Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

384PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

ployment in the coal mines of Illinois, where he worked for four or five years, being afterward employed as a farm hand. Finally he married and then began farming on his own account by renting land, which he continued to cultivate for five years. He next removed to this county, arriving here in 1894, after which he rented land for seven years, during which period he carefully saved his earnings, practicing close economy as well as industry. Thus at length he was enabled to purchase property and became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres on section 28, Burrows township, which he at once began to convert into productive fields, carefully and systematically tilling the soil. He also added substantial improvements to the farm and later bought more land until at one time he owned and cultivated three hundred and twenty acres. Upon that farm. he spent his remaining days, continuing active in business until ten days prior to his demise, which occurred May 31, 1911.

  On the 27th of November, 1888, Mr. Schmidt was married to Miss Anna Hoebbemann, a daughter of Henry and Marie M. (Lenz) Hoebbemann, who were natives of Germany and on coming to the new world settled in Troy Grove, Illinois. The father was a farmer and there obtained a tract of land, to the further improvement of which he devoted his remaining days. He died February 20, 1903, and his wife's death occurred September 8, 1891. Their daughter, Mrs. Schmidt, was born at Mendota, Illinois, September 19, 1865, and by her marriage became the mother of eight children: Henry F., who is now farming a part of the old home place; William M., who is also farming on the old homestead; Hildegard K., at home; Gertrude S., who died in February, 1904, at the age of seven years; Carl, who passed away August 5, 1900, aged two years; Clara M., who died May 19, 1902; and Otto and Albert M., who are attending school.

  In addition to his farming interests Mr. Schmidt was president of the Monroe Independent Telephone Company for a number of years and was recognized as an able, progressive business man, so that he left to his family a substantial property. Mrs. Schmidt still owns the homestead farm, on which there are now three sets of good buildings. In politics Mr. Schmidt was a democrat, while his religious belief made him a communicant of the Catholic church. Although born across the water he was only ten years of age when brought to the United States and was thoroughly loyal to American interests.


SWAN NELSON.

  Swan Nelson, who was for a number of years actively engaged in agricultural pursuits in Walker township, was born in Hoemstrom, Sweden, November 11, 1832. He continued to reside in his native country until 1866, when he decided to take advantage of the opportunities offered to a young man of energy and ambition in the United States. He made his way to Michigan and for eleven years worked in lumber camps in the vicinity of Manistee, but in 1878 he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he brought to a high state of cultivation. He raised the usual crops and also considerable stock. He planned his work carefully and received a good income from his land.

  Mr. Nelson was married in June, 1859, to Miss Johanna Peterson, and they became the parents of nine children: John Alfred, deceased; Josephine, who is

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 385

living at Albion, Nebraska; Nellie, the wife of Fritz Quiding, a resident of South Dakota; Charles, deceased; Elmer; Axel, a resident of St. Edward, Nebraska; Anna, the wife of Verne Peterson, of Albion, this state; Alveda, the wife of Theodore Saltstrom, of this county; and Sarah, now Mrs. John E. Bengtson.

  Mr. Nelson was a republican in politics, and his religious faith was that of the Lutheran church. His demise, which occurred on the 26th of July, 1897, was deeply regretted as he had many friends in this county. His widow and his daughter, Mrs. Bengtson, still live upon the home farm.


VALDEMAR LAUESEN.

  One of the well appointed stores of Lindsay is the general mercantile establishment owned and conducted by Valdemar Lauesen, who dates his residence in Nebraska from 1901. He was born in Odense, Denmark, on the 5th of May, 1879, his father being engaged in the dry-goods business in that place. The son was afforded good educational opportunities and in 1901, when a young man of twenty-two years, he arrived at St. Edward, Nebraska, where he had an uncle living who was engaged in general merchandising. Entering his uncle's employ, he continued in the store for six years and in 1907, in company with Albert Rasmussen, bought out the general store of Greve Johnson, which they conducted for about two years under the firm-style of Laeusen & Rasmussen. In 1909, however, Mr. Lauesen purchased the interest of the junior partner and has since been conducting the business under his own name.


F. J. SMITH.

  Among the attractive mercantile establishments of Lindsay is the furniture store of F. J. Smith, who is an alert, wide-awake and enterprising business man, ready for emergencies and winning his success along the line of industry, determination and honorable effort. Illinois claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred in McHenry county, that state, August 21, 1863, his parents being Jacob F. and Katherine Smith. The father is a native of Coblenz, Germany, and came to the United States in the year 1835 .with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Smith, who settled in Illinois, where the grandfather homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres, becoming one of the pioneers in the district in which he established his home. There .Jacob F. Smith was reared and carried on general farming. He is now the owner of a good farming property in McHenry county, Illinois, and is accounted one of the leading agriculturists of the community. His wife, however, passed away February 27, 1907.

  F. J. Smith was educated in Illinois and assisted his father upon the home farm through the period of his boyhood and youth, early becoming familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. His time was thus passed until 1885, when, at the age of twenty-two years, he came to Nebraska with Platte county as his destination. He first worked with a construction gang, assisting in

 

386PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

the building of the Northwestern Railroad as far as Lindsay, Nebraska. He then purchased a lot, erected a store building and aided in laying out the town. He is one of the oldest men in continuous business in Lindsay and is an active and progressive merchant. He now has a good furniture store, in which he carries an attractive line of goods, and he also maintains an undertaking department. His store is liberally patronized and the public recognizes in him a reliable and progressive merchant.

  On the 26th of October, 1888, Mr. Smith was married to Miss Theresa Fritchen, a daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Fritchen, of Keokuk county, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have become the parents of nine children: Edward, who is a Catholic priest now located at Boone, Iowa; Gertrude, the wife of Fred Ramaekers; Susie, one of the Sisters of Mercy in a convent at Omaha; and Clare, Raymond, William, Katherine, Elenora and Mary, all yet at home.

  The family are adherents of the Catholic faith and Mr. Smith also has membership with the Foresters. He is a liberal in politics, holding to an independent policy. For thirty years he has been a resident of Platte county and has therefore witnessed much of its growth and development, while his activity has been of a nature that has brought him to the front among its leading business men.


MATHIAS JOHN RAMAEKERS.

  Mathias John Ramaekers, engaged in the real-estate and insurance business at Lindsay, is one of the old settlers of Platte county, few of its residents having a more comprehensive or accurate knowledge of pioneer conditions and the events which have framed the history of this part of the state than he. His life record had its beginning at Luttevade, in Limburg, Holland, December 31, 1861, his father being J. W. Ramaekers, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work

  Mathias J. Ramaekers acquired his early education in a graded school and at the age of twelve years he attended the Jesuit College at Sittard and after his graduation pursued a four years' course in a normal school at Maestricht, where he was also graduated, being eighteen years of age at the time he completed his course there. He then accepted a position in a village school at Puth, where he remained for a year, and also spent a similar period at Oosterhout. He was for three years at Raamsdonck, but in the meantime his parents had come to the new world and in July, 1885, he, too, completed arrangements to become a resident of America, joining his father and the family in Platte county, Nebraska, the family home being in St. Bernard township.

  Mathias J. Ramaekers afterward engaged in farming with his father for five years and upon his marriage in 1890 began farming on his own account in St. Bernard township, where he lived for eight years. After leaving the farm in 1899 he turned his attention to merchandising at Lindsay and so continued until 1901, when the Farmers & Merchants Bank was organized and he was elected to the position of cashier, remaining in that capacity until January 1, 1915, when he sold his interest in the bank and turned his attention to the real-estate and insurance business, in which he is meeting with good success.

  On the 15th of April, 1890, Mr. Ramaekers was united in marriage to Miss

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 387

  Elizabeth Heiman, a daughter of Joseph Heiman, now residing at St. Bernard The children born of this marriage are Joseph, Anna, William, Mary, Theresa, Henry, Rose, Josephine, Mattie, Agatha, Raymond and Edward. Joseph, the eldest of the family, married Mary Berger and is engaged in farming in St. Bernard township.

  In his political views Mr. Ramaekers is an earnest democrat and while living upon the farm served as clerk of St. Bernard township for six years. He has been township treasurer for ten years and is the present incumbent in the office. For six years he filled the position of township assessor, acting at the same time as township treasurer, a course which was possible under the old law, which, however was changed at a recent date. He has been chairman of the village board of trustees for six years and is the incumbent in that office and is now serving for the third year as school treasurer. He is ever deeply interested in the welfare of the community, its upbuilding and its progress and cooperates in all measures for the general good. Mr. Ramaekers and his family hold membership in the Holy Family Catholic church and he is director of the church choir and president of the Sacred Heart Men's Society. He also belongs to the Catholic Order of Foresters at Lindsay and to the Knights of Columbus at Humphrey. He is a leading member of the Lindsay Commercial Club and for one year served as its president, taking an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare and upbuilding of the district in which he lives. He is regarded as one of the representative citizens of the community, winning the respect of all who know him and most of all where he is best known. That his life has been an active one is indicated in the success the has crowned his efforts. He is still the owner of three hundred and eighty acre of land in Joliet township, has a half interest in three thousand acres of land in the Panhandle of Texas and is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Association of Lindsay. He owns and occupies an attractive and commodious residence in Lindsay surrounded by fourteen acres of ground, and one of the chief charms of his beautiful home is its warm-hearted hospitality.


PETER GODBERSEN.

  Peter Godbersen, who lived a busy, useful and honorable life, was born in Germany, April 13, 1851, and died in Humphrey, Nebraska, October 27, 1896. His parents were Carsten and Johanna Godbersen, also natives of Germany, in which country the father followed farming throughout his entire life, his labors being ended in death in 1911. His wife had passed away in 1909, both reaching an advanced age.

  Peter Godbersen spent his youthful days in his native country and is indebted to its public-school system for the educational privileges which he enjoyed. When he finished school he went into the army, serving for three years according to the military rules of that land. In 1884 he came to America and made his way at once to Madison, Nebraska. Soon afterward he secured employment at farm labor, spending three years in that way, after which he came to Platte county and purchased three acres of land and a nice home in the edge of Humphrey. He worked

 

388PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

out for a number of years and afterward rented land, which he continued to cultivate until his death.

  In June, 1878, Mr. Godbersen was united in marriage to Miss Catherina Carstensen, a daughter of Carsten and Margaret (Jensen) Carstensen, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father followed farming in that country until he came to the United States with his son-in-law, Peter Godbersen, in 1884, and here secured employment as a farm hand. His end came most suddenly and unexpectedly two months later, for he dropped dead in the field. His widow survived until 1898, when she, too, passed away. To Mr. and Mrs. Godbersen were born ten children, as follows: Carl, an agriculturist living in Canada; Cornelius, who is a carpenter by trade and makes his home in Denison, Iowa; Henry, a barber living in Denison, Iowa; May, who is the wife of Arthur Miller, of Springfield, Illinois; Hannah, who gave her hand in marriage to Noah Smith, of Grand Island, Nebraska; Lena, the wife of Harold Hardin, of Pender, Nebraska; John, who is employed as a stenographer in Grand Island; Dora, who died in infancy; Paul, who also passed away in infancy; and one who died unnamed in infancy. Mr. Godbersen gave his political allegiance to the republican party. His religious belief was that of the Lutheran church and he was loyal to its teachings, being straightforward and honorable in all his relations with his fellowmen. Thus it was that he left to his family an untarnished name.


BERNARD HENRY ASCHE.

  Bernard Henry Asche, who passed away on the 12th of May, 1913, was actively and successfully identified with agricultural pursuits in Platte county for a half century and his widow now owns an excellent farm of three hundred and twenty acres on section 14, Sherman township. His birth occurred in Oldenburg, Germany, on the 1st of October, 1841, his parents being Bernard and Mary Asche, who died in that country. When twenty-seven years of age he crossed the Atlantic to the United States and came direct to Platte county, Nebraska, first working at the plasterer's trade in Columbus for three or four years. Subsequently he took up a homestead claim of eighty acres in Sherman township and his first home was a sod structure, twelve by sixteen feet, in which he lived for one year. He then erected another sod dwelling with shingle roof and next built a one-room frame house which is still standing. This has been enlarged and remodeled and is now a comfortable and attractive residence. As time passed he extended the boundaries of his farm by additional purchase and made excellent improvements thereon, so that his widow is now the owner of a valuable property embracing three hundred and twenty acres in Sherman township. This she rents to her son-in-law, Otto Durkop.

  On October 15, 1872, Mr. Asche was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Loseke, a sister of Fritz Loseke, who is a successful agriculturist residing on section 18, Bismark township. It was in the year 1868 that she accompanied her parents, John and Catherine Margarethe (Beneke) Loseke, on their emigration to the new world, the family home being established in Bismark township, this county. Mrs. Asche recalls many of the trials and hardships of pioneer existence and relates that rattlesnakes used to crawl through the roof of their sod house into the living room, some

 BERNARD H. ASCHE     MRS. BERNARD H. ASCHE 

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 393

of these having as many as twenty-four rattles. As a girl she worked for James North, the old Indian fighter. To Mr. and Mrs. Asche were born eleven children, as follows: Bertha, who died at the age of two years; Pauline, who gave her hand in marriage to Louis Saalfeld; Adolph, a farmer living in Creston township; William and Julius, who also follow farming in Creston township; Edward, an agriculturist of Shell Creek township; Gustav, who is engaged in farming in Stanton county, Nebraska; Minnie, the wife of Otto Durkop, who operates the farm of his mother-in-law; Ida, who is the wife of Herman Hembd, of Sherman township; Alma, the wife of William Saalfeld; and Emil, at home.

  Bernard H. Asche passed away on the 12th of May, 1913, when in the seventy-second year of his age, and the community mourned the loss of one of its substantial agriculturists and esteemed citizens. His widow still resides on the home farm in Sherman township and has won a host of warm friends in the county to which she was brought in pioneer times nearly a half century ago.


JOHN WILLIAM RAMAEKERS, Sr.

  John William Ramaekers, Sr., now in the seventy-ninth year of his age, is living retired in Lindsay, where he is numbered among the honored and respected citizens. For a long period he was actively identified with business interests in Platte county, agricultural, commercial and financial, and his well directed enterprise and industry not only brought to him success but also contributed to the development of the district in which he lived. He was born in Limburg, Holland, June 17, 1837, a son of John Hendrick and Marie Kathrina (Drummer) Ramaekers, in whose family were five children, two sons and three daughters, who were reared upon their father's farm.

  John W. Ramaekers, Sr., acquired a common-school education and early in life started out in the business world by learning and following the harness-maker's trade. Later he embarked in business on his own account and in May, 1879, he sought the opportunities of the new world, crossing the Atlantic and making his way direct to St. Bernard, Platte county. He then purchased eighty acres of land, for which he paid five hundred dollars, a second eighty acre tract, for which he paid thirteen hundred dollars, and subsequently a third tract of similar size, for which he paid twenty-five hundred dollars, thus becoming the owner of an excellent farm of two hundred and forty acres, which is still in his possession. For a considerable period he carried on general agricultural pursuits, bringing his land to a high state of cultivation, and in the conduct of his farm met with gratifying success. He eventually, however, put aside the active work of the fields and retired from business life, but is still a stockholder in the Farmers & Merchants Bank and in the Farmers Elevator Association, both of Lindsay. He removed from his farm to Lindsay in 1902 and in the intervening period has enjoyed a well earned rest, his former success supplying him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.

  On the 21st of November, 1860, Mr. Ramaekers was married in Holland to Miss Maria Sibyl Eummelen, a daughter of Jan and Maria Kathrina Eummelen. They became the parents of five children Mathias, mentioned elsewhere in this
Vol. II-19

 

394PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

work; Elizabeth, the wife of Peter Smith, of St. Bernard township; Maria, the wife of Joseph Borer, a farmer of St. Bernard township; Hubertina, the wife of John Borer, manager for the Farmers Elevator Association of Lindsay; and Hubert, who married Goldie Hassen and is now conducting a store in Lindsay. The wife and mother passed away at Lindsay, August 27, 1915, and her funeral was the largest ever held in the community, a fact which indicates how high she stood in the public regard. She was a lady of many admirable and lovable traits of character, possessing an amiable disposition, while at all times she displayed thoughtfulness toward and consideration for others. Her purpose was ever kindly and her life was fraught with many good deeds, being the expression of Christian faith and belief. Of her it may well be said: "Her children rise up and call her blessed and her good works do follow her."

  Mr. Ramaekers holds membership in the Holy Family church. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party but he has never been an office seeker. His military history covers a year's service in the cavalry in Holland. He is regarded throughout the community in which he lives as one of the most worthy, substantial and highly respected citizens, his sterling character worth gaining for him the warm and enduring regard of all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact.


WILLIAM WENK.

  One of the most progressive and highly respected business men of Platte county is William Wenk, of Creston, who is there engaged in general merchandising. Indolence and idleness are utterly foreign to his nature, and the industry and persistency of purpose which he has displayed in managing his interests have led to the attainment of substantial success. Germany claims him as a native son. He was born January 28, 1859, of the marriage of John and Dora (Kaiser) Wenk, who were also natives of the same country. The father followed farming in Germany throughout his entire life, there passing away in September, 1889, while his wife survived until April, 1893.

  Reared in the fatherland, William Wenk pursued his education in the public schools of Germany, remaining under the parental roof until he reached the age of seventeen years, when he started out in the business world by learning the mason's and also the butcher's trades. He followed those pursuits in his native country until 1884, when the favorable reports which he heard concerning business conditions in the new world led him to the determination to try his fortune on this side of the Atlantic. His arrangements completed, he crossed the ocean to the United States and, making his way into the interior of the country, settled at Westpoint, Nebraska, where he rented land which he cultivated for a year. At the end of that time he removed to Antelope county, Nebraska, and purchased a quarter section for thirteen hundred dollars. His time and energies were then devoted to the development and further improvement of that property until 1894, when he sold the place for three thousand dollars and came to Creston. Here he embarked in the butchering business and also handled farm implements, continuing active along those lines until 1897, when he disposed of his butcher shop and opened a

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 395

hardware store. Success attended the new enterprise and after two years he extended the scope of his business by adding a stock of furniture. Thus he continued active in trade until 1907, when he sold the entire establishment and for a year lived retired, but he was too energetic a man to remain content without some occupation and he accordingly reentered the commercial field, this time opening a general store which he has since conducted with growing success. He has three separate store-rooms side by side and also a large implement house. He deals in everything from a needle up to a threshing machine and carries an enormous stock, thus being ready to meet any demands of the trade. His business methods are thoroughly reliable, and he has ever held to the highest standards in the personnel of the house, in the kind of goods carried and in the treatment of customers, recognizing the fact that satisfied patrons are the best advertisement. He also handles the Buick automobile and each branch of his business is bringing to him a gratifying return. He owns his own store building, which is a modern brick business block, well adapted to the purposes for which it is used. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company and the Citizens State Bank of Creston.

  On the 1st of May, 1881, Mr. Wenk was married to Miss Dora Karstens, whose parents were natives of Germany and never came to America. Mr. and Mrs. Wenk have become the parents of six children. William A., who was born in July, 1882, married Sybilla Hoesley and died in November, 1910, leaving his wife and two children, Thelma and William. Minnie, who was born January 7, 1885, is the wife of Robert Thompson, of Creston. Rudolph was born May 22, 1889. George was born in 1891 and is married. Ada, born in April, 1893, is the wife of H. L. Clarke, a resident farmer of Sherman township. Ray, born March 28, 1895, completes the family.

  Politically Mr. Wenk is independent, while in religious faith he is a Lutheran. His name is on the membership rolls of the local organizations of the Modern Woodmen of America, the Highlanders and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. In 1910 he returned to Germany, where he has three brothers living, and he had much pleasure in visiting again the scenes of his youth and renewing the friendships of his boyhood. He has never had occasion, however, to regret his determination to come to the new world, for here he found the opportunities which he sought and which, by the way, are always open to ambitious, energetic young men. He brought with him no false ideas concerning the ease with which success might be won but recognized the fact that advancement must depend upon individual effort, close application and determination and, employing these qualities, he has steadily advanced on the high road to fortune. Today he has important business connections and is regarded as one of the foremost residents of Creston.


O. H. ANDERSON.

  An excellent farm on section 35, Walker township, bears witness to the energy and efficiency of O. H. Anderson, who was born in Shelby county, Illinois, on the 1st of November, 1871. His father, Lars Anderson, who was a native of Sweden, became a resident of the United States in 1870, taking up his abode in Shelby county, Illinois. After remaining there for about seven years he removed with his

 

396PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

family to Genoa, Nebraska, where he lived for about three years. At the end of that time he became the owner of a good farm on Lookingglass creek in Walker township, and for many years his energies were devoted to the cultivation and improvement of his place. He built the first schoolhouse and also helped to build the first church in Walker township and in many other ways contributed to the development and advancement of his community. Having accumulated a competence, he retired from active life a number of years ago. On the 2d of June, 1915, he and his wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, receiving the congratulations of their many friends on that occasion.

  O. H. Anderson has always followed the occupation to which he was reared and is now operating the home place of one hundred and twenty acres on section 35, Walker township. In addition to this he rents one hundred and sixty acres, which he cultivates, and finds that he has small leisure for outside interests. He carries on general farming and derives a good income from the sale of his grain and stock.

  Mr. Anderson supports the democratic party at the polls, and his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. In all relations of life he has been straightforward and upright, and his integrity has gained him the confidence and regard of all who know him.


FRED H. SANDER.

  Since 1907 Fred H. Sander has resided in Creston, where he is now engaged in buying cream and in this connection has built up an extensive business. Like many of his fellow citizens in Platte county, he is of German birth, his natal day being October 29, 1866. His parents, Henry and Dora (Hadeler) Sander, were also natives of Germany, where the father followed the occupation of farming, devoting his attention to general agricultural pursuits in that country until 1882, when he came to the United States. He made Platte county, Nebraska, his destination, and on reaching the end of his journey he purchased land in Sherman township, since which time he has systematically and successfully carried on farming there. He has reached the advanced age of eighty-five years, but his wife passed away in 1887.

  Fred H. Sander was educated in the schools of Germany, and at the age of fifteen years he began earning his living by working as a farm hand. He came with his parents to America and continued his employment as a farm laborer until he reached the age of twenty-two years, when he rented land, upon which he carried on general farming for two years. He then purchased one hundred and sixty acres in Creston township and developed, cultivated and improved that place for a long period, there carrying on general farming until 1907, when he rented the farm and came to Creston. Here he is engaged in buying cream, and his business furnishes an excellent market for producers. His work is carefully and systematically handled, and energy and industry constitute the basis of his growing success.

  In April, 1897, Mr. Sander was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Harnepp, a daughter of Carl and Bertha Harnepp, who came to Platte county at an early day. Her father secured a homestead and continued its cultivation for many years but eventually retired from active business and returned to Germany, where

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 397

he now makes his home. To Mr. and Mrs. Sander were born four children, Lydia, Martha, Bertha and Ida. Mr. Sander was married a second time in October, 1914, when he wedded Miss Martha Koch.

  Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Sander has voted with the democratic party and is a stalwart advocate of its principles. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. His has been a well spent life, and he has gained many friends during the period of his residence in Platte county, now covering a third of a century.


HENRY KNIGHT.

  Henry Knight, living on section 24, Humphrey township, dates his residence in this county from 1883, or for a period of nearly a third of a century. He was born in Canada, near Ottawa, on the 15th of February, 1852, and is a son of Charles and Bridget (Doyle) Knight, who were also natives of that country. The father was a farmer by occupation and cultivated land in Canada throughout his entire life, passing away in 1879, while his wife died in 1875.

  Henry Knight was reared and educated in Canada, remaining with his parents until he reached the age of eighteen years, when he began to earn his own living by working as a farm hand. He carefully saved his earnings and at length was able to purchase a farm, which he continued to cultivate for three years, when, thinking that he might have better agricultural advantages in the United States, he came to Nebraska, reaching Platte county in 1883. Here he invested in one hundred and sixty acres of land in Creston township and at once began to develop and improve the place, which he owned and cultivated until 1908. He then sold that property and bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 24, Humphrey township, since which time he has bent his energies to its further improvement. It is an excellent property, the fields being carefully tilled, while the buildings upon it indicate his careful supervision and progressive spirit.

  On the 29th of December, 1882, Mr. Knight was united in marriage to Miss Malissa Jordan, a daughter of Patrick and Elizabeth (Becker) Jordan, natives of Ireland and Canada respectively. The father was an educator and on coming to the new world in 1848 settled in Canada. He became superintendent of schools at Chesterville, filling the position for five years, and prior to that time he had proved himself an able educator in other schools. He taught altogether in Canada for thirty-three years and then received a teacher's pension. His work was of far-reaching effect and benefit, for he imparted clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he had acquired and was regarded as one of the able educators of the section in which he lived. He held the office of commissioner of the high court of justice and was also a pension agent for a time. His last days were spent in retirement in Canada, where he passed away October 27, 1897. His widow still survives and yet makes her home in Canada at the age of seventy-five years.

  Mr. and Mrs. Knight have become the parents of one child, Elizabeth M., who was born May 2, 1884, and is the wife of Wade Pruitt, who is operating her father's farm. He was born September 21, 1877, and they have two children: Malissa M., who was born November 22, 1911; and Minnie L., born December 3, 1914.

 

398PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

Mr. and Mrs. Knight are also rearing an adopted daughter, Ruth Loydon, who is now twelve years of age and is attending school.

  Mr. and Mrs. Knight are people of kindly spirit and generous impulses. They hold membership in the Catholic church and Mr. Knight gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. To him and his wife is accorded the hospitality of the best homes of Humphrey township, and they have a large circle of friends within its borders.


ANTON LOEFFLER.

  Anton Loeffler, a well known farmer residing on section 8, St. Bernard township, was born in Baden, Germany, January 17, 1852, and remained in his native land until 1870, when, as a young man of eighteen years, he emigrated to the United States and, making his way to the middle west, settled in Mercer county, Illinois, whence he removed to Peru, La Salle county, that state. After remaining there for five years he made his way to Marshall county, Iowa, where he farmed for one year, after which he drove across the country to Madison county, Nebraska, with wagon and team. For about seventeen years he resided in that county and successfully carried on general agricultural pursuits there, but at length he came to Platte county and located on section 8, St. Bernard township, where he owns an excellent farm comprising a quarter section. He raises both grain and stock, and as his labors are intelligently directed, his land yields him a good return.

  Mr. Loeffler was married in 1879 to Miss Lena Sent, a daughter of Bernard and Mary Sent, and to this union have been born thirteen children: John and Frank, both of whom are in Cedar Rapids, Nebraska; Henry, a resident of British Columbia; Mary, the wife of John Team, of Humphrey, this state; Anna; Clara, now Mrs. Frank Kenepfaliner, of Greeley county, Nebraska; and William, Maggie, Lena, Fritz, Louis, Raymond and Sarah, all at home.

  Mr. Loeffler casts his ballot in support of the democratic party and has served as school director. His religious faith is that of the Catholic church, and he exemplifies its teachings in his daily life. The gratifying measure of success which he has gained is richly deserved, as he is enterprising and energetic and also possesses excellent judgment.


GEORGE MURIE.

  George Murie is a retired farmer living in Columbus and for forty years he has been closely associated with the agricultural development and progress of Platte county. He was born in Ardrie, Scotland, on the 14th of December, 1844, and he had a brother, James Murie, now deceased, who became a resident of the new world and served as an Indian scout on the western frontier. The family was founded in America in 1848, when the parents came with their children to the new world and settled near St. Louis, Missouri.

  In that locality George Murie pursued his education and continued his residence

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 399

until 1857, when he came to Platte county. In 1862 he went to Colorado, where he engaged in prospecting for over five years, returning to Platte county in 1868. This was still a frontier district in which much of the land was as yet unclaimed, and he secured from the government a homestead of eighty acres. With characteristic energy he began to break the sod and develop his fields, and for forty years thereafter he continued active in general farming, his labors bringing about a notable transformation in the appearance of his place, which became a tract of highly cultivated fields, adorned with excellent modern improvements. He continued active in farm work until 1907, when he removed to Columbus and retired from active life.

  On the 4th of July, 1873. Mr. Murie was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Green, a daughter of William and Martha Green, of Marshall county, Indiana, and they have become the parents of seven children: George William, who is residing in Montana; Charles Albert, of Billings, that state; Lillie A., the wife of Charles Gilbert, of Seattle, Washington; Hattie, who is now Mrs. Edward Brown, of Billings, Montana; Adabell, the wife of John Nauenberg, of Shell Creek township, Platte county, Nebraska; John Alexander, a resident of Boulder, Colorado; and Maggie May, the wife of George Wilson, of Topeka, Kansas.

  The parents belong to the Church of Latter Day Saints, and in his political views Mr. Murie is a republican. He has always staunchly supported the party but has never sought or desired office. He has served, however, as school director and at all times is deeply interested in the welfare and upbuilding of the community in which he makes his home, to which end he has co-operated in many movements for the general good.


PETER SCHAD.

  Peter Schad, manager for the Nye-Schneider-Fowler Company at Lindsay, was born May 31, 1876, in Colfax county, Nebraska, a son of Peter and Margaret Schad, who in the year 1870 removed from Wisconsin to Colfax county, where the father homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres, after which he carried on general farming until March, 1893, when he sold that property and removed to Platte county. At Lindsay he established a saloon, which he conducted for a year and a half, and at the end of that time he opened an implement house, which he conducted for two years. He then retired from active business, spending the remainder of his days in the enjoyment of a well earned rest, his death occurring November 16, 1903. His wife survived for less than a year, passing away in October, 1904.

  Peter Schad is indebted to the district-school system of Colfax county for the educational privileges that he enjoyed during his boyhood and youth. He assisted his father upon the home farm until the removal was made to Platte county, at which time he took up his abode in Lindsay, where he worked for his father in the saloon until the business was sold. He was afterward employed by Pat Ready until 1895 and then worked along various lines until 1897, when he became proprietor of a saloon, which he conducted for two years. In the spring of 1899 he removed to Dodge county, where he remained for four years, and on the expiration of that period he returned to Lindsay and for about six years followed farming. He next went to Oklahoma but again came to Platte county in 1910 and on the 13th

 

400PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

of October entered the employ of the Nye-Schneider-Fowler Company. He afterward went to Cornlea, Nebraska, where he took charge of their elevator until March 1, 1914, when he returned to Lindsay as manager of the company's business here and has since directed the interests of the business at this place.

  On the 29th of April, 1893, Mr. Schad was married to Miss Margaret Connolly, a daughter of Samuel and Alice Connolly, who were among the early settlers of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Schad became the parents of five children, Alice, Edward Joseph, Martha Gertrude, Irene Mary and Monica Frances, all yet at home.

  On the 8th of October, 1910, Mrs. Schad died but Mr. Schad has continued to keep his children together. He holds membership in the Catholic church, of which his wife was also a member, and he belongs to the Knights of Columbus and to the Catholic Order of Foresters, being secretary of the local organization. In politics he is a democrat and is now serving as clerk of Lindsay. Practically all of his life has been spent in Nebraska. He has depended upon his own labors for financial advancement and his has been a busy life, while his present position is one of responsibility.


FRED H. MUELLER.

  Fred H. Mueller is among those who have contributed to the development of the agricultural resources of the county, from which the greater part of its wealth springs. He was born in Montgomery county, Illinois, on the 12th of November, 1870, a son of Fred and Julia (Stickle) Mueller, both born in Germany in 1832, the former on the 13th of August and the latter on the 30th of September. Not long after they emigrated to the United States the father enlisted in the Union army and served for three years in the Civil war. He took part in many battles and was wounded in the foot. In 1872 he came with his family to Platte county, Nebraska, and took up land on section 26, Grand Prairie township, on his soldier's warrant. He gained a gratifying measure of success and won many friends, and his demise was sincerely regretted when he passed away on the 2d of September, 1890. His wife died on the 18th of October, 1893, and their three children are living: Carl, F. H. and Otto, sketches of all of whom appear elsewhere in this work.

  Fred H. Mueller was reared at home and gained his education in the public schools of this county. When twenty-two years of age he went to work for an uncle, Gottlieb Stickle. This uncle, his sister Annie and their father, John Stickle, emigrated to the United States from Germany and settled in Platte county at an early day in its history. The three homesteaded adjoining eighty acre tracts and following their demise Mr. Mueller inherited two hundred and forty acres, which is located on section 24, Grand Prairie township. He keeps everything about the place in excellent condition and the buildings are substantial and well designed, while the fertility of the land is carefully conserved.

  On December 20, 1892, Mr. Mueller was married to Miss Sinney Beecher, who died leaving two children: Ernst; and Freda, who married Gerhardt Kopples, of Creston township. Mr. Mueller married the second time December 15, 1898, Miss Martha Hellbusch becoming his wife. She was born in Grand Prairie township, a

 FRED H. MUELLER AND FAMILY

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 403

daughter of John Henry and Anna Hellbusch, both of whom are deceased. To their union have been born four children: Hilda, Lucy, Albert and Werner.

  Mr. Mueller casts an independent ballot, supporting the candidates and measures that he believes will best promote the public welfare, and his interest in public affairs is that of a good citizen. He is one of the substantial men of his locality, and all who know him recognize his good qualities and hold him in high esteem.


MORRIS HOLLORAN.

  During the years of an active life Mr. Holloran was well known in the business circles of Platte county and when death called him the community mourned the loss of a representative and valued citizen. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on the 13th of October, 1866, a son of Daniel and Mary Holloran, who came with their family to Platte county in 1872 when their son Morris was a little lad of six summers. The father secured a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres four miles west of Lindsay and there carried on general farming and stock-raising. He also engaged in freighting with team and wagon from Omaha to Tarnov and he hauled his grain from Lindsay to Columbus.

  In his youthful days Mr. Holloran pursued his education in a little sod schoolhouse which stood upon his father's farm and when not busy with his textbooks assisted his father in cultivating the home property. After reaching his majority he engaged in farming.

  On the 23d of February, 1896, Mr. Holloran was united in marriage to Miss Kate Lucid, a daughter of John and Bridget Lucid, who were early settlers of Platte Center. To Mr. and Mrs. Holloran were born a son and daughter, Daniel and Viola, both of whom are at home with their mother. The husband and father passed away June 29, 1905, when in the thirty-ninth year of his age. He belonged to the Catholic church and also had membership with the Modern Woodmen, while his political faith was that of the democratic party. Almost his entire life was passed in Platte county, where he was widely and favorably known, his many good qualities gaining for him the warm friendship of a large circle of acquaintances.


GEORGE MICHAELSEN.

  George Michaelsen, a progressive and efficient farmer of Sherman township, was born in Shell Creek township, Colfax county, Nebraska, on the 28th of July, 1878. His parents, Ludwig and Catherina (Hollman) Michaelsen, were both natives of Germany. The father was born in Oldenburg in 1851 and many years ago emigrated to America, now living at Odessa Station, Washington.

  The subject of this review received his education in the district schools and during the period of his boyhood and youth also devoted considerable time to assisting his father with the work of the homestead. He thus gained valuable knowledge which enabled him to succeed when he rented a farm at the age of eighteen years. After cultivating rented land for a few years he purchased one hundred and sixty

 

 Return to the IndexContinue to next page 

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

© 1997, 1998 Ted & Carole Miller