Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

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marriage to Miss Metta H. Hensley, a daughter of W. N. Hensley, of this city, and they have a son, William Hensley Neumärker.

  Dr. Neumärker is a York Rite Mason and member of the Mystic Shrine, and he also belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. His religious faith is that of the German Reformed church, while his political views accord with the principles of the democratic party. He was county physician of Platte county, which office he filled from 1911 until 1918 inclusive. He concentrates his efforts upon his professional duties, and his standing is established in the success which has attended him and is indicated in the liberal patronage now accorded him.


JONAS WELCH.

  High encomiums have been passed upon Jonas Welch, all of which have been well deserved, for his life was ever upright and honorable, actuated by high principles and worthy motives. He had, moreover, the qualities of consideration, kindliness and generosity and the nobility of his character endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. Of him his friends might well say:

  "This was a man. Take him for all in all I shall not look upon his like again."

  From pioneer times he resided in Nebraska and his contribution to the development of the state was a valuable one. A native of England, he was born in Dorsetshire on the 22d of August, 1840, and was the eldest son in a family of seven children. His father, Moses Welch, who was born in Dorsetshire in 1815, was a blacksmith in moderate circumstances. He wedded Harriet Rawlings, who was born in the same locality in 1818, and both were descended from old English families. The parents came to the new world in 1847, landing at New Orleans after a voyage which consumed eight weeks and three days. From the Crescent City they proceeded northward to St. Louis and two years later became residents of Alton, Illinois, where they resided for four years, when they took up their abode upon a farm near Brighton, Illinois. During that period Jonas Welch was a pupil in the public schools near his father's home. He was a youth of sixteen when in March, 1857, the family came to Nebraska, driving across the country with three yoke of oxen and reaching Florence on the 24th of April. Thence they proceeded to Genoa, in what was then Platte but is now Nance county, reaching their destination on the 19th of May, 1857. They cast in their lot with the pioneer settlers, being among the first white people of the county.

  For two years thereafter Jonas Welch was employed by the settlers at breaking prairie and for a year was a farm hand at the Pawnee Indian agency. In 1860 he joined a party that went to Colorado, attracted by the discovery of gold, but the same year he returned and again entered the government service at Genoa, working for four years in the blacksmith shop and for four years as government miller. In 1869 he resigned his position and joined J. P. Becker in building and operating a water mill on Shell creek, in Colfax county, under the firm style of Becker & Welch. This was the pioneer grist mill of central Nebraska and its patrons came

 JONAS WELCH     MRS. JONAS WELCH  

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 349

from many miles around, the business being continued until 1886. At the same time Mr. Welch owned and cultivated a farm of three hundred and twenty acres, whereon he engaged extensively in feeding cattle and hogs. After selling the mill he removed to Columbus, where he was connected with the grain and coal trade for six years, and from 1892 until his demise his attention was confined to banking and to the management of his farm properties. He was one of the first directors of the Commercial National Bank and remained an officer therein until his health failed.

  On the 25th of December, 1862, Mr. Welch was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Shackelton, also a native of England. They became the parents of nine children, as follows: Theresa Ellen, who is the wife of William S. Fox, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; William J., a resident of Genoa, Nebraska; Henrietta, who gave her hand in marriage to Harry Newman, of Columbus, Nebraska; Caroline, the wife of George W. Galley, of Columbus, Nebraska; Martha A., the widow of M. H. Watts; Charles A., living in Columbus; Robert M., who is deceased; and two who died in infancy.

  The family circle was again broken by the hand of death when on the 17th of September, 1911, Mr. Welch passed away. He was a devoted member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Lebanon Lodge, and when death called him his brethren of that organization laid him to rest with all the honors of the craft. Of his political views one of the local papers said: "In politics Mr. Welch was as devoted to the principles in which he believed as is the mother to the child. He was in a sense an intense partisan, and he regarded his duty to the democratic party as he regarded duty to his church or to his family. He was often honored by his party, holding membership on the county legislative board, serving often as chairman of his county committee, and in 1900 representing his congressional district as delegate to the national democratic convention. However, partisan as he was, he had the courage to hold his duty to his state higher than duty to party, and when his party named for high office a man whom he regarded as unworthy, such a man could not hope to win the vote or influence of Jonas Welch."

  The Rev. S. D. Harkness, of the Presbyterian church, in the funeral service said: "The passing of Jonas Welch to that 'undiscovered country from whose journey no traveler returns' brings to my mind some of his own recitals of important incidents in his career. As a boy he saw and heard the great Lincoln and the mighty Douglas in that series of debates which shook the nation to its foundations. He was there at Freeport on that memorable day when Lincoln set the battle lines in array with that famous declaration: 'A house divided against itself cannot stand; this union cannot endure half slave and half free.' That boy traveled all the distance between Illinois and Nebraska by ox-team, and in order that the young people present may better appreciate the wonderful changes which have taken place in our own Nebraska since those days, I cite the fact that in all the journey from Omaha to Columbus the ox-cart caravan passed but five civilized human habitations. The trail he followed then was marked by the bleaching bones of the 'forty-niners.' Today the great Overland trains thunder over that same trail. He plodded the ox-team way to Denver, and found a straggling mining camp where now rises the gem city of the Rocky mountains. He played well his part with the pioneers in the upbuilding of this young state. He was of a generation which saw states born, and lived to see steam railroads upon the ox-trails, to see habitations
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350PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

of comfort and luxury reared upon the sites where stood the tepees of the Aborigines. Within the life-span of that boy, whose walk was clean, whose manhood was strong, whose age was honored, and to whose memory we now pay tribute without reserve, were gathered and combined such marks of civilization as the world had not known in all the ages."

  Many were the words of friendship and regard spoken of Mr. Welch by those with whom he had been associated. One said of him: "If to me might be given the privilege of living one thousand years, and changing my place of abode each year, I could not hope to find in all the thousand changes a man who would exemplify in his life the full measure of a neighbor and a friend more fully than that measure was met by Jonas Welch during the quarter century in which I was blessed by his presence as a neighbor and a friend." Mr. Welch never allowed personal interest or ambition to dwarf his public spirit or activities and he was ever actively interested in plans and measures for the public good. In his career business ability was well balanced with humanitarianism and he could be said to be a most successful man when judged by this standard: "The measure of our success is not the good that comes to us, but the good that comes to the world through us." Such was his kindly nature that he spread around him much of the sunshine of life, for he was cordial, genial and kindly, had the tender sympathy of a woman and also the spirit of strong justice when occasion demanded.


FREDERIC F. FANGMANN.

  Frederic F. Fangmann, who for the past five years has occupied a position on the mail route out of Humphrey, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, July 18, 1870, a son of Anton and Caroline (Becker) Fangmann, natives of Germany, whence they came to America in 1862, settling first at Baltimore, Maryland. The father was a cigar maker and worked at his trade in that city and also conducted a cigar store for four years. He then removed to Omaha, where he again engaged in the cigar business as proprietor of a store and factory for six years. On retiring from that field he removed to Platte county and took up a homestead of eighty acres in Burrows township. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon the place but with characteristic energy he began to turn the sod and develop the fields, transforming the wild land into an excellent farm, which he continued to cultivate and improve until 1896, when he retired and removed to Humphrey, where he has since resided, now making his home with his son, Joseph, at the age of eighty-four years. Before leaving his farm he had added to his original purchase from time to time until he was the owner of four hundred and eighty acres of valuable land, which he finally divided among his children after selling some. His wife died September 24, 1913.

  Frederic F. Fangmann was but a little lad when brought to Platte county and was reared and educated in Burrows township, dividing his time between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the work of the fields. He continued to assist his father in carrying on the home farm until he attained his majority, at which time his father gave him eighty acres of land. This he at once began to further develop and improve and later he purchased more

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 351

land until he now owns three hundred and twenty acres, of which one hundred and sixty acres is in South Dakota. He continued to cultivate his home place until 1901, when he rented that property and removed to Humphrey, being forced to abandon outdoor work because of a sunstroke which he had suffered and which disabled him for further work in the fields. After taking up his abode in Humphrey he engaged in the livery business for six years and then sold out, turning his attention to the implement business, in which he continued for two years, when he again sold. He then conducted a butcher shop for a year, at the end of which time he entered the federal service and for the past five years has carried the mail on a rural route. He is now owner of the garage conducted under the name of the Platte Center Auto Company at Platte Center, Nebraska, and he owns residence property in Lindsay, Nebraska.

  On the 20th of June, 1893, Mr. Fangmann was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Enning, a daughter of Herman and Maggie (Weimeskirch) Enning, the former a native of Iowa and the latter of Germany, whence she came to the United States with her parents when three years old, the family locating in Bellevue, Jackson county, Iowa. In that state Mr. Enning was successfully identified with general agricultural pursuits until called to his final rest in 1886. His wife survives at the age of sixty-three years and makes her home with our subject. To Mr. and Mrs. Fangmann were born ten children, of whom Caroline died on the 10th of September, 1909, when thirteen years of age. The others are Leander, who is about twenty-two years old, resides in Norfolk, Nebraska, and is in the employ of the Northwestern Railroad Company; Antoinette, who is eighteen years of age; Leona, a maiden of fifteen; Elsie, Victoria, Linus, Cecilia, Eugene and Deulah M., who are thirteen, eleven, nine, seven, five and two years of age, respectively. The wife and mother passed away January 2, 1914, after an illness of but ten days. She was born in Bellevue, Jackson county, Iowa, January 1, 1873, and had won many warm friends during her residence in Platte county, so that her death was the occasion of deep and widespread regret.

  Mr. Fangmann is a communicant of the Catholic church, also belongs to the Catholic Order of Foresters and in politics is a democrat. His has been an active life in which have been few leisure hours and his diligence and determination have constituted the foundation upon which he has builded his success.


HENRY J. BRAUN.

  Henry J. Braun, a highly respected farmer of Granville township, living on section 25, has always made his home in that part of Platte county. He is a native son of Humphrey township, born December 26, 1881, his parents being Joseph and Eva (Scheidemantel) Braun, who are mentioned in connection with the sketch of Joseph Braun on another page of this work. Henry J. Braun had the usual experiences of the farm bred boy. He worked in the fields in early youth and acquired his education in the public and parochial schools. He remained with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-five years and then started out in business for himself by operating rented land. For the past three years he has operated the Anton Pelle place, comprising three hundred and fifty-five acres on

 

352PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

section 25, Granville township, and its excellent appearance indicates his careful supervision and practical methods. He is very energetic and resolute in what he undertakes and, working along modern lines of farming, is producing excellent results in the cultivation of his fields.

  On the 22d of September, 1909, Mr. Braun was married to Miss Margaret E. Carroll, a daughter of Hugh and Mary (Grant) Carroll, the former a native of Illinois and the latter of Ireland. Her father has been a lifelong farmer of Peoria county, Illinois, and has now reached the age of sixty-eight years. His wife died November 16, 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Braun have become parents of a son, Joseph Hugh, born December 11, 1911. They are well known in Granville township, where they have many warm friends, who esteem them highly for their good traits of character. They hold membership in the Catholic church and Mr. Braun belongs to the Knights of Columbus. Politically his allegiance is given to the democratic party, for he believes that its principles contain the best elements of good government. He has no time for public office, however, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs, which, well directed, are bringing to him substantial and deserved success.


DAVID WILLIAM JENKINSON.

  David William Jenkinson, a resident farmer of Monroe township, is one of the self-made men whose life record proves that enterprise, resolute purpose and unflagging energy will lead to success. He started out in life on his own account when a youth of thirteen years and since then has depended entirely upon his own resources. He was born in Auburn, New York, February 7, 1851, a son of John and Mary Ann (Morton) Jenkinson. The father was born in Ireland and the mother in Canada. She is now living in Madison, Nebraska, at the age of more than ninety years, but Mr. Jenkinson passed away in 1893, at the age of seventy-five. He chose farming as a life work and on coming to the new world settled in Canada, where he was married and began his domestic life. About 1849 he removed to New York and continued to reside in the Empire state until 1853, when he removed to Montreal, Canada, where he engaged in farming until 1864. In that year he went to Du Page county, Illinois, where he continued to till the soil, and on leaving that district he removed to Nebraska in 1874, settling in Grand Prairie township, Platte county, when the district was known as Stearns prairie. He homesteaded eighty acres, casting in his lot with the few settlers who had penetrated into the region. Later he removed to the vicinity of Albion, where he continued his residence until called to his final rest. He was a member of the Episcopal church and a man of good qualities although of a retiring disposition.

  David W. Jenkinson, the eldest of his eight children, attended school in Canada and for one winter in Du Page county, Illinois, but his school training was somewhat meager and he has had to learn the lessons of business life in the school of experience. At the age of thirteen he began earning his living as a farm hand, his money going to the support of the family until he attained his majority. He then went to Chicago and for four years worked as a teamster in that city. In 1874 he arrived in Platte county, where he began breaking the prairie after securing a homestead claim in

 DAVID W. JENKINSON

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 353

Grand Prairie township. He began farming with a team of green steers which he broke. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon the place when he took possession of it and there was much labor incident to its cultivation and improvement. He lived in Grand Prairie township until 1881, when he sold his farm of two hundred acres there and removed to Monroe township. Later he returned to Chicago for one winter in order to obtain work as conditions here were such that he could not do anything. In 1894 he removed to Jackson county, Texas, where he raised cotton for three years and then took up his residence in Galveston in order that his sons might have better educational advantages. After spending a little over one year in that city he returned to Nebraska, where he has since lived. He occupies a nice home near Monroe, where at one time he owned four hundred and eighty acres of land but has since given two hundred and eighty acres of this to his sons, so that he now owns two hundred acres, which he rents to them. He is now practically living retired, although he still gives personal supervision to the management and further development of his farm. While in Grand Prairie township he raised Durham cattle and after locating in Monroe township he gave more attention to stock-raising than to the cultivation of grain. He helped to organize the Farmers Elevator Company of Monroe and became one of the original stockholders and first directors.

  In 1878 Mr. Jenkinson was married to Miss Miriam D. Hollingshead, who was born in Indiana but was reared in Wisconsin. She is a daughter of William and Luzena Jane (Dennis) Hollingshead, who were early settlers of Monroe township. Her mother is living in Monroe at the advanced age of eighty-seven years, but her father is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkinson now have two children: Edward D., mentioned elsewhere in this work; and William J., who follows farming near the home place and is married and has three daughters.

  Mr. Jenkinson is well known in fraternal circles. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp at Monroe, in which he has filled various official positions, and he has also passed through all of the chairs in the Odd Fellows lodge at Monroe, having been one of the charter members of Mystic Lodge, No. 321. His wife is active in the Presbyterian church. In politics Mr. Jenkinson is a prominent republican, working earnestly for the success of the party. His has been a well spent life and one which is crowned with a gratifying measure of prosperity. He came to Platte county with a cash capital of only thirty-six dollars and today is numbered among the substantial citizens of the community, his success having been acquired through his own persistent efforts and his unfaltering energy. His entire career is an indication of the fact that success and an honored name may be won simultaneously.


J. W. CURTIS.

  J. W. Curtis, connected with the Columbus Fuel & Storage Company and formerly well known as an able, prominent and successful contractor, was born February 25, 1883, in Adams county, Iowa. His father, Jerome B. Curtis, was a native of Ohio, born October 6, 1838. He pursued his education in Knox county, Illinois, where he afterward worked for his father until the beginning of the Civil war, when he enlisted for service with an Illinois regiment. However, he was transferred to Company K, Eighth Missouri Infantry, as a sharpshooter and participated in a

 

354PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

number of the most hotly contested engagements of the war, including the battles of Shiloh and Gettysburg. He was never wounded, but in the engagement at Shiloh his canteen was shot away and at Gettysburg he was knocked unconscious by a cannon ball striking so close to him that the result was as above stated. For six months he was held a prisoner of war in the south and after being exchanged he continued with his command until the stars and stripes were planted in the capital of the southern Confederacy and hostilities ceased. He then returned to Knox county, Illinois, where he purchased a tract of land and carried on general farming for several years. From there he removed to Adams county, Iowa, in 1878 and for ten years cultivated a rented farm, while later he made his home for four years in Atwood, Logan county, Colorado. On the expiration of that period he became a resident of Dawson county, Nebraska, where he operated a transfer line for about a decade, and in 1900 he came to Columbus, Platte county, where he continued in business as a railroad contractor until his death, which occurred on the 28th of April, 1913. He had led a busy and useful life and passed away when in the seventy-fifth year of his age.

  J. W. Curtis was educated in Dawson county, Nebraska, and there worked for his father upon the home farm until his parents removed to Platte county, after which he assisted in the contracting business until his father's death. He then became manager of the business and remained active in that line until the spring of 1915. He is now connected with the Columbus Fuel & Storage Company and enjoys a liberal patronage.

  Mr. Curtis married Miss Fannie Fay, a daughter of David and Flora (Mowery) Fay. She was born in Columbus, Platte county, on the 14th of May, 1885, and by her marriage has become the mother of a son, Jack Vernon.

  The religious faith of the family is that of the Methodist church and Mr. Curtis also holds membership with the Modern Woodmen and with the Fraternal Order of Eagles. His political indorsement is given to the republican party and, while he has never sought nor desired office, he has always been loyal to the principles in which he believes and by his ballot champions the cause of his party. Much of his life has been spent in this state and the spirit of enterprise characteristic of the west finds expression in his business career.


PAUL G. SMEALL.

  Paul G. Smeall, manager of the lumberyard of the Nye-Schneider-Fowler Company at Cornlea is an enterprising young business man, alert to the opportunities for the extension of the trade relations of the business which he represents. He has not yet completed his third decade on life's journey, his birth having occurred in Dodge county, Nebraska, October 30, 1887, his parents being Jacob and Anna (Sykorska) Smeall, who were natives of Germany. The father came to America with his parents when a youth of about twelve years, the family home being established in Pennsylvania, where the grandfather, who was a farmer by occupation, secured a tract of land, while Jacob Smeall obtained work in the coal mines, devoting twenty-two years of his life to that pursuit. In 1872 he came to Nebraska, settling in Dodge county. where he took up a homestead which he

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 355

cultivated and improved for some time. He then removed to Howard county, Nebraska, where he engaged in farming for a considerable period, after which he returned to Dodge county. Year after year he carefully tilled his fields until 1900, when he put aside the active work of the farm and removed to Dodge, Nebraska, where he resided until April 12, 1914, when he became a resident of Cornlea, that county, where he is now living at the age of seventy-two years. His wife also survives at the age of sixty-eight years.

  Paul G. Smeall was reared and educated in Dodge county, Nebraska, the first five years of his life being spent upon the old homestead farm, at the end of which time his father abandoned agricultural pursuits. He learned the carpenter's trade after he had completed his education in the public schools and worked at his trade for twelve years. On the expiration of that period he entered the employ of the Nye-Schneider-Fowler Company in their lumberyard at Dodge, Nebraska, and made so creditable a record that on the 12th of February, 1914, he was promoted to the position of manager of their yard at Cornlea, acting in that capacity to the present time and making an excellent record by the prompt and faithful manner in which he discharges his duties. This company operates the elevator at Cornlea, deals in lumber and coal and also engages in buying and selling hogs. In business Mr. Smeall seems ready to meet any emergency and is persistent, energetic, upright and honorable. In his religious faith he is a Catholic, and he belongs also to the Catholic Order of Foresters. Politically he is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment, his political opinions being based upon a thorough understanding of the questions to be settled.


CHARLES WILLIAM BETTERTON.

  In the death of Charles William Betterton Columbus lost a valued citizen and all who knew him lost a genial companion and faithful friend. To his family he was a devoted husband and father and in every relation of life he displayed those characteristics which everywhere awaken confidence and regard. He was born at New Albany, Indiana, August 6, 1854, and obtained his education in the schools of that city. Taking up the study of music, he devoted nine years thereto and displayed much talent in that art. When eighteen years of age he accompanied his parents to northern Indiana, the family home being established at Kouts. When twenty-three years of age he took up railroading on the Pennsylvania system and was a trainman on the first train going into Chicago over that road that burned coal.

  Later Mr. Betterton became a traveling salesman, going upon the road for the Milwaukee Harvester Company, which he represented for eight years in Indiana territory before he was transferred to the Pacific coast with Everett, Washington, as his headquarters. In 1901 he was transferred to Nebraska territory, remaining with the same company, but in that year he resigned his position with the Harvester Company and took up a similar position with the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, which position he acceptably filled for eight years, or until his death, being regarded as one of the best salesmen connected with that corporation.

  Mr. Betterton was united in marriage on the 20th of December, 1877, to Miss

 

356PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

Harriett Brumbaugh, and to them were born four sons: Ben, who is a painter and decorator of Columbus; Jesse Oatman, who is a graduate of the School of Mines and is now a metallurgist; Ira, who is a painter; and George McCullough, who follows the same business.

  Mr. Betterton was a member of the Modern Woodmen, the Independent Order of Foresters and the United Commercial Travelers, and when he passed away, his death being occasioned by Bright's disease, on the 11th of April, 1909, the Hall of Columbus Council, No. 329, U. C. T., passed the following resolution: "This council has received official announcement of the death of Brother Charles W. Betterton, who departed this life April 11, 1909, at his home in Columbus. Brother Betterton was a charter member of this council and we believe it may be said of his work and walk among us that he was an exemplar of the best tenets of our organization. He was an exponent of that high type of fraternal spirit which demands from man in behalf of his fellowmen some of sacrifice, much of cheer, all of kindness and charity not measured by human boundaries. In the state he was a subject, not slothful in performance of the duties of citizenship, but active and earnest in promotion of his economic principles. In the home he was an idolized husband and father. In our council he was both brother and friend to every brother here. We feel that in the death of Brother Betterton our council and the order national has suffered a distinct loss.

  "Resolved, That the secretary of this council be and is hereby directed to engross the foregoing sentiment for presentation to the household of our departed brother, and that a copy hereof be presented to the local press for publication, and also to The Sample Case, the official paper of our order.

Frank Schram,
W. J. Walter,
M. C. Bloedorn,
  Resolutions committee."

  Mr. Betterton indeed possessed a genial nature, a social disposition and a kindly spirit and his many good qualities endeared him to all with whom he had business or social relations. He made friends wherever he went and that his life was upright and honorable is indicated in the fact that he was best loved where best known.


CARL MUELLER.

  Carl Mueller, of Grand Prairie township, who devotes his time and attention to agricultural pursuits, was born in Montgomery county, Illinois, on the 24th of September, 1868. His parents, Fred and Julia (Stickle) Mueller, were natives of Germany and both were born in 1832, the former on the 13th of August and the latter on the 30th of September. Not long after emigrating to the United States the father joined the Union army at Litchfield, Illinois, and served for three years in the Civil war. He was wounded in the foot but otherwise escaped injury. In 1872 he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and took up land on his soldier's warrant, locating on section 26, Grand Prairie township. He was a successful farmer and his many sterling qualities gained him the confidence and warm regard of those who were

 CARL MUELLER AND FAMILY

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 359

brought in contact with him. He passed away on the 2d of September, 1890, but was survived for three years by his wife, who died October 18, 1893. They left three children living, Carl, F. H. and Otto.

  Carl Mueller was reared upon the home farm and as soon as old enough assumed charge of the operation of a quarter section of land belonging to his uncle, Fred Mulock, and following the death of the latter he remained with his aunt and continued to manage the farm. At her death he inherited the place, which he is still operating, raising both grain and stock.

  Mr. Mueller was married April 28, 1892, to Miss Sophia Neemeyer, a native of Germany, and their five children are: Olga, Elsie, Anette, Clara and Victor. Mr. Mueller is independent in politics, and his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church, in the work of which he takes a deep interest. Practically his entire time is taken up by his farm work, and his labors yield him a good financial return.


CARL JOHANN CARLSON.

  An important feature in the business activity and commercial enterprise of Lindsay is the general mercantile store of Carlson Brothers, of which Carl Johann Carlson is the senior partner. He has made for himself a creditable place in business circles and investigation into his career shows that his methods are those which measure up to the highest. standard of commercial ethics. Moreover, Mr. Carlson comes from Sweden, a country which one of the most noted American travelers has characterized as "the home of the honest man." He was born at Blackstad, Socken, Kalmar Lan, on the 15th of November, 1862, a son of Carl Peter and Christina (Johannson) Carlson, in whose family there were seven children, two of whom have now passed away. Two sisters of the family are still in Sweden and one son is in South Dakota, while the other two sons constitute the firm of CarIson Brothers at Lindsay.

  Carl Johann Carlson, who is the eldest of the family, acquired a commonschool education and was reared to the occupation of farming. At the age of nineteen years he sought the business opportunities offered in the new world and made his way to Elgin, Illinois, in company with other boys from Sweden. He secured work as a farm hand and was thus employed for four years and later removed to St. Edward, Nebraska, where he was employed on the Brainard ranch for five years. He then went to Newman Grove and secured a situation in a general mercantile store, in which he remained for two years, after which he came to Lindsay and entered the Johnson Implement store, in which he continued for a year. He afterward became a clerk in the general mercantile store of Henry Ehlers, with whom he remained for three years, when he and his brother, P. A. Carlson, and Peter Johnson purchased the business from Mr. Ehlers in 1896. That connection was maintained for three years, at the end of which time Mr. Carlson and his brother bought out the interest of their partner, and they have since been conducting the business under the firm style of Carlson Brothers. They now have a large store, carrying an up-to-date stock of general merchandise, and the business has tripled since they secured control. They follow progressive methods, are most careful in meeting the wants and wishes of their patrons, and their reliable dealing and

 

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courteous treatment are salient features in the growing success. They have ever recognized the fact that satisfied customers are the best advertisement and they have built up their business along substantial lines leading to continued prosperity. In addition to his mercantile interests Carl J. Carlson is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Association of Lindsay.

  In 1888 Mr. Carlson was united in marriage to Miss Clara Hedberg, a daughter of Peter Hedberg, who removed to Platte county from Bishop Hill, Illinois, settling at Lookingglass. Mr. and Mrs. Carlson have become the parents of four children, Nettie, Carl, Floyd and Chester.

  In his political views Mr. Carlson is an earnest republican but not an office seeker. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp at Lindsay, in which he has held different offices, and he is a member of the Odd Fellows lodge of Newman Grove. He also belongs to the Lindsay Commercial Club and takes an active and helpful interest in all plans and measures to promote the welfare and upbuilding of the town. He recognizes public needs as he does the conditions of his business and seeks ever to further those plans which promote civic virtue, improvement and pride.


R. BRUCE WEBB.

  A busy and active life intelligently directed has brought to R. Bruce Webb a substantial measure of success, so that he is numbered among the men of affluence in Creston, where he is engaged in the real-estate and auctioneering business and also has other important financial and business connections. He was born in Tennessee, May 23, 1868, a son of George W. and Margaret (Charlton) Webb, who were also natives of that state. The father was educated for the ministry but before beginning active work in that connection the Civil war broke out and he joined the Confederate army, with which he served for three years. He had his skull cracked during the war and this left him in rather feeble health. In February, 1870, he removed to Omaha, Douglas county, Nebraska, where he resided for sixteen years. On the expiration of that period he came to Platte county and resided on a farm near Creston for five years, at the end of which time he removed to Madison county, where he purchased land, there carrying on general farming for several years, after which he retired from active business and removed to Madison, living in that county for seventeen years. He next went to Kearney, Nebraska, and still later to Omaha, where he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in April, 1915, when he had reached the age of seventy-four years. His widow is now living in Omaha, aged seventy-four.

  R. Bruce Webb was reared and educated in Papillion and Creston, Nebraska, remaining with his parents until he attained his majority. He afterward engaged in driving a team on grade work for the Northwestern Railroad during the process of building the line. He also worked out as a farm hand for three years, but, desirous that his labors should more directly benefit himself, he rented land which he continued to cultivate for several years. He then removed to Stanton county, Nebraska, where he carried on farming until 1902, at which time he returned to Platte county, where he engaged in farming for a year.

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 361

  Coming to Creston, Mr. Webb has since made this town his home and has devoted the greater part of his time to the real-estate business and to auctioneering. He also bought land south of the town. He is a stockholder and director in the Citizens State Bank of Creston and a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company. His business affairs have always been carefully and wisely conducted, displaying sound judgment, keen sagacity and unfaltering energy. His services are almost constantly in demand as an auctioneer, and he has cried some of the largest sales in this part of the state. He was also in the government service, selling at auction the Indian lands in Nebraska and Wyoming for two years during the presidency of William Howard Taft.

  On the 21st of September, 1891, Mr. Webb was united in marriage to Miss Mabel Westcott, a daughter of Welland and Anna (Lewis) Westcott, who were natives of Illinois. Her father was a farmer by occupation and also a mason by trade. In 1878 he became a resident of Platte county and after living in Columbus for some time took up his abode in Creston township, where he purchased land, which he cultivated for several years. In 1894 he removed to Missouri, where he resided for a few years, after which he went to Omaha and later returned to Creston, where he continued to live until called to his final rest in 1914, when he was sixty-nine years of age. His widow survives and lives in Creston at the age of sixty-seven. Mr. and Mrs. Webb have become the parents of three children: Troy, who was born in July, 1892, and died in September of that year; Vera, born in November, 1894; and Kenneth, in September, 1900.

  Mr. Webb is a public-spirited citizen, interested in all that pertains to the welfare and progress of the community and county in which he makes his home. To this end he cooperates in many movements calculated to benefit the district. He is a member of the Platte County Fair Association, has done good work as a member of the school board of Creston and has also served as a member of the town board, to which office he was elected on the republican ticket, having ever been a stalwart supporter of that party. In fact, he has taken an active interest in promoting its growth and insuring its success and has served as chairman of the republican central committee of Platte county. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Degree of Honor and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is a member of the company which owns the United Workmen building in Creston. He is also president of the Northern Nebraska Auctioneers Association. He owns a fine home in Creston, modern in every respect, and one of its chief charms is the warm-hearted and gracious hospitality which he and his wife extend to their many friends. He is thoroughly alive and alert, energetic, ready to meet any emergency, and at all times loyal to an interest or cause which he espouses. His county numbers him among its representative citizens, his worth being acknowledged by all.


SIMON P. BENDER.

  Simon P. Bender, a resident farmer of Humphrey township, living on section 22, has always spent his life in Platte county, and the spirit of western enterprise and progress finds expression in his business career. He was born October 2, 1887, in the township in which he still makes his home, his parents being John W.

 

362PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

and Mary (Wunder) Bender, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work. The son was reared under the parental roof and pursued his education in the district schools and parochial school of Humphrey. Through the periods of vacation he assisted in the work of the home farm and continued to live with his parents until he attained his majority. His father and mother then removed to a farm near the town, and Simon P. Bender continued upon the old homestead, which he has since cultivated. His place is known as the Poland China Breeding Farm, which name indicates an important feature of his business, for he is very extensively and successfully engaged in the raising of thoroughbred Poland China hogs, in which connection he has become widely known. He also feeds a carload of cattle each year, and his live-stock interests are a most important and profitable feature of his business. He has a half section of land which is situated on section 22, Humphrey township, and the soil, naturally rich and productive, returns to him a gratifying annual income.

  On the 14th of September, 1910, Mr. Bender was united in marriage to Miss Sabina Abler, a daughter of Edwin and Christina (Gehr) Abler, both of whom were natives of Germany but came to America in early life and for a time resided in Missouri. Subsequently they established their home in Platte county, Nebraska, and Mr. Abler is now operating the Joseph Bender farm, adjoining the farm of Simon P. Bender. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Simon P. Bender has been born a daughter, Mildred M., whose natal day was December 7, 1913.

  The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church, and Mr. Bender belongs also to the Catholic Order of Foresters. His political belief is that of the democratic party but he has had neither the time nor the inclination to seek public office, preferring always to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs. His entire life has been spent upon the farm which he now occupies and cultivates and which is one of the valuable properties of Humphrey township. He leads a most busy, active and useful life, and his labors are attended with a measure of well deserved success.


JEROME W. CONNELLY.

  Jerome W. Connelly, who is occupying the position of postmaster at Lindsay, was born September 20, 1892, a son of Frank and Mary Connelly, who settled in Platte county in 1872, coming from Lindsay, Canada, the town of Lindsay, Nebraska, being named in honor of their old home town in Canada. Frank Connelly worked upon a farm and afterward established a store, which he conducted successfully for a time. He afterward disposed of the store to Martin Mogan and opened a hardware business, which he conducted in partnership with William Degan for a time. A few years later he disposed of this business and in connection with his nephew, Jesse Connelly, went to Creston, Nebraska, where he engaged in the hardware business, conducting his establishment for two and a half years. On disposing of his interests at that place he returned to Lindsay and retired from active business. He now resides upon land which his father homesteaded on first coming to the state and his former business activity provided him with the capital

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 363

that now enables him to enjoy a period of rest. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party, while his religious faith is that of the Catholic church.

  Jerome W. Connelly attended school in Lindsay and for three years continued his studies at Quincy, Illinois. He was also in school at York, Nebraska, for about six months, after which he returned to Lindsay, where he engaged in the auto livery business for about two years. Subsequently he was employed at farm labor until the 1st of September, 1914. On the 1st of October, of that year, he took charge of the Lindsay postoffice, which he is now conducting, performing his work in a careful and systematic manner that is highly satisfactory to his patrons and to those who have general supervision over the office.

  Mr. Connelly votes with the democratic party and his religious faith is that of the Catholic church. Much of his life has been spent in the locality in which he now lives and he enjoys in large measure the high regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact.


JOSEPH BRAUN.

  Among the well known citizens of Humphrey township is Joseph Braun, who lives on section 30, and, as those who know him entertain for him warm regard, the history of his life cannot fail to prove of interest to his many friends. He was born in Wisconsin, April 1, 1850, a son of John P. and Anna M. (Schrueder) Braun, both of whom were natives of Germany, where they remained until 1848, when they sailed for the new world. They did not tarry on the Atlantic coast but made their way at once into the interior of the country, settling six miles south of Milwaukee, where Mr. Braun purchased twenty acres of land, which he continued to develop and improve until 1861. He then went to Dane county, Wisconsin, and invested his savings in eighty acres of land, which he continued to cultivate until 1879. He then sold that property and came to Platte county, Nebraska, where he homesteaded eighty acres and also secured a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres near St. Mary's. With characteristic energy he bent his efforts to the immediate development and improvement of the land, which he converted into a fine farm that he cultivated throughout his remaining days. He died in 1893, being survived for five years by his wife, who passed away in 1898.

  Joseph Braun was reared and educated in Wisconsin. He remained upon his father's farm until he reached the age of nineteen years, when he entered college in preparation for teaching. which profession he afterward followed in Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska for nine years. He then put aside the work of the schoolroom and in 1878 took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on section 30, Humphrey township. He set about improving his land and has since continued its cultivation with good results, his fields annually bringing forth golden harvests as the result of his early plowing, planting and unflagging care. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey and one of the stockholders of the First National Bank of Humphrey. In the thirty-seven years which have come and gone since he turned his attention to farming he has won success as the reward of persistent, earnest labor. In addition to his home place he owns a half section of land in Boone county, Nebraska.

 

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