place of distinction in his chosen field.

  On the 21st of October, 1909, in Mount Sterling, Illinois, Dr. Martyn was united in marriage to Miss Winifred P. Rottger, by whom he has two children: Eugenia Susan; and Lucy R., who was born June 18, 1915. In his political views the Doctor is independent, supporting men and measures rather than party, while fraternally he is known as a Master Mason and an Elk.


BRUNO ZUERLEIN.

  The name of Zuerlein has become a synonym for high standard of work at the trade of a brick and stone mason. It is this pursuit which Bruno Zuerlein follows and it is also the chosen occupation of his brother, Joseph Zuerlein, and was followed by their father before them. Bruno Zuerlein understands every phase of the business and the excellence of his work has gained for him a liberal patronage.

  Mr. Zuerlein was born in Germany, March 2, 1856, and is a son of George and Catherine Zuerlein, of whom mention is made on another page of this work in connection with the history of Joseph Zuerlein. His youthful days were spent in his native land and when his public-school education was completed he began learning the stone and brick mason's trade, which he followed in Germany until 1882. In

 

232PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

that year he bade adieu to friends and native country and sailed for America, taking up his abode in New Jersey, where he was employed until March 2, 1884, when he started across the country with Humphrey, Nebraska, as his destination. Here he has since followed his trade and has won a liberal measure of success. He built and owns a two-story brick residence in Humphrey and his property holdings include three vacant lots in the city.

  In November, 1880, Bruno Zuerlein was united in marriage to Miss Dora Zuerlein, a daughter of Michael Zuerlein, who was a native of Germany. He, too, was a stone and brick mason and in 1884 came to the new world, working at his trade in Humphrey for many years. He is now living retired, having reached the advanced age of eighty-four years. The mother of Mrs. Zuerlein passed away in 1893. To Mr. and Mrs. Bruno Zuerlein have been born eleven children: Joseph, Christina, Michael, Frank, Agnes, Herman, Catherine, Henry and Cecelia, all of whom are living, and Anna, the third born, and Margaret, the fifth in order of birth, now deceased.

  In his political views Mr. Zuerlein is a democrat, having given stalwart support to the party since he became a naturalized American citizen. He and his family are communicants of the Catholic church and he belongs to the Catholic Order of Foresters. He is widely known in Humphrey, where he has now made his home for thirty-one years, and his substantial qualities as a business man and citizen have gained him the warm regard of all.


JAMES McDERMOTT.

  That Platte county is an excellent agricultural district is indicated in the fact that among the citizens of Columbus there is a large percentage of retired farmers, men who in cultivating their fields have won substantial prosperity that now enables them to rest from further labors. A representative of this class is James McDermott, who now makes his home at 1922 Platte street. He was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, April 10, 1844, a son of Bernard and Alma (Murphy) McDermott. He was the youngest in their family of nine children and, like the others of the household, acquired a common-school education. He has been a resident of America since reaching the age of twenty-one years. Settling in Lafayette county, Wisconsin, he was employed as a farm hand for eleven or twelve years and in 1889 came to Platte county, securing one hundred and sixty acres in Granville township. This was railroad land for which he paid five dollars per acre. With characteristic energy he began its development, broke the sod, planted the seed and in due course of time gathered good harvests. Year after year he carefully and persistently continued the work of the farm and as time passed gained a substantial competence as the reward of his labors. He continued to live upon the old homestead until the spring of 1907, when he removed to Columbus. He is still interested in lands in Madison county, Nebraska, and derives therefrom a good income. He is also a stockholder in the German National Bank of Columbus.

  In Lafayette county, Wisconsin, Mr. MeDermott was united in marriage to Miss Jane Donohue, her father being Edward Donohue, an old settler of that county. To them have been born seven children, as follows: Bernard, who wedded

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 233

Miss Anna Lubischer and is engaged in farming near Humphrey, this county; Mary, who is the wife of Max Stenger, of Madison county, Nebraska; Kate, who is a resident of Madison, Nebraska; Edward, who is in the service of the Nebraska Bridge & Supply Company of Omaha; Lydia, living in Madison, this state; John, who is a resident of David City, Nebraska; and George, at home.

  The parents and children are members of the Catholic church and in his political views Mr. MeDermott has always been a democrat. He has never sought nor desired political office but for eighteen years served as school director in District No. 66 and was an enthusiastic advocate of good schools. Fraternally he is connected with Columbus Lodge of the Knights of Columbus, an organization which draws its membership from the representatives of the Catholic church. Since starting out in the business world on his own account he has made his way unaided and whatever success he has achieved or enjoyed is the direct reward of his earnest purpose and indefatigable effort.


JOHN F. FUCHS.

  John F. Fuchs is a representative of one of the old families of Humphrey township and makes his home on section 27, where he is engaged in general farming. He was born in that township, October 20, 1884, his parents being Ferdinand and Elizabeth (Brockhaus) Fuehs, who are mentioned elsewhere in this work. At the usual age he began his education, attending the parochial school in Humphrey, while in the school of experience he also learned many valuable lessons concerning those things which are vital in life and concerning the best methods of tilling and developing a farm. He early began work in the fields, assisting his father, and he remained upon the home farm with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-seven years, when his father gave him one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 27, Humphrey township. In addition to his home property he also operates one hundred and sixty acres adjoining which he rents from his father. His time is well spent in the management of his farm, and in its cultivation he follows modern, progressive methods, carefully rotating his crops and studying the questions of soil and crop production. From practical experience he has learned many valuable lessons and the excellent appearance of his property indicates him to be one of the leading farmers of the county. He is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey but concentrates the greater part of his attention upon the work of the fields on his home place.

  On the 12th of November, 1912, Mr. Fuchs was united in marriage to Miss Mary Smith, a daughter of Fred H. and Anna (Ottis) Smith, the former a native of Johnsburg, Illinois, and the latter of Mount Calvary, Wisconsin. Her father lived with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-two years, when he came to Platte county, Nebraska, where he purchased land, which he afterward cultivated until 1901, when he sold out and went to Oklahoma. There he purchased land, which he is still cultivating. Both he and his wife are living and both are fifty-six years of age. There were ten children in their family, five of whom survive, namely: John K.; Mrs. Thomas Werner; Mrs. John F. Fuchs; Catherine and Anthony.

 

234PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

  Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs have but one child, Freddie J., who was born November 6, 1913. The parents are members of the Catholic church, and Mr. Fuchs is identified with the Catholic Order of Foresters. At the polls he is a democrat voting for the men and measures of the party, but he is not an active party worker, preferring to give his undivided attention to his farm. He realizes fully the value of industry and determination, and persistent, earnest effort is winning for him a comfortable competence.


PETER BENDER.

  Peter Bender, deceased, was one of the largest landowners of Platte county and the importance of his business affairs and the creditable relation which he maintained toward public interests marked him as one of the valued citizens of his community, causing his death to be deeply regretted when he passed away. He was one of the worthy citizens that Germany furnished to Nebraska. His birth occurred in Menamebach, Germany, June 12, 1852, his parents being Peter and Catharine (Mallmann) Bender. The father's birth occurred in the same place October 8, 1825, and the mother was born in Wenhausen on the 17th of February 1832. They came to America with their family when their son Peter was but four years old and settled upon a farm near Henry, Illinois. There the son was reared to young manhood, early becoming familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist.

  In 1876 Mr. Bender was united in marriage to Miss Kate Hatzbuehler, who passed away in 1894. To them were born nine children, seven of whom still survive, as follows: William, George, Charles, Edward, Mrs. C. P. Hittner, Mrs. J. R. Ternus and Mrs. Chester Waglie. In 1895 Mr. Bender was again married, his second union being with Miss Katie Tohlen, daughter of Tobias and Catharine Tohlen, both of whom were natives of Germany. Mrs. Bender was born in Germany, July 7, 1862, and on coming to the United States in 1894 became a resident of St. Andrews. Her parents never crossed the Atlantic, her father dying in Germany in August, 1892, while his wife survived until October, 1894. Following her marriage Mrs. Bender lived upon the home farm on section 32, Granville township, but after her husband's death, which occurred April 9, 1915, she removed to Cornlea, where she now makes her home. To Peter and Katie (Tohlen) Bender were born five children, namely: Nellie, whose birth occurred October 8, 1895, and who is the wife of Met Schumacher; Daniel, who was born November 6, 1896, and operates the home farm; Margaret, who was born May 17, 1898; Joseph, deceased; and Johnnie, whose natal day was July 26, 1901.

  It was in the year 1885 that Mr. Bender removed to this county, taking up his abode upon a tract of land of eighty acres in Granville township, which had been given him by his father. He at once began the task of developing and improving the tract, and to his original holdings he added whenever opportunity offered until he became one of the extensive landowners of the county, having at the time of his death nine hundred and twenty acres of highly cultivated and well improved land in this part of the state. His possessions constituted the visible evidence of a life of well directed energy, thrift and determination. He was always actuated

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 235

by a laudable ambition that enabled him to make good use of his time and opportunities and thus he won his prosperity. He also owned twenty-seven lots and buildings in Cornlea and held twenty-six shares in the Cornlea State Bank, which he aided in organizing and of which he served as vice president, also acting as a member of the board of directors from its establishment.

  In his political views Mr. Bender was a democrat and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his ability, called him to various public offices. He served as township trustee, was for fourteen years a member of the board of county supervisors, was a member of the township and village boards and also of the school board of Granville township for a number of years. He recognized fully his duties and obligations toward the public and was loyal to every trust reposed in him. He was also a man of generous spirit and gave freely of his means to help an individual or to further any movement of public worth. He was the first to contribute five hundred dollars toward the building of the Catholic church at Cornlea, of which he was a most prominent member and earnest worker. Life was to him purposeful and he never heedlessly passed by the opportunity to do good. He was interested in the progress and improvement of his community and in every possible way contributed to its advancement. The worth of his public work and his ability in business made him indeed one of the valued and honored citizens of Platte county.


LOUIS WILKEN.

  Louis Wilken makes his home upon a farm on section 9, Bismark township; where he has two hundred and eighty acres of land. This constitutes the old homestead property of the family and thereon he was born February 18, 1884. His parents were Herman and Anna Wilken, who were natives of Oldenburg, in the northern part of Germany. They came to the United States in l866 and following the outbreak of the Civil war. Herman Wilken responded to the call of his adopted country for aid and enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He went to the front and did active service in defense of the Union until the cessation of hostilities. When the war was over he came to Nebraska and settled upon the place which is now the home of his son Louis. There he carried on general farming until his life's labors were ended in death in December 1889. In his passing the county mourned the loss of a worthy citizen.

  Louis Wilken attended the district schools. He was only five years of age when his father died and when still quite young he assumed the management of the home farm for his mother. In all the intervening period to the present time he has diligently and carefully cultivated the place and has added many excellent improvements thereto. He has built a comfortable and attractive residence and a large barn and has also added other modern improvements. Aside from tilling the soil he raises shorthorn cattle and finds it a profitable source of income.

  On the 4th of January, 1905, Mr. Wilken was united in marriage to Miss Freda Hilmer, a daughter of Christ and Vipeka Hilmer. She died October 11, 1907. and Mr. Wilken has since married again, his second union being with Miss Emma Krumland, a daughter of Gerhard Krumland. His second marriage, which

 

236PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

was celebrated September 20, 1910, has been blessed with three children: Luella, Clarence Herman and Wilbert Louis.

  The parents are members of the German Lutheran church and in his political views Mr. Wilken is a republican, having supported the party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He is interested in matters pertaining to public welfare and his cooperation can be counted upon to further measures for the general good, but his time and attention are largely demanded by his farming interests, and the excellent and well kept appearance of his place of two hundred and eighty acres indicates that he leads a busy and useful life.


HERMAN LAMMERS.

  Herman Lammers, a retired farmer living in Columbus, was born at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, March 20, 1843. He never saw his father, who died during the early infancy of his son. The boy went to school in Germany and in early life started to earn his living by working as a farm hand in his native country. In 1869 he came to the United States and settled in Illinois, working first as a farm hand near Hillsboro in Montgomery county. Purchasing land in that state, he carried on general farming and prospered as the years went by, his record being that of a self-made man, for he had only one dollar when he landed in the United States. In 1894 he came to Platte county and began farming in Monroe township, where he purchased land that he devoted to the cultivation of various crops and to stock-raising. To his original purchase of one hundred and sixty acres he has added from time to time until he is now the owner of three valuable and productive farms, two comprising one hundred and sixty acres each, while the third covers two hundred acres. All three are located in Monroe township and to the work of general farming he devoted his energies until 1907, when he removed to Columbus, where he is now living retired, his rest being truly deserved. He has been throughout life an active member of the German Lutheran church, doing much to upbuild the cause both in Illinois and in Nebraska. He gave a tract of land on section 4, Monroe township, for the building of the German Lutheran church and has ever been most generous in its support.

  Mr. Lammers has been married three times. By his first marriage he had one child, John, who is married and has two children and who occupies the old homestead. For his second wife he chose Meta Stamer, a native of Germany, who passed away in 1908, at the age of forty-six years. Her father, Fred Stamer, worked as a farm hand in Germany and after emigrating to the United States made his home with our subject until called to his final rest in 1900, when sixty-eight years of age. To Mr. Lammers and his second wife were born four children, as follows: Anna, the wife of Carl Brandt, who follows farming in Monroe township and by whom she has one child; Lena, the wife of Jake Moore, who operates the farm of his father-in-law and by whom she has two children; Josephine, who keeps house for her father; and Fred, who was born in 1902 and is at home. For his third wife Mr. Lammers chose Marie Lubben.

  He has led a very active and useful although quiet and retiring life. He has always wisely used his opportunities and through untiring industry he gained for

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 237

himself a place among the substantial agriculturists of Platte county, where he has now lived for twenty-one years. His activities have always been an exemplification of high and honorable principles and in none of his business affairs has he ever been known to take advantage of the necessities of his fellowmen.


CARL BAUMGART.

  One of the well improved farms of Granville township is the property of Carl Baumgart, who lives on section 12, where he owns one hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land. In addition. however, he is extensively engaged in cultivating rented land and is one of the largest producers of corn in this part of the state. His early training was that of the farm, for through his boyhood and youth he aided in cultivating the fields at the old home place in Germany. He was born in Prussia, December 16, 1870, and is a son of Gottfried and Augusta Baumgart, who were natives of that kingdom. The father was a farmer of Prussia for a considerable period and afterward went to Russia, where he has since engaged in farming. He is now eighty-four years of age. His wife, however, has passed away, her death occurring in 1903.

  Carl Baumgart was reared and educated in Prussia and remained with his parents until he reached his majority, when he determined to try his fortune in the new world and came to America, settling in Humphrey, Platte county, Nebraska, in 1890. There he worked in a brickyard for a year, after which he resumed the occupation to which he had been reared, renting land, which he cultivated for fifteen years. He then purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 12, Granville township, and at once began its development and improvement. He has one of the best improved farms of the county and has carefully and persistently cultivated it with the result that it is a most productive tract of land. He also rents five hundred and sixty acres and has altogether four hundred and seventy acres planted to corn. The careful methods which he follows in developing his fields lead to good harvests and success in gratifying measure has crowned his efforts. In addition to his farming interests Mr. Baumgart is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey and in the Bell Telephone Company. At one time he owned one hundred and sixty acres of land in addition to the home tract, but in the spring of 1915 he sold this.

  In March, 1893, Mr. Baumgart was united in marriage to Miss Augusta Kehn, a daughter of Gottfried and Louisa Kehn, who were natives of Prussia, where the father learned and followed the blacksmith's trade until 1891, when he came to the United States, settling first in Brooklyn, New York, where he remained until 1898, when he came to Humphrey, where he has since resided. He now lives with Fred Baumgart, a brother of Carl, and both he and his wife have reached the advanced age of eighty-four years. Mr. and Mrs. Carl Baumgart have become the parents of eleven children: Arthur, Charlie, Otto, Walter, Clarence, Alvin, Elmer, Ella, Lydia, Clara and Rose.

  In religious belief the family are connected with the German Baptist church and fraternally Mr. Baumgart is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Woodmen of the World. Politically he is a republican, conversant with

 

238PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

the leading questions and issues of the day, so that he is able to support his position by intelligent argument, but he does not seek nor care for public office, as his time is fully occupied with his business affairs, which have grown in volume and importance until he is today one of the foremost farmers of the county.


HENRY DEYKE.

  Henry Deyke is a resident farmer of Sherman township, living on section 30, where he now has two hundred and forty acres of finely cultivated land, his time being devoted to general farming and stock-raising. He was born in Grossenkneten, Oldenburg, Germany, September 17, 1849, a son of John Henry Deyke, who spent his entire life in his native country. He there extensively engaged in farming and in stock-raising and was also an active and prominent member of the German Lutheran church.

  Henry Deyke acquired his early education in the village schools and in early manhood inherited a part of his father's farm but conditions were then not favorable to money making and he gave his farm to his sister and came to the United States, arriving in Platte county in 1873. He was pleased with the rich land of this district and the opportunities here offered and entered a homestead claim of eighty acres on section 30, Sherman township. His residence in pioneer times was a sod house and he used ox teams to break the sod and turn the furrows. There were no improvements on the land, not even prairie grass covered the soil, for prairie fires had burned it off. In early years after he planted crops they were devastated by the grasshoppers and he had to go to the home of friends in Columbus for his meals. He then sought employment in other ways, securing work on the Union Pacific Railroad, which was then being built to Norfolk. When this had brought him a little money he resumed his farming operations and gradually he has worked his way upward, being now the owner of two hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land on section 30, Sherman township. Today the farm is well improved and is neat in appearance. All of the improvements upon the place are the result of his handiwork. He has erected good buildings, has set out good trees and has otherwise developed the place until it is now an excellent property. In addition to cultivating the cereals best adapted to soil and climate he raises Poland China hogs and his annual sales bring him a gratifying financial return.

  On July 8, 1881, Mr. Deyke was united in marriage to Miss Helena Neemeyer, who was born in Oldenburg, in 1863, a daughter of Frederick Neemeyer, who in 1880 emigrated from Germany to Platte county and settled on railroad land in Grand Prairie township. His place comprised one hundred and sixty acres, on which he made all the improvements and there he engaged in farming until the time of his death in the early '80s. His religious faith was that of the Lutheran church. To Mr. and Mrs. Deyke have been born five children: Martha, the wife of Otto Schulz, by whom she has three children; Fred, who is principal of the high school at Deshler, Nebraska; Amelia, the wife of William Schulz, by whom she has three children; Aline, the wife of Martin Meyer and the mother of one daughter; and Henry, at home.

  Mr. Deyke was one of the organizers of St. John's Lutheran church in Grand

 HENRY DEYKE AND FAMILY

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 241

Prairie township and assisted in erecting its house of worship. He served as one of its trustees for many years and has always contributed generously to its support. Mr. Deyke is well known in this county, where he has made his home for forty-two years. He has a wide acquaintance and the substantial traits of his character have gained him the warm regard of those with whom he has been brought in contact.


ANTON J. GLODOWSKI.

  Anton J. Glodowski, filling the office of postmaster of Platte Center, to which he was appointed in January, 1915, was born in Colfax county, Nebraska, January 27, 1886, a son of Joseph and Mary (Pojar) Glodowski, who settled in Colfax county in 1883. It was there that Anton J. Glodowski was reared, pursuing his education in the country schools until he had completed the work of the eighth grade. He afterward concentrated his energies upon farm work, in which he engaged until 1909, becoming familiar with every phase of agricultural life in connection with the raising of grain and stock. In the year mentioned he removed to Platte Center and opened a furniture and undertaking establishment, continuing actively in the business for four years and building up a good trade. Subsequently he was employed for a year as clerk in a store. In January, 1915, he was appointed to the position of postmaster and is making a creditable record in that office.

  On the 28th of January, 1908, at Dodge, Nebraska, Mr. Glodowski was married to Miss Emma Hanzel, a daughter of Frank Hanzel, and to them have been born two children, Zelma and Bernard. Mr. Glodowski is a young man, having not yet completed his third decade, but he has become firmly established as a representative resident of Platte county, where his good qualities have endeared him to his fellow townsmen and his ability has gained him recognition through appointment to office.


OLIVER HUGH WALTERS.

  Oliver Hugh Walters is the proprietor of the Art Printery of Columbus, which is one of the most important enterprises of the kind in this section of the state, business being conducted along modern, progressive lines. He was born February 18, 1887, at Garner, Nebraska, a postoffice five miles west of Petersburg which has since been discontinued. His father, Oliver E. Walters, was a native of Brooklyn, New York, and on coming to the west homesteaded in Boone county in the '70s. He became a prominent citizen and business man there, serving for seven years as county clerk and afterward entering the abstract and real-estate business. His wife, Mrs. Cora E. Walters, was a native of Wisconsin and went to Boone county with her parents in her childhood days, so that on both sides Oliver Hugh Walters is a representative of pioneer families in this state.

  His early education was acquired in the primary department of the schools at Petersburg and he left the high school at the age of fifteen years to take up the duties of "devil" in the office of the Petersburg Index, which was then owned by his
Vol. II-12

 

242PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

father. He spent four years in that connection, during which he became thoroughly acquainted with the business, and later he was employed as a printer in two different printing offices at Albion, Nebraska, for two years. On the 10th of June, 1907, he arrived in Columbus to accept the position of foreman on the Columbus Tribune, then owned by Richard Ramey. He continued to act in that capacity for five years but left the position in the spring of 1912 to establish the job shop which he now owns. He entered into partnership with G. W. Davis and on the 1st of March, 1912, opened the Art Printery for business. A year later he purchased the interest of his partner and has since conducted the business independently. He had little capital when he started out, but he has succeeded in discharging all indebtedness upon the plant or business and is today enjoying a liberal patronage. The work which he turns out is of high grade and its neat and attractive appearance, combined with reasonable prices, have insured growing success for the undertaking.

  On the 14th of June, 1911, at Columbus, Mr. Walters was united in marriage to Miss Ettna C. Linstrum, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Linstrum. She was born at Sutton, Nebraska, and when three years of age was brought by her parents to Columbus, where she has since resided. To Mr. and Mrs. Walters have been born two children, a daughter, Davida E., now three years of age, and a son, Oliver Wendell, aged ten months. The parents hold membership in the Methodist church, in the work of which they take an active and helpful part. Mr. Walters is now secretary of the official board of the church and has held the position of superintendent of the Sunday school for two terms. He does all in his power to advance the interests of the church and thereby promote the moral progress of the community, and he gives his aid and support to many measures which are planned to advance the general welfare.


JOSEPH ZUERLEIN.

  Joseph Zuerlein, a brick mason of Humphrey, actively connected with the building interests of the town, was born in Germany, September 23, 1854, a son of George and Catherine Zuerlein, who were also natives of that country. The father was a stone and brick mason and followed his trade in Germany throughout his entire life, there passing away in 1887. His wife survived him for only a brief period, dying in 1888.

  Joseph Zuerlein was reared and educated in Germany and learned the trade of brick and stone mason from his father. He was employed along that line in Germany until 1883, and that he had long experience in the work is indicated in the fact that he laid brick when he was but fifteen years of age. On coming to the United States he settled first in New Jersey, where he worked in a factory for three years. In 1886 he arrived in Humphrey, where he has since conducted business as a stone and brick mason. He owns a nice residence which he erected near the Catholic church and which stands on an acre of ground, being one of the pleasant and attractive homes of the city. His expert workmanship and thoroughly reliable business methods have brought to him a liberal patronage which he well merits.

  On the 8th of February, 1880, Mr. Zuerlein was married to Miss Agnes Groemling, a daughter of Adam and Margaret Groemling, who were natives of Germany.

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 243

  Her father was also a stone and brick mason and followed that pursuit throughout his entire life. He met an accidental death by the caving in of a ditch in Germany in 1867, while his wife passed away there in 1862. Mrs. Zuerlein was born in Germany, September 8, 1856, and by her marriage has become the mother of eleven children: Thomas, Katie, Bruno, Dora, Edward, Christina, Mary, John and three who died in infancy.

  The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church and Mr. Zuerlein belongs to the Catholic Order of Foresters. Politically he is a democrat, exercising his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the party, but never seeking office for himself, as he prefers to give his undivided attention to his business affairs, which have made him a prominent representative of industrial interests in Humphrey.


JOHN G. JOHNSON.

  John G. Johnson, who carries on general farming on section 10, Granville township, and is also engaged in feeding stock, was born near Grundy Center, Iowa, in January, 1881, a son of Johan and Johannah Johnson, the former a native of Norway and the latter of Stockholm, Sweden. The father came to America when twenty years of age and for a time was a resident of Illinois. He was a tailor by trade and followed that pursuit in Illinois and New Mexico, Colorado and Iowa. He at length took up his abode in Grundy Center, Iowa, and purchased eighty acres of land, which he continued to cultivate successfully until 1886, when he came to Platte county, Nebraska. That was before the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad was built into Humphrey. Settling in Granville township, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 10, and at once began to cultivate and improve the tract, which he operated until 1899. He then retired from active business and removed to Seattle, Washington, where he has since made his home, being now seventy-one years of age. His wife passed away in 1887, her death being deeply regretted by many friends as well as by her immediate family.

  John G. Johnson was reared and educated in Platte county, attending the district schools. He remained with his father until the latter removed to Washington, at which time John G. Johnson went to Madison, Nebraska, and in the vicinity of that place worked as a farm hand for three years. He then rented land in Madison county which he cultivated for two years,after which he returned to Platte county and rented the old home place, which he has since operated, covering a period of eleven years. He has brought the fields to a high state of cultivation and annually harvests good crops. He also feeds about a carload of cattle and from one to three carloads of hogs annually. In the fall of 1911 he purchased eighty acres of land on section 17, Granville township, which he also operates in addition to the home place and which is a well improved tract. His business affairs are carefully and systematically managed and prosperity is rewarding his efforts. In addition to his other interests he is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey and is a stockholder in the First National Bank.

 

244PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

  In December, 1904, Mr. Johnson was joined in wedlock to Miss Clara White, a daughter of Frank and Rika White, natives of Illinois. Her father, a farmer by occupation, removed to Madison county, Nebraska, at an early period in its development and there secured a homestead claim which he has since cultivated and improved, making it a valuable property. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have become parents of three children: Irvin F., nine years of age; Elmer P., six years old and Ralph O., aged two.

  The parents are members of the Lutheran church and guide their lives according to its teachings. In his political views Mr. Johnson is an earnest republican, but, while he does not seek nor desire political office, he has served for three years as school director. He is in favor of all public improvements and gives hearty indorsement to many measures for the general good. In business he is persistent and energetic, carrying forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes, and his well defined plans, carefully executed, have brought to him a very desirable and creditable measure of success.


WILLIAM KNIGHT.

  William Knight, one of the oldest settlers in Platte county, and one of the most successful farmers of his locality, has a finely improved place in Creston township. He was born in Canada in October, 1842, a son of Charles and Bridget (Doyle) Knight, natives respectively of Ireland and of Canada. The father followed agricultural pursuits in Canada and passed away in that country in 1880. The mother died in 1858.

  William Knight grew to manhood in Canada and there received his education. He remained at home until his father was married a second time, when he left and began learning the blacksmith's trade, which he subsequently followed in Canada for five years. In 1869 he removed to Iowa and was similarly employed in Clinton county until 1872, in which year he settled in Platte county, Nebraska. He took up a homestead of eighty acres in Creston township and a tree claim of eighty acres adjoining, and subsequently he purchased an additional eighty acres also on section 19. He has since cultivated his land and has made many improvements on his farm. After locating thereon he erected a blacksmith shop on his land and for several years did a large blacksmithing business. In addition to his fine farm in this county he owns three hundred and twenty acres of land in Frontier county, this state, and his holdings return to him a good income

  On the 21st of August, 1871, Mr. Knight married Miss Elvira Cherry, who was born in Canada in December, 1851. She is a daughter of John and Laura (Stringer) Cherry, also natives of the Dominion. Her father died when she was two years old. Her mother removed to Iowa and later to Platte county, Nebraska, where she passed away July 19, 1892. Mr. and Mrs. Knight have had eight children: Mary, the wife of T. J. Lohr, of Creston; James W., who is farming land belonging to his father; Rosella, the wife of Carl Long, a resident of Stanton county, this state; Jessie E., the wife of J. W. O'Neille, of Grand Island, Nebraska; Charles H., who died June 30, 1888; Lulu B., who is teaching school in Creston township and who has followed that profession for seven years; Winnie,

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 245

the wife of H. L. Haskins, of Madison county, this state; and Charles L., at home. Mr. and Mrs. Knight also reared a boy named Marion Mader from the time that he was fourteen years old.

  Mr. Knight is a stanch democrat and has served ably as constable and school director. He is a member of the United Brethren church, to the support of which he contributes, and all measures seeking the moral advancement of his community receive his hearty cooperation. For many years he has resided in Platte county and those who have known him longest and most intimately are his staunchest friends, a sure evidence of his genuine worth.


EAGLE CAFE.

  The Eagle Cafe, of which Mrs. W. W. Scott is the proprietor, is one of the well known and liberally patronized business interests of Columbus and may well be termed one of the most popular cafes in the city. Mrs. Scott started the business with little capital but energy and determination served as the foundation for her success, which has grown steadily. She now owns the building which she occupies a one-story structure built of brick, its dimensions being twenty-two by eighty-eight feet. There is a large kitchen equipped with the finest ranges, serving tables and everything to be found in a modern establishment of this character. The front of the building is of plate glass and along one side is a counter seating about fifty, with tables at the side. Everything that the market and the season affords can be secured here and is prepared by experts. Mrs. Scott gives clean, prompt and efficient service, personally supervising the business, and her liberal patronage brings her an income of about two thousand dollars a month. She is a woman of excellent business ability, farsighted, sagacious and enterprising. She has studied the wishes of the public and gives to them a service that is highly satisfactory in every particular.


PATRICK L. KELLY.

  Patrick L. Kelly, cashier of the Cornlea State Bank, has been identified with financial interests since attaining his majority and has become thoroughly informed concerning the banking business in every particular, being therefore well qualified to take part in the control and management of the institution with which he is now associated. He was born in Dodge county, Nebraska, June 13, 1889, a son of Thomas and Catharine (O'Hare) Kelly, the former a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and the latter of Centralia, Pennsylvania. The mother was of Irish lineage and they were married in North Bend, Nebraska, the father becoming a farmer of this state. He still occupies the old homestead farm there, but his wife passed away on the 8th of May, 1914.

  Patrick L. Kelly was reared under the parental roof and early became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He attended the schools of Fremont, Nebraska, and remained upon the home farm until he

 

 Return to the IndexContinue to next page 

Use your Browser's Back button to return to the previous page.

© 1997, 1998 Ted & Carole Miller