Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

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two years. He then went to Chicago and began work with the United Electric Company, learning the electric construction work thoroughly, becoming quite expert in that line. After three and one-half years spent with that company he returned to Kansas City for a year, was afterward in Hutchinson, Kansas, for two years, then again went to Kansas City and to Omaha and to Pratt, Kansas, remaining four years in the last named place. He was in business in Pratt and in Hutchinson, Kansas, at the same time and in 1910 he came to Columbus, where he established his present business. He does electrical contracting and also has a retail store and has prospered in his undertakings.

  On the 10th of October, 1906, Mr. Parker was united in marriage to Miss Ruth F. Soden, a daughter of Charles H. and Bertha May (Warren) Soden, the former being a ranchman of Montana. To this union have been born two children: Elton, whose birth occurred March 27, 1909; and Kenneth, born October 31, 1910.

  Politically Mr. Parker is a republican, maintaining a citizen's interest in the questions and issues of the any but without aspiration for office. He belongs to the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a member of the Methodist church. The course which he has followed throughout his life shows that his principles measure up to high standards, his worth being recognized both as a man and as a citizen. In his business career he has been stimulated by laudable ambition and guided by industry and thus step by step he has advanced until he is now at the head of a substantial enterprise.


FRANK J. GERHARZ.

  Frank J. Gerharz is successfully engaged in business in Columbus as proprietor of an up-to-date and well appointed clothing and men's furnishings establishment, being senior member of the Gerharz, Flynn Company. His birth occurred in Lemont, Cook county, Illinois, on the 19th of February, 1865, his parents being Joseph and Helen (Kanney) Gerharz, both of whom were natives of Germany, the former born in 1833. Joseph Gerharz emigrated to the United States in 1851 and in 1858, at Lockport, Illinois, wedded Miss Helen Kanney. His demise occurred in 1912, but his widow is still living and makes her home in Lemont, Illinois.

  Frank J. Gerharz attended school in his native town until fourteen years of age and then entered the furniture and undertaking establishment of his father, in whose service he remained until 1887. In that year he came to Nebraska and for two years worked as an electrician at Omaha. In 1889 he secured employment in the clothing store of John Flynn, who is now his partner at Columbus, being thus engaged for thirteen years, on the expiration of which period the Gerharz, Flynn Company was formed and a clothing and men's furnishings store was opened in Columbus. They have since conducted a well appointed and modern establishment and are accorded an extensive and gratifying patronage.

  On the 16th of April, 1905, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Gerharz was united in marriage to Miss Julia Strauley, by whom he had four children, namely: Mary, who died in infancy; Leo Henry; Helen K.; and Joseph, who also passed away in infancy. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and in religious faith is a Catholic, while fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Columbus,

 

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the Sons of Herman, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Maccabees. He is likewise a member of the Maennerchor and also belongs to the Orpheus Society. Mr. Gerharz is popular in both business and social circles of his adopted city, having won many friends during the period of his residence in Columbus.


CORNELIUS HEESACKER.

  A representative, valued and honored citizen of Platte county was Cornelius Heesacker, who for a considerable period followed farming and in his later years lived retired in Humphrey. He was born in Brown county, Wisconsin, January 24, 1854, a son of Martin and Lomberdina (Theisen) Heesacker, who were natives of Holland. In early life they came to the new world and settled in Wisconsin, where their remaining days were passed, the father devoting his attention to general agricultural pursuits. He died March 27, 1898, having long survived his wife, who passed away in 1857.

  The youthful days of Cornelius Heesacker were spent in Wisconsin and his education was acquired in the public schools. He remained at home until he reached the age of twenty-two years, when he was married and came to Nebraska, taking up a homestead in Grand Prairie township, Platte county. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon the place, but with characteristic energy he began its development and converted it into productive fields, which he carefully cultivated until 1900, when he retired from active life and removed to Humphrey, there residing until his death, which occurred in October, 1909.

  On the 14th of February, 1876, Mr. Heesacker had wedded Miss Johanna Minten, a daughter of Mathias and Minnie (Burgess) Minten, who were natives of Holland. The father was a farmer and came to America in 1868, at which time he made his way to Wisconsin. Eight years passed and in 1876 he came to Nebraska, where he secured a homestead in Grand Prairie township, cultivating that tract for many years. He afterward removed to Sheridan county, Nebraska, where he purchased land and engaged in farming throughout his remaining days, his death occurring in March, 1891. His wife died in Holland in 1861 and it was in that country that Mrs. Heesacker was born in November, 1854. By her marriage she became the mother of four children: Minnie, born November 24, 1876, and now at home with her mother; Lambert, who was born August 12, 1878, and is cultivating the old homestead farm; Mary, who was born April 9, 1880, and is a member of the Franciscan Sisters at Omaha; and Elizabeth, who was born August 4, 1882, and died ten days later.

  The family adhere to the Catholic faith, of which Mr. Heesacker was a loyal representative. He belonged to the Catholic Order of Foresters and took a helpful interest in promoting the cause of his church and lodge. In politics he was a democrat and served as county supervisor in Platte county for one term. He also served as postmaster in Grand Prairie township, at St. Mary, and was appointed to the position of postmaster of Humphrey after his removal to that city. He likewise did duty as a member of the school board and was interested in all that pertained to the political, intellectual, social and moral progress of the district with

 

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which he was allied. He displayed many sterling traits of character, not the least of which was his capacity for warm friendships. He was always true to those to whom he gave his confidence and regard and he enjoyed to the full the companionship of his friends. Mrs. Heesacker still makes her home in Humphrey, where she owns a good business block, and she also has farm lands in this county.


FERDINAND MUETING.

  Ferdinand Mueting, of Humphrey, is a native of Burrows township. He was born August 15, 1884, of the marriage of John and Frederica (Schutte) Mueting. of whom mention is made in connection with the sketch of Joseph G. Mueting on another page of this work.

  Ferdinand Mueting was reared and educated in Platte county and may well be numbered among its self-made men, for at the age of eleven years he started out to earn his living and has since been dependent upon his own resources. When he reached the age of twenty years he and his brother began farming together and later he was engaged in the well and windmill business for three years, during which time he conducted his interests as a member of the firm of Thelen & Mueting. Subsequently he purchased a bus and transfer line, which he conducted for three years.

  Mr. Mueting was married January 12, 1910, to Miss Ludwina Heinen, a daughter of John and Phillipina (Osterhoff) Heinen, mentioned elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Mueting have two children: Eddie Marie and Maynard.

  The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church, and Mr. Mueting gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. He and his family occupy an attractive home in Humphrey, and his wife also owns a residence there which they rent. They are well known socially, and the best homes of the city are always open for their reception.


WILLIAM H. L. POESCH.

  The name of William H. L. Poesch is well known in Columbus and Platte county as a wholesale and retail dealer in confectionery, bakery goods and ice cream. He is now doing business on the principal thoroughfare of the city in a modern three-story brick building, which he erected in recent years, and his is one of the successful enterprises of this section.

  Mr. Poesch was born in Postville, Iowa, June 10, 1879. His father, Lorenz Poesch, was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1850, and was a youth of fourteen years when he accompanied his parents to the United States, the family home being established in Postville, Iowa. There Lorenz Poesch grew to mature years and was married to Miss Minnie Best, by whom he had two sons, the brother of our subject being Charles, who makes his home in Omaha. The father departed this life in 1895, at the comparatively early age of forty-five years, but the mother survives and makes her home with her son Charles in Omaha.

 

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  William H. L. Poesch acquired his education in the schools of Omaha but put aside his textbooks at the age of sixteen to learn the confectioner's trade. He was twenty-four years of age when he located in Columbus and here opened a confectionery and ice cream parlor. He began in a small way but he put forth every endeavor toward developing the business and from year to year it grew until today he occupies a modern brick building, three stories and basement, on a corner of the main thoroughfare. The upper stories are devoted to the manufacture of confections and to the bakery, his products being disposed of to both the wholesale and retail trade. The ground floor is devoted to the display and sale of a full line of candies, bakery goods, cigars, etc., while the rear of the room is most tastefully fitted up for serving dainty luncheons and soft drinks. It is true that Mr. Poesch has had to overcome many difficulties and obstacles in his path and his success has not come as the result of fortunate circumstances, for he has worked most untiringly to reach the desired end, often devoting eighteen hours a day to his business. His plant is worth thirty-five thousand dollars and he also owns two substantial residences worth eight thousand dollars, and all this has been acquired through his own efforts.

  In 1897, at Staplehurst, Nebraska, Mr. Poesch was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Scheumann, and their children are Stella Sophia, Lydia, William, Lester and Vernetta. In politics he is a democrat, while in religious faith he is a Lutheran. His fraternal relations connect him with the Sons of Herman. He has never taken an active interest in public affairs, for his business and home interests have claimed his entire attention. He possesses a jovial, social disposition and makes friends by the score. The people of Columbus look upon him as an exemplary man and are proud to number him among their substantial citizens.


STEFFES BROTHERS.

  One of the most important business enterprises of Platte county is the large and well appointed store of Steffes Brothers at Humphrey. It is the property of John T., Jacob P., Henry C. and Nicholas J. Steffes. A sketch of the first named appears on another page of this volume. Jacob P. is a native of Michigan born October 24, 1874, while the other brothers are natives of Madison county, Nebraska, Henry C. having been born March 6, 1879, and Nicholas J. on the 28th of June, 1881. The parents were Jacob and Mary C. (Wagner) Steffes, who are mentioned in connection with the sketch of John T. Steffes.

  The son, Jacob P. Steffes, was reared and educated in Humphrey and at the age of fifteen years started out in business life as a clerk in a general store, spending seventeen years in that way, at the end of which time he and his brothers formed a partnership and purchased the stock of merchandise owned by the McKillip-Ewing Company of Humphrey. They have since conducted the store, which they have made one of the best and largest mercantile establishments in the state, enjoying a very extensive patronage. They carry a stock valued at thirty-eight thousand dollars, and their store is splendidly equipped in every particular, lacking none of the accessories and conveniences of a modern mercantile establishment. They are most careful in the personnel of the house, in the character of goods handled

 

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and in the treatment accorded patrons, and their success results therefrom. In addition to their Humphrey establishment they also conduct a large store at Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, of which Henry C. Steffes acts as manager. There they carry a stock worth twenty-five thousand dollars. The brothers, Jacob P. and Nicholas J. Steffes, manage the Humphrey store, and the eldest brother, John T. Steffes, devotes his time mostly to real-estate transactions, all four ranking with the leading and representative business men of this part of the state.

  Henry C. Steffes was reared and educated in Humphrey and California. He, too, started in the business world as a clerk in a general store in Humphrey and was thus employed until the brothers embarked in business on their own account. He is married and has one child.

  Nicholas J. Steffes was also reared in Humphrey and attended the public schools, while later he completed his education in Fremont, Nebraska. He then returned to Humphrey and worked as a clerk in a general store for a time, after which he turned his attention to the real-estate and insurance business, in which field he remained active until the brothers formed the present firm of Steffes Brothers and opened their store in Humphrey, since which time he has been one of the managers of the business at this place. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Bering, a daughter of Ferdinand R. and Catherine (Biermann) Bering. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas J. Steffes were married on the 24th of June, 1908, and they now have two children, Edwin and Carola. Nicholas J. Steffes is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

  The religious faith of the brothers is that of the Catholic church and all vote with the democratic party. Aside from their mercantile interests they are stockholders in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey. Alert and enterprising, they carry forward to successful completion whatever they undertake. Their business methods measure up to high standards of commercial ethics, and in an incredibly short space of time they have developed an enterprise of extensive proportions, making theirs one of the foremost mercantile establishments in Nebraska. The family has long been one of prominence in Platte county and the name has become a synonym for indefatigable energy and for successful accomplishment.


CHARLES E. POLLOCK.

  Charles E. Pollock, a successful business man and representative citizen of Columbus, has here conducted a drug store for nearly three decades, building up an extensive and profitable enterprise. His birth occurred in Forreston, Ogle county, Illinois, on the 11th of March, 1862, his parents being Thomas Caldwell and Elizabeth C. (Carnahan) Pollock, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, the former born in 1820. They passed away at Ashton, Lee county, Illinois, where they had taken up their abode in 1867. The father's demise occurred in the year 1884. The Pollocks are of Scotch-Irish descent, and Richard Pollock, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was a native of Scotland.

  Charles E. Pollock acquired his early education in the schools of Ashton, Illinois, and subsequently entered the Chicago College of Pharmacy, from which he was graduated in 1883. He worked in a drug store at Ashton for three years

 

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and in 1884 came to Columbus, Nebraska, being here employed in a drug store for two years and three months. On the 1st of April, 1886, he opened a similar establishment of his own and has conducted it continuously since, carrying a complete line of drugs and druggists' sundries and being accorded a most gratifying patronage.

  On the 7th of September, 1887, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Pollock was united in marriage to Miss Eva R. Hudson, a daughter of H. J. Hudson, who is deceased. To them was born a son, Elmer Hudson Pollock, who died in infancy.

  In politics Mr. Pollock is a stanch republican, while his religious faith is that of the Episcopal church. Fraternally he is a Knights Templar Mason and an Elk, and as a business man he is energetic, competent and trustworthy and has won the respect of the best citizens of his home city.


MAX J. THELEN.

  Max J. Thelen, conducting business as a contractor and builder in Humphrey, where he is also interested in a pool and billiard parlor, was born April 12, 1888, in the town in which he still makes his home, his parents being Gustav and Josephine Thelen, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume in connection with the sketch of their son Frank.

  The early life of Max J. Thelen was spent in his parents home, and in the public and parochial schools of Humphrey he acquired his education. He then began learning the carpenter's trade, which he has since followed, increasing his efficiency and expertness with the experience that years have brought him. He is now conducting business as a contractor and employs four men. He is accorded a liberal share of the public patronage and has done some excellent work, evidence of his skill being found in the buildings which he has erected. He also owns a half interest in a pool and billiard parlor of Humphrey and as a member of that firm handles cigars, tobacco, confectionery and ice cream, having a well equipped store which brings to them a liberal and well merited patronage.

  Mr. Thelen is interested in all that pertains to the welfare of his town and its best interests, and his cooperation can be counted upon to further public progress. He is now a member of the fire department of Humphrey. Politically he maintains an independent course, while his religious faith is that of the Catholic church.


HERMAN B. MILLER.

  Honored and respected by all, no resident of Lindsay occupies a more enviable position in business and financial circles than Herman B. Miller, not alone by reason of the success which he has accomplished, but also owing to the straightforward business policy which he has ever followed. He is now the president of the Farmers & Merchants Bank, in which connection he is maintaining a safe yet progressive policy whereby the interests of depositors are carefully guarded and the success of the bank is substantially promoted.

 

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  Mr. Miller is a native son of Nebraska, his birth having occurred in Dodge county, December 20, 1872, his parents being Wazlav and Margaret (Pojar) Miller. On leaving Bohemia, his native land, the father crossed the Atlantic and established his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1865. Four years later he came to Nebraska, settling upon a farm near the city of Dodge, in Dodge county, where he resided until 1906, devoting his time and energies to general agricultural pursuits. In that year he retired and removed to Dodge, since which time he has enjoyed a rest that he has truly earned and richly deserves.

  Herman B. Miller continued upon the home farm until he reached the age of fifteen years, when he accepted the position of clerk in a general store at Dodge, where he was employed for seven years. During that period he carefully saved his earnings until economy and industry had brought him a sufficient sum to enable him to engage in business on his own account. He then established a restaurant, which he conducted for a year, when he purchased a hardware and implement business at Clarkson, conducting his store at that place for five years. After selling out there he went to Cache, Oklahoma, where he engaged in general merchandising for two years, at the end of which time his store was destroyed by fire. He then removed to Lindsay, where he bought out Mr. Hau, who was then president of the Farmers & Merchants Bank. He has since been at the head of the institution as its president and is now actively engaged in the conduct of a successful banking business. His establishment is liberally patronized and is regarded as one of the safe and reliable financial institutions of the county.

  On the 7th of May, 1912, Mr. Miller was married to Miss Cora Clayton, a daughter of Alexander Clayton, of Saline county, Illinois, and they have a daughter, Magdalene Grace. The parents adhere to the Catholic church and Mr. Miller is a charter member of the Catholic Order of Foresters of Dodge. He also has membership with the Catholic Workmen of Clarkson and with the Knights of Columbus at Humphrey and for the past four years has been state treasurer for the Catholic Order of Foresters, to which position he was reelected in June, 1915, for a three years' term. In politics he is a democrat but not an active party worker. He never neglects his duties of citizenship, however, and for the past four years has been secretary of the Lindsay Commercial Club, in which connection he is putting forth earnest and effective effort for the advancement of the best interests of his city, doing everything possible to promote its growth and upbuilding.


WILLIAM BARRETT, SR.

  William Barrett, Sr., one of the wealthy farmers of Platte county, resides on section 9, Creston township, and is still actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. A native of Ireland, he was born in Ulster, February 12, 1838, a son of William and Frances A. (Pringle) Barrett, both natives of that country. The farm which our subject owned for some time before emigrating to America was in the family for three generations and both his father and grandfather lived thereon. The father devoted his life to farming and passed away in 1870. The mother died in 1848.

  William Barrett, Sr., was reared and educated in Ireland and when his father

 MR. AND MRS. WILLIAM BARRETT, SR.

 

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became too old to look after the operation of the farm he took charge of the place, which later came into his possession, and continued to cultivate it until 1880. In that year he came to America and, making his way across the country, settled in Kansas. He only remained there a short time, however, and his next location was Platte county, Nebraska, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 9, Creston township. He has since resided upon that farm and has made many improvements thereon. He is energetic and efficient, and from time to time has invested in more land until he now owns five hundred and sixty acres of excellent land, from which he derives a handsome income. He also has other business interests, as he owns stock in both the Farmers Elevator Company of Creston and the Humphrey Telephone Company.

  Mr. Barrett was married in Ireland to Miss Margaret Donaldson, a native of that country, by whom he had six children, namely: Minnie J., now the widow of Daniel B. Gorman, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; William, Jacob and John, all farming in Creston township; Isabella, who is employed in a store in Creston; and Albert, who is operating a farm belonging to his father. The mother of these children died in Ireland in 1878. On the 20th of June, 1879, Mr. Barrett was united in marriage to Miss Rose Anna Megaw, who was born in Ireland on the 8th of April, 1850, and is a daughter of John and Hannah (Porter) Megaw, also natives of the Emerald isle. Her father, who devoted his life to farming, died in Ireland in 1872 and was survived by her mother until 1903. By the second marriage there were the following children: Margaret E., who died in 1880; Cassie R., the wife of Theodore Wagner, a merchant of Creston; Charles and Robert, both of whom died in 1884; James, who is farming one of his father's places; and Sarah A., Francis E. and Leonard W., all at home.

  Mr. Barrett is a republican and takes the interest of a good citizen in public affairs. For one year he served as assessor of Creston township. He is identified with the Presbyterian church and his religious faith finds expression in his daily life. He has gained a gratifying measure of success in his chosen occupation and has also won the high regard of his fellowmen.


SAMUEL T. FLEMING.

  An active factor in banking circles is Samuel T. Fleming, president of the Citizens State Bank at Creston. He was born in Forest county, Pennsylvania, in August, 1855, a son of John and Ruth (Thompson) Fleming, who were natives of Pennsylvania and New York respectively. The father was a farmer by occupation and engaged in following that pursuit in the Keystone state until his death, which occurred in 1860. His wife survived him until 1868.

  Samuel T. Fleming spent the major part of his youth in New York, where he went to live with relatives after his parents' death. After completing his education he went to Iowa, settling in Ringgold county, driving through from New York in 1876. He there purchased land and carried on farming until 1881, when he sold his interests in that state and drove seventy-five head of cattle through to Platte county, Nebraska. Here he invested in two hundred acres of land in Creston township, which he improved and cultivated for four years. At the end of that

 

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time the town of Creston was established and he took up his abode in the village and founded what was known as the Bank of Creston, which was later sold and finally suspended business. In 1903 he established the Citizens State Bank, which is capitalized for thirty-five thousand dollars, has a surplus of five thousand dollars and undivided profits of two thousand dollars. Its deposits amount to two hundred and twenty-eight thousand dollars, and the business from the beginning has been a paying one. The bank was started twelve years ago with a capital of six thousand dollars, and the earnings have brought the capital up to the present amount -- thirty-five thousand dollars. The officers of the company are: Samuel T. Fleming, president; E. T. Graham, vice president; and H. W. Luedtke, cashier.

  In March, 1882, Mr. Fleming was united in marriage to Miss Lena Zeller, a daughter of Anthony and Monica (Wolf) Zeller, natives of Germany, whence they came to America with their parents in childhood days. The father became a resident of Platte county, Nebraska, in 1886, removing to this state from Jones county, Iowa. For some time he carried on general agricultural pursuits but is now living retired and makes his home in Creston, as does his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Fleming have become the parents of three children: Oliver, who was born December 27, 1894; and Frank and Flora, twins, born in March, 1901.

  Mr. Fleming votes with the republican party and has served as township treasurer of Creston for twenty years. For several terms he has been on its town board and has also served on the school board. He stands for progress and improvement in everything connected with civic affairs and has supported many causes and interests which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias, and the guiding principles of his life are found in his membership in the Methodist church. He has many sterling traits of character and in every relation his life conforms to high standards, for his principles are those which in every land and clime awaken confidence and regard.


JOSEPH KURTENBACH.

  Joseph Kurtenbach, who is farming on section 14, St. Bernard township, is a native of Prussia, Germany. He was born March 19, 1852, and is a son of William Kurtenbach, also a native of Germany and a carpenter by trade. On the 8th of January, 1881, the subject of this review arrived in America with his brother, William Kurtenbach, Jr., and they made their way to La Salle county, Illinois, where for several years Joseph Kurtenbach worked on farms. In 1885 he came to Platte county and for about a year was employed at Humphrey and Cornlea. At the end of that time he had accumulated sufficient capital to enable him to rent land and he began farming on his own account. For the first year or so, however, he was in straitened circumstances and as he only had enough money to buy one horse he had to borrow a horse and thus he secured a team with which to carry on the work of the farm. He continued on that farm for five years and then removed to another farm, upon which he remained for three years. He operated rented land until 1893, when he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of his present farm, paying therefor twenty dollars per acre. He operated that place during the years 1894 and 1895 and then removed to a farm near Lindsay, but in 1897 he

 

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returned to his farm in St. Bernard township and has since remained there. He has purchased additional land and his farm now comprises three hundred and sixty acres and is one of the valuable and well improved properties of the township. He has erected a beautiful residence and a good barn and outbuildings, and in his work he uses improved machinery and follows up-to-date methods. As is but natural, he receives a good income from his land and is one of the substantial farmers of his district.

  On the 17th of April, 1888, Mr. Kurtenbach was united in marriage to Miss Katie Schacher, a daughter of Henry and Helen Schacher, who were early settlers of Platte county, removing here from Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Kurtenbach have nine children, namely: Helena, the wife of Joseph Dietrich, of Granville township; William, who married Mary Dietrich, of St. Bernard township; and Joseph, Elizabeth, Katherine, Mary, Matilda, Edward and Anthony, all at home.

  Mr. Kurtenbach is a democrat and is now serving as school treasurer. His religious faith is that of the Catholic church, to the support of which he contributes. He has thoroughly identified himself with the interests of his adopted county and manifests a commendable public spirit. His many good qualities have gained him the respect of those who have come in contact with him, and his personal friends are many.


OSCAR A. WINDOLPH.

  Oscar A. Windolph, senior partner in the Windolph-Hecker Drug Company of Humphrey, was born at Grand Island, Nebraska, in June, 1882, a son of John and Kate (Kellner) Windolph, who were natives of Saxony, Germany. The parents came to the United States in 1870, landing at New York, whence they made their way across the country to Grand Island, Nebraska. The father occupied the position of dye master in a dye works in his native land but on coming to the new world turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, cultivating a rented farm for five years. During that time he carefully saved his earnings and with the money thus acquired bought a farm in Hall county, to which he devoted his time and attention throughout his remaining days, his death occurring in 1882. His widow still survives.

  Oscar A. Windolph spent his youthful days in Grand Island and is indebted to its parochial and public schools for the educational advantages he enjoyed aside from a commercial course. He was less than a year old at the time of his father's demise. When his education was completed he took up the profession of teaching, which he followed for five years, and soon afterward he became editor of a German newspaper in Grand Island, which he conducted for three years. He later on entered the Creighton College of Pharmacy at Omaha and on the completion of his course was graduated with the class of 1912. He immediately sought employment along that line and worked in drug stores in various places for a year or more, after which he came to Humphrey and purchased the drug store which he has since conducted. In May, 1915, he admitted Joseph Hecker to a partnership, under the firm style of the Windolph-Hecker Drug Company, and they are now the owners of one of the leading mercantile enterprises of their city.

 

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Their liberal patronage is well deserved, and they have guided their business on the principle that "satisfied customers are the best advertisement."

  In May, 1912, Mr. Windolph was married to Miss Agnes Burkhard, a daughter of Frank and Genevieve Burkhard, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Poland. In early life they came to America, settling in New York, where the father engaged in business as a cement contractor. Finally he removed to Grand Island, Nebraska, where he spent his remaining days, his life's labors being ended in death in 1910. His widow still survives.

  Mr. and Mrs. Windolph have become the parents of two children: Rita G., born May, 1913; and Norberta, whose birth occurred in August, 1914. They hold membership in the Catholic church and Mr. Windolph is financial secretary of the Knights of Columbus, having been instrumental in organizing the lodge at Humphrey. He also has membership with the Woodmen of the World, and he gives his political indorsement to the democratic party. Ambition and energy have pointed out to him the way to success, and persistency of purpose keeps him in the path that leads to further prosperity.


WILLIAM ALEXANDER McALLISTER.

  William Alexander McAllister, a leading and highly esteemed citizen of Columbus, was here actively engaged in the practice of law for about three decades and has also represented his district in the state senate. His birth occurred in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 7th of June, 1847, his parents being James and Mary (Carson) McAllister, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of northern Ireland. James McAllister, born in 1815. followed the sea in early manhood, crossing the Atlantic from England twenty-one times. In 1849 he brought his family to the United States, locating first in St. Louis, Missouri, and a year later in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he resided for eight years. Subsequently he spent two years in Genoa, Nance county, Nebraska, and then took up his abode on a farm in Platte county, now Colfax county, this state. In 1872 he established his home in Columbus, passing away in this city in 1897, while his wife was called to her final rest in 1895. In this country he had devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits from 1849 until 1872 and in the latter year became proprietor of a grocery store in Columbus which he conducted successfully until 1890, when he retired from business. He held the office of justice of the peace in Platte county for twenty years and made an excellent record in that capacity. His demise, which occurred when he had attained the age of eighty-two years, was the occasion of deep and widespread regret. John McAllister, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was a native of Scotland and emigrated to the United States with his family about 1849, here making his home with a daughter and passing away in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1854.

  William A. McAllister was brought to the United States by his parents when but two years of age and acquired his early education in the schools of Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1862, when a youth of fifteen years, he enlisted for nine months' service as a private of Company B, Second Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry, and for about ten months was engaged in active duty between Omaha and Fort Kearney

 

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in the warfare against the Indians. In 1872 he entered the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, being graduated from that institution in 1877. He next spent two and one-half years in post-graduate work in Europe and there learned the German language. On returning to Columbus, Nebraska, he took up the study of law and in 1882 was admitted to the bar, practicing his profession until 1911 or for a period of twenty-nine years. He won an enviable reputation as a successful and learned member of the bar and an extensive and gratifying clientage was accorded him.

  On the 30th of April, 1885, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. McAllister was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary E. Coalter, a daughter of Thomas and Ann (Cameron) Coalter. The latter, a native of Pennsylvania, was related to the Simon Cameron family of that state. Mr. and Mrs. McAllister have three children, as follows: Donald Cameron, born in 1888, who married Miss Clarice Heintze and has two children, William Cameron and Donald Coalter; Janet Claire, who acts as assistant postmaster in Columbus, Nebraska; and Helen E.

  Mr. McAllister has always been a stanch republican in his political views and in 1882 was honored by election to the Nebraska legislature, in which he served during one term of two years. In 1884 he was sent to the state senate and in that body also served for a two-year term and made a most commendable record, ably furthering the interests of his constituents. He was appointed postmaster of Columbus, Nebraska, by President Taft in February, 1911, and held the position until his retirement on the 7th of April, 1915. In addition to his connection with Indian warfare his military record covers service as a member of Company K, First Regiment of the Nebraska National Guard, which on two occasions was called out to quell strike riots in Omaha. Mr. McAllister is past commander of Baker Post, No. 9, G. A. R., of Columbus, and also belongs to the Knights of Pythias fraternity. His life record is inseparably interwoven with the annals of Platte county and no history of this part of the state would be complete without extended mention of him.


CHARLES ALFRED PETERSON.

  Charles Alfred Peterson is one of the excellent citizens that Sweden has given to Platte county. Although for a number of years he was successfully engaged in farming and still owns four hundred acres of land in this county and has a half interest in three hundred and twenty acres more, he is now devoting almost his entire attention to his duties as supervisor and has done unusually effective work in that office. He was born in Oland, Kalmar Lan, Sweden, a son of Jonas and Johanna Peterson, the former of whom died in April, 1911, while the latter is still living and makes her home with the subject of this review. In 1880 the family emigrated to America and in the spring of the following year arrived in Columbus, Nebraska. Not long afterward they settled upon a quarter section of land in Walker township, Platte county, for which they paid one thousand dollars.

  Charles Alfred Peterson is the only son of his parents but has a sister, Hilda, who is now Mrs. John Hagland. He assisted with the work of the farm in his boyhood and long before he became of age he had taken charge of the home place and on his marriage, in 1898, he purchased eighty acres, for which he paid eighteen

 

320PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

hundred dollars. In 1907 he purchased another quarter section, paying therefor fifty-five dollars per acre, and this with the home place makes four hundred acres which he owns. He also has a half interest in one hundred and sixty acres on sections 16 and 22, Walker township. For a number of years he operated his farms and in connection with general farming raised full blooded Aberdeen-Angus cattle and Berkshire hogs. In 1912 he retired from the active work of the farm and sold all of his stock. His land is now cultivated by tenants. He is connected with a number of local business concerns, holding stock in the Farmers Elevator Association at Lindsay, the Farmers Union Store at Newman Grove, the Monroe Independent Telephone Company of Monroe, of which he was formerly a director, the Scandia Mutual Fire & Lightning Insurance Company and the Farmers Insurance Company, of which he has been secretary since 1905.

  Mr. Peterson was married on the 11th of September, 1898, to Miss Olive Anderson, by whom he has two children, Enor and Pauline. He is a stalwart republican and has taken an active part in politics since attaining his majority. For six years he served as township assessor, for over fifteen years was treasurer of the township board, from 1908 until 1910 held the office of county supervisor, and in 1914 was again elected to that office for a term of four years. He has devoted the greater part of his time to the work devolving upon him in that capacity and his district, comprising the townships of St. Bernard and Walker, shows the result of his work and oversight in good roads and well kept bridges. Whenever called to public office he has given the same careful thought and strict attention to the conduct of the office that he has to the management of his own personal undertakings. In 1913 he erected a fine modern home tend is now enjoying all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life, which he has won by many years of well directed labor. He is widely known throughout the county and is held in the highest esteem and regard by all who have been brought into contact with him.


LOUIS J. ROZMARIN.

  Louis J. Rozmarin is an enterprising young business man, watchful of opportunities pointing to success, and by reason of this quality he has worked his way upward to the responsible position of manager at Tarnov for the T. B. Hord Elevator Company. He was born March 19, 1888, in Clarkson, Nebraska, a son of Frank and Fannie (Novotny) Rozmarin, both of whom were natives of Bohemia. The father directed his attention to mercantile lines in early life but afterward became a farmer. Seeking the opportunities of the new world, he crossed the Atlantic and settled at Stanton, Nebraska, where he engaged in the saloon business but subsequently resumed general agricultural pursuits. He bought land which he tilled for a time and then sold. Later he removed to Clarkson, where he opened a general mercantile store which he conducted for several years. He then removed to a farm a mile from Clarkson, upon which he was living at the time of his death, which occurred in 1905, resulting from a runaway accident on the home place. His wife still survives and yet remains on the old homestead.

  Louis J. Rozmarin attended the common school at Clarkson and afterward pur-

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 321

sued a course of study in the Omaha Commercial College. When twenty years of age he started out to make his own way in the world, entering the employ of the Nye, Schneider & Fowler Company of Clarkson, dealers in grain and lumber, with whom he continued for five years. In 1915 he came to Tarnov as local manager for the T. B. Hord Company and in this connection is engaged in buying and selling grain and also in the sale of coal, lumber, cement and hardware. He controls a good business and is proving capable and faithful in the conduct of the enterprise.

  On the 6th of November, 1912, Mr. Rozmarin was joined in wedlock to Miss Marie Brihacek, a daughter of Frank and Barbara (Klima) Brihacek, both of whom were natives of Bohemia. The father, who was for years a successful farmer of Colfax county, Nebraska, is now deceased, but the mother still survives and makes her home in Howell, this state. Our subject and his wife have a son, Marian, who was born on the 10th of August, 1915.

  Mr. Rozmarin votes with the republican party and sees in its principles the best elements of good government. He and his wife are members of the Catholic church at Howell. Mr. Rozmarin devotes his entire time to his elevator business and kindred industries and enjoys a big trade in the various lines he handles. He is justly accounted one of the progressive young business men of Tarnov and has gained the goodwill and warm regard of many with whom he has there come in contact.


JOHN WILLIAM RAMAEKERS.

  John William Ramaekers is one of the large landowners of Platte county, holding title to eight hundred acres of excellent land. He was born in Limburg, Holland, December 16, 1861, a son of John Gottfried and Kathrine (Schukens) Ramaekers. The father was a carpenter by trade. Our subject is the oldest in a family of ten children and has one sister living in Platte county, Mrs. Jacob Borer. Coming to America, the family located in St. Bernard township, this county in 1879, and the father purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 7, paying therefor six hundred and twenty dollars. As the place had no buildings, it was necessary to erect a residence and the lumber for this purpose was hauled from Columbus. As the father never did much of the farm work, our subject from early boyhood had charge of the operation of the farm. Both parents are now deceased, the father's death occurring in January, 1909, and that of the mother in 1881.

  John W. Ramaekers has devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits and has gained an enviable measure of prosperity. From time to time, as his capital has increased, he has purchased land and now owns eight hundred acres, or five quarter sections, as follows: one on section 7, his home place; one on section 6 and one on section 5, St. Bernard township; and two in Walker township, both of which he rents. The one hundred and sixty acres on section 5, St. Bernard township, is farmed by his son Fred. As before stated, his father paid six hundred and twenty dollars for the quarter section which he purchased and some idea of the rapid rise in land values in this county may be gathered from the fact that our subject paid thirteen hundred dollars for the second quarter section which came into his possession and ninety-two hundred dollars for the third, while for the two tracts in Wal-

 

322PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

ker township he paid forty-two dollars and fifty cents and sixty-five dollars per acre respectively. He specializes in the raising of high grade shorthorn and Hereford cattle and Duroc Jersey hogs and derives a good profit from the sale of his stock. All of his affairs are well managed, and everything which he undertakes is carried forward to successful completion, and as the result of his energy and business sagacity he has gained an unusual measure of success. His farm is excellently improved in every particular, and he takes great pride in his orchard of various kinds of fruit which covers about four acres. In addition to his land he owns stock in the Farmers Elevator Association and the Farmers Union Store, both of Lindsay.

  Mr. Ramaekers was married in 1885, to Miss Katie Adams, who died two years later, leaving a son, Fred, who married Miss Gertrude Smith and is operating a quarter section of land on section 5, St. Bernard township, belonging to his father. Mr. Ramaekers was again married on the 17th of April, 1888, Miss Isabella Cremers becoming his wife. Her father, Chris Cremers, was an early settler of St. Bernard township. To the second marriage of Mr. Ramaekers have been born the following children: Gertrude, now Mrs. Frank Hermann, of St. Bernard township; Chris, at home; Katie, who married Henry Schaecher; and Mary, Theodore, Susan, Francis, Bernard, Harry, Hattie, Isabella and Josie, all at home.

  Mr. Ramaekers is a democrat and for ten years has acceptably served as road supervisor. He takes a keen interest in everything affecting the public welfare and places the general good above personal advancement. He is not only respected because of the ability that has made possible his success but also honored because of the uprightness of his business methods.


DANIEL CHARLES KAVANAUGH.

  Daniel Charles Kavanaugh, who is successfully engaged in business in Columbus as a dealer in wall paper and paints, has been a resident of Platte county for the past four decades and has held the office of sheriff for six terms. His birth occurred in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the 23d of November, 1857, his parents being Edward C. and Catharine (Holland) Kavanaugh, both of whom were natives of Ireland. The father, born in County Tipperary in 1833, emigrated to the United States at the age of eighteen years and located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was married. In 1868 he took up his abode in Fremont, Dodge county, Nebraska, and two years later came to Columbus, where his demise occurred in 1879. His wife passed away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the year 1895. Daniel Kavanaugh, the paternal grandfather of our subject, died in Ireland.

  Daniel C. Kavanaugh acquired his education in the public schools of his native city and also attended the Spencerian Business College of Milwaukee, but did not graduate therefrom. In 1875 he came to Columbus, Nebraska, and here worked at the painter's trade until the spring of 1880, when he took up his abode on a farm in this county. In the fall of 1880 he was elected sheriff of Platte county, making such a creditable record in this capacity that he was twice reelected and served for three consecutive terms or from 1881 until 1887. He then served for a year as deputy internal revenue collector under President Cleveland and on retiring from the office embarked in the insurance business. In the fall of 1890 he was

 DANIEL C. KAVANAUGH

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 325

once more elected sheriff and again served for three consecutive terms or until 1896. He proved a capable and conscientious incumbent, discharging his duties without fear or favor and maintaining peace and order in such a way as to gain the respect and support of all law-abiding citizens. In 1896 Mr. Kavanaugh again became engaged in the insurance business and continued therein until 1902, when he became the proprietor of his present establishment and is now accorded an extensive and gratifying patronage as a dealer in paints and wall paper.

  On the 7th of January, 1878, in Grand Prairie, Platte county, Nebraska, Mr. Kavanaugh was united in marriage to Miss Bridget Gentleman, her father being William Gentleman, a native of Ireland. To them have been born the following children: Edith Catharine, who passed away in 1895 when seventeen years of age; Edward C., who was born in 1886; Eileen Patricia, who died in 1914 at the age of twenty-four years; William Gerald, who passed away in 1897 at the age of three years; and Mary Marie Paul, at home.

  Mr. Kavanaugh exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the democracy. As above stated, he has held the office of sheriff for six terms and in 1880 acted as assessor of Columbus township, this county. From 1896 until 1898 he served as commissary sergeant of Company K of the First Regiment. He belongs to the Catholic church and has fraternal relations with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Mr. Kavanaugh has ever been an honorable and upright man, and his well spent life has commanded for him the confidence and high regard of all who know him.


JOHN WILLIAM SVOBODA.

  John William Svoboda, cashier of the Lindsay State Bank and therefore a well known figure in the business circles of his part of the county, was born in Colfax county, Nebraska, in 1876, his parents being Joseph and Mary Svoboda. The father is now living retired at Howell, Colfax county, and has reached the age of seventy-nine years. He came from Bohemia in the spring of 1874 and made his way direct to Colfax county, Nebraska, where he took up a homestead and for many years engaged in farming, and now in the evening of his days he is enjoying a well earned rest.

  John W. Svoboda was the youngest in a family of six children. He acquired a common-school education in the county of his nativity and when not busy with his textbooks worked in the fields upon his father's farm. He was thus engaged until 1904, when he and his brothers organized the Abie State Bank at Abie, Nebraska. At the same time the brothers organized the Abie Milling Company and John W. Svoboda occupied the position of bookkeeper in the bank and also spent considerable time as salesman for the milling company. He was afterward appointed assistant cashier of the bank and in January, 1911, when his brother, Joseph Svoboda, was appointed state bank examiner, Mr. Svoboda of this review was advanced to the position of cashier of the bank, in which connection he continued until May, 1912. At that date he and his brother secured a controlling interest in the Lindsay State Bank, of which Mr. Svoboda has since been the cashier. In the year 1915 they erected a large building of stone and brick, supplied with all modern
Vol II-16

 

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