Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

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acres on section 18, Sherman township, Platte county, which he has since cultivated, and he also operates a farm of one hundred and sixty acres belonging to his wife. He uses the most improved machinery to facilitate his work, and the sale of his grain and stock returns to him a good income.

  Mr. Michaelsen was married on the 19th of February, 1901, to Miss Anna Hembd, and their children are Julius Ludwig, Emma Louisa, Elsa Alvina, Walter George and Melvin Milton. Mr. Michaelsen is a stanch democrat and is now ably serving as township treasurer. He holds membership in St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church, to the support of which he contributes, and his influence is always on the side of right and justice.


JOSEPH HECKER

  Joseph Hecker, of the Windolph-Hecker Drug Company of Humphrey, was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota, May 28, 1891, a son of Joseph J. and Mary (Kemp) Hecker, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father was a wagon maker in the old country, where he remained until 1875, when he determined to try his fortune in America and crossed the Atlantic, making his way to Minnesota, where he established and conducted a wagon shop at Albert Lea. There he carried on business for several years, and then removed to Boyd county, Nebraska. There he purchased a farm, upon which he has made many improvements, his attention being still given to the development and further cultivation of that property.

  Joseph Hecker was reared and educated in Boyd county, Nebraska, being quite young when his parents removed to this state. He supplemented his early school training by study in Creighton College at Omaha, where he pursued the arts and science course for two years. He then took up the study of pharmacy and was graduated with the class of 1915. Later he came to Humphrey, Nebraska, and bought a half interest in a drug store, his partner being Oscar A. Windolph. Their interests are conducted under the firm style of the Windolph-Hecker Drug Company and they carry a large stock and enjoy a liberal patronage. Their store is tastefully arranged and well appointed in every particular and their business methods conform to the highest standard of commercial ethics.

  Mr. Hecker is a Catholic in religious faith and belongs to the Knights of Columbus. He votes with the democratic party and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day but does not seek nor desire office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon the further conduct of his business, in which he is meeting with growing and gratifying success.


GUSTAVUS G. BECHER, JR.

  Gustavus G Becher, Jr., is secretary of the Becher, Hockenberger & Chambers Company at Columbus. He was born June 18, 1882, in the city which is still his home, a son of Gustavus G. Becher, Sr., and after attending the public schools until he had mastered the work of various grades he was graduated from the high school

 

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and later pursued a short course in stenography. He then became a stenographer in the employ of the firm of Becher, Hockenberger & Chambers in February, 1901, and from January, 1903, until March, 1904, was in the employ of F. H. Peevey & Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the latter year he returned to Columbus and again entered the employ of Becher, Hockenberger & Chambers, with whom he continued until November, 1912, when he purchased his father's interest in the business and became a member of the firm under the old name. The business has since been incorporated.

  On the 16th of November, 1913, Mr. Becher was united in marriage to Miss Dorothy Post, a daughter of Judge A. M. and Ella Post, of Columbus. Her father, who was at one time supreme judge of the state of Nebraska and is one of the prominent attorneys here, is represented on another page of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Becher have one son, Gustavus G., who is the fourth of that name in the family and was born August 10, 1915.

  Mr. Becher is a member of Columbus Lodge, No. 1195, B. P. O. E., which he joined on its organization. He also belongs to the Columbus Maennerchor, the Columbus Orpheus Society and Thusnelde Lodge, No. 12, of the Sons of Herman. He attends the Episcopalian church and in politics is a liberal republican. He keeps in touch with the thought and progress of the times and that he stands for upbuilding and improvement in his home city is indicated by his active co-operation in the work of the Commercial Club, of which he is a member. In a word, he is a representative young man of the county and the spirit of enterprise actuates him at all times. His labors, therefore, have contributed not only to the material but also to the social and cultural interests of the community.


JOHN CRAIG.

  John Craig, who resides on section 8, Creston township, is one of the wealthy landowners of Platte county and has to some extent retired from active life, renting the greater part of his land, although he gives personal supervision to his fine apple orchard. He was born in Wisconsin in March, 1851, a son of John and Elspeth (Cooper) Craig, both natives of Scotland. Many years ago they emigrated to America and first located in Canada, where the father, who was a wagon maker, followed his trade and also worked at carpentering to some extent. After residing for seven years in the Dominion he removed to Wisconsin, where he purchased land, which he cultivated for some time. He next removed to Minnesota and for fourteen years operated a farm there which he had purchased. At length he took up his residence in Mills county, Iowa, and again bought land, to the cultivation of which he devoted the remainder of his life. He was accidentally killed by the kick of a horse in 1903. His wife survived until 1910.

  John Craig was reared and educated in Minnesota and remained with his parents until he became of age. He then rented land in Mills county, Iowa, which he operated for five years, in the meantime carefully saving his money. He next bought one hundred and sixty acres but after farming that place for one year he sold it and bought another farm which he operated for a year. In 1885 he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of his present place

 

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on section 8, Creston township. He at once began improving his farm and derived a gratifying income from its cultivation. Later he purchased an adjoining eighty acres and has continued to reside upon that place with the exception of three years, which he spent in Lincoln county. He also owns a quarter section of land on section 2, Columbus township. For many years he personally operated his farms and in addition to growing grain raised pure blooded shorthorn cattle. Now, however, as he has accumulated more than a competence, he rents the greater part of his land, although he himself looks after his orchard of one hundred and sixty-five bearing apple trees. His home place is one of the best improved farms in the county and he has always found farm work pleasant as well as profitable.

  In January, 1878, Mr. Craig was united in marriage to Miss Emma Parks, a daughter of Alfred and Sarah (Sims) Parks, natives of England, who on emigrating to America located in Wisconsin. Her father was employed on a boat for many years but later purchased land and devoted the remainder of his life to farming. Both he and his wife are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Craig have become the parents of five children: Fred, who is now a resident of Madison county, Nebraska, but was for eight years engaged in banking in Texas; William, who passed away in 1905 at the age of twenty; Everett, who is farming in Madison county, this state, Arthur, who is in the employ of Leach & Palmateer at Creston; and Lela, the wife of J. W. Larson, station agent at Miller, Nebraska.

  Mr. Craig is a republican and served acceptably as township assessor. as a member of the township board and as a member of the school board. Fraternally he is identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and his religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is well known and highly esteemed throughout the county, and his personal friends are many.


P. A. CARLSON.

  P. A. Carlson is the junior partner of the firm of Carlson Brothers, general merchants of Lindsay, and is a representative citizen, possessing the spirit of enterprise that has characterized the upbuilding and development of the middle west. He was born October 30, 1873, in Sweden, a son of Carl and Christina (Johannson) Carlson, in whose family were seven children. He acquired a common-school education and was a youth of seventeen years when in 1890 he arrived in Nebraska, making his way to Newman-Grove, where he was employed in a general store. This gave him initial training and experience along the line of the business in which he is now engaged and qualified him for the successful conduct of his individual interests. Joining his brother, Carl J. Carlson, and Peter Johnson, they purchased the store of Henry Ehlers in 1896 and after three years he and his brother became sole proprietors by purchasing the interest of their partner. They have since conducted the business along well defined lines and their carefully formulated plans are carried forward to successful completion.

  Fraternally Mr. Carlson is connected with the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and appreciation of his public spirit on the part of his fellow townsmen is shown in the fact that for eight years he has served on the village board. He is now serving as a

 

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school director and his active interest in the cause of education is manifest in his earnest efforts to uphold the school standards in Lindsay. The brothers are well known and prominent business men of the town, enjoy an unassailable reputation and also have the warm personal regard of many with whom they have been brought in contact.


ALBERT S. FLINK.

  Albert S. Flink owns four hundred and fifteen acres of fine land in Walker township and is now living retired on his farm on section 7. A native of Sweden, his birth occurred in Elfsburg on the 2d of January, 1861. His father, Anders Flink, served in the Swedish army for over thirty-five years and is now living retired in that country. The mother, who bore the maiden name of Anna Marie Johnson, is deceased.

  Albert S. Flink, who is the only one of the family residing in the United States, passed the days of his boyhood and youth in his native land, where he attended the public schools, thus acquiring his education. In 1882, when twenty-one years of age, he crossed the Atlantic to America and, making his way westward, settled in De Kalb county, Illinois, where he worked as a farm hand for five years. At the end of that time he went to Kansas and remained in that state for six years, homesteading a quarter section of land there, which he still owns. In the fall of 1893 he came to Walker township, Platte county, and bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 18 for twenty-five dollars per acre. The place had few improvements upon it when it came into his possession but it is now one of the finely developed farms of the locality as he has made many excellent improvements thereon. The farm buildings are substantial and of modern design, and everything about the place is well kept up. He bought one hundred and forty acres more on section 18 and eighty acres on section 7 and still later he purchased thirty-five acres on section 7, for which he paid eighty-five dollars per acre. In 1912 he erected a fine modern residence and barn on his farm on section 7 and is now living there in honorable retirement from active life, having rented all of his land. While engaged in farming he not only produced a large amount of grain annually but he also raised Berkshire hogs and shorthorn cattle, the sale of his stock adding materially to his income.

  Mr. Flink was married on the 2d of October, 1894, to Miss Amanda Sophia Aberg, a daughter of Peter J. Aberg, an old settler of Walker township. Mrs. Flink passed away on the 2d of May, 1912, and her demise was not only an irreparable loss to her family but was also deeply regretted in the community as she was loved by all who knew her. Her sympathies included all who were in need or distress, and she also shared the joys of her friends and acquaintances, finding pleasure in their happiness. She was a devout member of the Swedish Lutheran church and took an active part in its work. Although she has passed to her reward the influence of her life remains, and her memory is cherished by all those who came into close contact with her. She was the mother of three children: Anna, at home; and Helen and Frank William, both of whom are attending school at Wahoo.

  Mr. Flink is a republican and for seventeen or eighteen consecutive years served as school director, doing much in that time to increase the efficiency of the public

 

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schools. He retired from the office in 1913 but is still interested in educational progress. For eleven years he has been a trustee of the Swedish Lutheran church, and he does all within his power to further its growth and to promotethe spread of its influence. He is widely known and there is no more highly respected resident of Walker township than he.


ANTON BELLER.

  Anton Beller is meeting with gratifying success in his work as a farmer and stock-raiser and is recognized as a substantial citizen. He was born in New York city on the 25th of September, 1868, a son of Ignatz and Josephine Beller, both natives of Germany, who on emigrating to the United States settled in New York, where they remained for about a year. At the end of that time they came westward and took up their residence in Fort Madison, Lee county, Iowa. After working in a lumberyard there for about two years, the father engaged in farming with a brother for some time but subsequently removed to Madison county, Nebraska, where he passed away on the 13th of December, 1889. The mother is still living and makes her home in Lindsay, Nebraska.

  Anton Beller received the greater part of his education in Lee county, Iowa, but attended school for one year after removing to this state. Since beginning his independent business career he has followed agricultural pursuits and now owns one hundred and sixty acres of excellent land in St. Bernard township. His place is well improved, and his residence and farm buildings are commodious and well built. In addition to growing the usual crops he raises cattle and Chester White hogs, and both branches of his work yield him a good return.

  Mr. Beller has been twice married. On the 19th of January, 1893, he wedded Miss Louisa Husemann. who passed away on the 1st of May, 1894, leaving a daughter, Elizabeth. On the 17th of February, 1895, Mr. Beller was united in marriage to Miss Theresa Sueper, a daughter of Frank Sueper. She died on the 8th of February, 1914. She was the mother of twelve children, as follows: Louise, Edward, Anton, Clara, Anna, Lawrence, Agnes, Stanislaus, Helena, Antonia, Kasimir and Mary, all at home.

  The democratic party has in Mr. Beller a stanch supporter, and he is now serving as school treasurer. Fraternally he is identified with the Foresters, and in religious faith he is a Catholic. His many sterling traits of character gain him the respect of those who have been associated with him, and he has many personal friends.


FERDINAND R. BERING.

  Ferdinand R. Bering, deceased, was born in Germany, July 4, 1855, a son of Frederick and Francisca (Soms) Bering. The father was a native of Germany, and he and his wife spent their entire lives in that country, many years having come and gone since they passed away, the mother having died in 1872, while the father's death occurred in 1887.

 

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  Ferdinand R. Bering was reared and educated in Germany and became an inspector on a large ranch, having charge of the labors of two hundred men. At length he determined to seek a home beyond the Atlantic, having heard favorable reports concerning business opportunities in the new world. It was in 1883, when he was about twenty-eight years of age, that he made the voyage and came to Nebraska, settling at Westpoint. Later he removed to Humphrey, Platte county, and engaged in the real-estate business for five years, at the end of which time he was appointed postmaster and made Humphrey a third class office. He also continued in the real-estate business and was thoroughly conversant with property values in this district and negotiated many important realty transfers. He never enjoyed robust health and died after an illness of two weeks, in March, 1897.

  In 1884 Mr. Bering was married to Miss Catherine Biermann, whom he wedded on the 18th of September. She is a daughter of Christopher and Margaret (Stinner) Biermann, natives of Germany. Her father was inspector of a large timber tract and had charge of planting trees in the forests. He died in his native country in 1881, while his wife passed away in 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Bering became the parents of eight children: Elizabeth, the wife of Nicholas Steffes, one of the prominent merchants of Humphrey, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work; Theresa, at home; Amanda, Joseph and Hugh, all of whom died in infancy; Alma, who is teaching in the Humphrey schools; Frederick, who is a carpenter by trade and is living at home: and Walter, who is clerking in the Steffes Brothers' store.

  Mr. Bering belonged to the Catholic church and also held membership with the Catholic Order of Foresters. His political indorsement was given the democratic party and his fellow townsmen, appreciating his worth and public spirit, called him to the office of road supervisor, in which he served for four years. Eighteen years have come and gone since he passed away, and his memory is yet cherished by those who knew him, for at his death he left behind a large circle of warm friends. He was devoted to the welfare of his family and to the best interests of the community, and his sterling worth gained him a firm hold upon the affection and esteem of those with whom he was associated.


CHARLES JACOBS.

  Almost thirty years have come and gone since Charles Jacobs arrived in Platte county and with its agricultural development he has since been closely associated. He now makes his home on section 24, Humphrey township, where he owns and cultivates a good farm. He was born in Marshall county, Illinois, October 26, 1858, a son of Frederick and Julia A. (Orgon) Jacobs, the former a native of New York and the latter of Pennsylvania. On leaving the east the father became a resident of Marshall county, Illinois, where he located at an early period in its development, there purchasing land which he improved and cultivated throughout the remainder of his days. He was a miller by trade and was accidentally killed in a mill in Kansas in the '70s. His wife survived him for many years, passing away in 1892.

  Charles Jacobs is indebted to the public-school system of his native county for the educational privileges which he enjoyed and to good home training for many

 

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of those principles which have made him an honorable man, worthy of the respect of his fellow citizens. After attaining his majority he began farming on his own account by renting land in Marshall county, Illinois, for two years, and in 1886 he came to Platte county, Nebraska, where for three years he cultivated a rented farm. During this period he carefully saved his earnings and at the end of that time was able to purchase land, becoming the owner of a farm in Creston township, which he operated for two years. He then fell heir to his present farm of eighty acres on section 24, Humphrey township, and for a long period gave his time and attention to its further development and improvement but now rents the land.

  On November 28, 1887, Mr. Jacobs was united in marriage to Miss Eva K. Maynard, a daughter of Asahel and Pearl (Collar) Maynard, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of New York. The father was a farmer and in an early day settled in Washington county, Nebraska, after which he removed to Colfax county and secured a homestead, which he cultivated for several years. He then came to Platte county, where he continued farming until his death in 1888. His wife passed away in September, 1908, having survived him for two decades. Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs are the parents of four children: Nettie, who is employed in the Naylor store in Creston, Nebraska; and William F., Asahel and Eugene, all at home.

  In his political views Mr. Jacobs is a republican and fraternally is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, while his religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church. In these associations are indicated the rules and principles which govern his actions. He enjoys a well earned reputation as an honorable business man and public-spirited citizen, and he has a circle of friends almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintance.


NICHOLAS J. HEMMER.

  In connection with the farming and stock-raising interests of Platte county the name of Nicholas J. Hemmer has been well known, for through a long period he was actively engaged in general agricultural pursuits. While he has now retired from the farm and makes his home in Cornlea, he still owns two hundred acres of rich and valuable land but is leaving the active work of the farm to others and is living somewhat retired from business, although he is now vice president of the Cornlea State Bank. He was born in Cascade township, Dubuque county, Iowa, October 8, 1855, a son of Nicholas and Mary (Kremmer) Hemmer, both of whom were born on the banks of the river Rhine in Prussia, where the father conducted business as a cloth weaver. He came to America in 1852, settling in Dubuque county, Iowa, where he turned his attention to farming, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land, upon which his remaining days were passed. He lived in Iowa for forty-four years or until called to his final rest in 1896. He had retired from active business and removed to Worthington, where his widow now resides.

  Nicholas J. Hemmer was reared in the usual manner of farm lads and remained at home until 1879, when at the age of twenty-four years he removed to Platte county, Nebraska, taking up his abode in Columbus. After working there for a time he went to Madison county, this state, and engaged in farming for six years. On the expiration of that period he returned to Platte county in 1886, establishing

 NICHOLAS J. HEMMER

 

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his home in Granville township, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 18, there making his home until 1912, when he retired from active business life and removed to Cornlea, renting his place to his son. He had added to it a tract of forty acres and in 1892 purchased one hundred and sixty acres more. He thus became owner of three hundred and sixty acres but afterward sold a quarter section. While living in Granville township he carried on general farming and stock-raising, bringing his fields under a high state of cultivation and gathering therefrom rich crops as a reward for his care, labor and capable management. After removing to the village he assisted in organizing the Cornlea State Bank, of which he now serves as vice president.

  In 1882 Mr. Hemmer was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Gilsdorf, a daughter of Matthias and Elizabeth Gilsdorf, both of whom were natives of Bingen on the Rhine. Emigrating to the United States, the father followed both farming and carpentering in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, until 1883, when he came to Granville township, Platte county, Nebraska, where both he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives. To Mr. and Mrs. Hemmer were born ten children, as follows: Matthias, whose birth occurred October 13, 1884, lives in Lindsay, Nebraska, and wedded Miss Catharine Korth; Catharine, who was born December 2 1886, and gave her hand in marriage to Andrew Hiermier, a clerk in Bender's store of Cornlea; Anna, who was born October 9, 1888, and is the wife of Fred Schultz, a ranchman of Cherry county, Nebraska; Guido, who was born March 27, 1893, wedded Miss Catharine Brandl and lives on his father's farm in Granville township; Clara, who was born March 21, 1896, and is at home; Albert, who was born July 12, 1899, and is also under the parental roof; John, twin brother of Albert, who is at home; Angle, who was born February 10, 1902, and is at home; Henry, who died at the age of fourteen years; and Matthias, who passed away in infancy. The wife and mother passed away March 19, 1906, when they were living upon the farm. For six years thereafter Mr. Hemmer continued to live upon the old homestead but in 1912 turned the place over to his children, who now cultivate it.

  In his political views Mr. Hemmer is an earnest democrat and served as road boss of Granville township for several years. He and all of his family are members of the Catholic church of Cornlea and he belongs to the St. Joseph's Men's Society of the Catholic church at St. Bernard, Nebraska. There have been no spectacular phases in his life's history, but his record shows what may be accomplished when determination, perseverance and industry are arrayed against poverty and drawbacks. He worked hard and as the years passed on success rewarded his efforts, so that he is now the possessor of a comfortable competence.


JOSEPH BORER.

  Joseph Borer owns a large farm on section 10, St. Bernard township, and is one of the prosperous agriculturists of Platte county. He was born in Carver county, Minnesota, August 9, 1866, a son of Joseph and Helena (Jeurisen) Borer, the former a native of Switzerland, who at an early age became a resident of Minnesota. In 1880 he removed to St. Bernard township, Platte county, Nebraska, with his
Vol. II-20

 

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family and located on one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 10, for which he paid eighteen hundred dollars. Both he and his wife are deceased. They had five children, of whom Joseph is the third in order of birth.

  Joseph Borer was educated in the common schools and early in life gained valuable training through assisting his father. The latter gave all of his sons a good start in life and the subject of this review has been very successful as an agriculturist. He now owns four hundred acres of excellent land on section 10, St. Bernard township, where he engages in general farming and raises high grade Duroc-Jersey hogs. He is practical and progressive and receives a good income from his land. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Lindsay and for many years has owned and operated a threshing outfit and cornsheller, thus adding materially to his income.

  On the 30th of April, 1889, Mr. Borer was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ramaekers, a daughter of J. W. Ramaekers, Sr., a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. To this union fifteen children have been born, as follows: Mary, the wife of William Kirzeder, a farmer of Madison county, this state; Lena, who is in a convent in Chicago; and Joseph A., Hubertina, Clara, Philip, Louis, Louise, Anton, Alphonse, Edward, Bernard, Angela, Lidwina and Leander, all at home.

  Mr. Borer is a democrat but has never sought public office. He is a communicant of the St. Bernard Catholic church and contributes to its support and seeks to advance its welfare. For thirty-five years he has resided in this county and during that time has gained many loyal friends, who hold him in high regard because of his sterling worth.


JENS BUHL.

  Jens Buhl, who has gained a gratifying measure of success as an agriculturist and owns a well improved farm on section 1, Walker township, was born in Denmark on the 24th of April, 1874. His parents, Christian and Maren (Jensen) Buhl, were also natives of Denmark, where they remained until 1881, when, with their family, they crossed the Atlantic and became residents of the United States. For a year they lived in New Jersey and for a similar length of time made their home in Council Bluffs, Iowa, but in 1883 came to Platte county, Nebraska, and bought one hundred and sixty acres in Walker township. Their first home was a sod house but subsequently a good frame building was erected. The father became the owner of several hundred acres of good land and gave each of his sons a farm. He was one of the organizers of the Danish Lutheran church in Walker township, and when he passed away in Joliet township there was much sincere regret. His wife also died in that township. To them were born eight children, three of whom died in childhood, the others being: Jens; Hans C., who is farming in Joliet township; Anton, a resident of Minnesota: Marinus, a farmer in Joliet township; and Karen, the wife of Peter Petersen, also of that township.

  Jens Buhl was reared upon the homestead and during his boyhood and youth assisted his father, thus gaining much practical knowledge of farm work. His education was acquired in the district schools. Following his father's demise he inherited one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he has since operated and which

 

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he has brought to a high state of development. He is energetic and progressive, and his well directed labors return to him a good profit.

  On March 18, 1898, Mr. Buhl was married to Miss Mariane Christensen, a native of Denmark and a daughter of Kristen and Pauline (Nelson) Christensen both of whom are now living in Joliet township. To Mr. and Mrs. Buhl were born six children, all at home, namely: Christian, Valborg, Carl, Helga, Arne and Uffe.

  The republican party has a stanch adherent in Mr. Buhl, and he does all in his power to further its success at the polls. His religious faith is that of the Danish Lutheran church and the sincerity of his belief is attested by the integrity of his life. For over three decades he has lived in this county and during that time has not only witnessed but has also been a factor in its remarkable development from a region that retained many of the characteristics of the frontier to an agricultural district in which all of the conveniences and comforts of the older east are common.


JOHN EDWARD DACK.

  John Edward Dack is now living retired in Monroe, where he took up his abode in 1894. He had previously been one of the most extensive landowners of the county, his possessions at one time aggregating more than one thousand acres, which he carefully tilled and improved, adding to his success year by year through the careful management which he displayed in carrying on the work of the fields. He was born upon a farm in Stark county, Illinois, November 29, 1840, and is a son of John and Jane (Nicholson) Dack. His father's birth occurred in Dublin, Ireland, about 1810 and his life record covered the intervening years to the 16th of June, 1872, when he was called to his final rest. His wife, who was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, born about 1819, passed away in 1900, at the advanced age of eighty-one years. They became pioneer residents of Henry county, Illinois; and were numbered among the representative farming people of that district.

  John E. Dack was reared in his native state and had but limited educational privileges, for his aid was early needed in the work of the home farm. He was continuously employed at farm labor until 1861, but carefully saved his earnings after he attained his majority until his industry and economy had brought him sufficient capital to enable him to purchase land in Stark county, Illinois. There he carried on farming for two years, after which he sold that property and bought land in Henry county, Illinois, on which he lived for two years. He afterward rented this farm for four dollars per acre and for one year lived in the town, after which he spent two years in work as a farm hand. In 1872 he arrived in Monroe township, Platte county, Nebraska, where he secured a homestead claim of eighty acres and bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land. He afterward added eighty acres through homesteading and he at once began to break the sod. In the course of time the fields were plowed and planted and brought forth good harvests, and as his financial resources increased he added to his holdings, purchasing two other eighty-acre tracts and a third tract of one hundred and sixty acres. His various purchases made him the owner of more than one thousand acres of land and later he generously divided with his three children, giving to each of them two hundred acres. Carefully and persistently he carried on the work of the farm

 

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until 1891, when he retired and came to Monroe, where he is now enjoying a well earned rest.

  On the 24th of December, 1862, Mr. Dack was married to Miss Jane Wiley, of Henry county, Illinois, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 27, 1842, a daughter of Robert and Sarah (Wiley) Wiley, both of whom were natives of County Antrim, Ireland. Her father was a wagon maker of Illinois, but spent his last days in Platte county, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Dack have become the parents of two daughters and a son: Sarah Jane, now the wife of Sam C. Terry; Matilda Nora, the wife of Curt Hollingshead; and Edward Robert, living on a farm in Monroe township.

  Mr. Dack votes with the democratic party and has filled the office of township treasurer in Monroe township. He has long been interested in the cause of education and for twenty-one years has served on the school board, doing all in his power to advance the standards of educational training in his district. He has displayed many substantial qualities of manhood and of citizenship and the high regard uniformly tendered him is but the legitimate result of a well spent life.


JACOB TSCHUDIN.

  The attractive home of Jacob Tschudin, situated on section 14, Loup township, is surrounded by fine trees and well kept flower beds, indicating that the attention of the owner is not fixed entirely upon the attainment of wealth, but that the inmates of the home have appreciation of beauty and the ennobling influence which it brings. Mr. Tschudin is a native of Switzerland, having been born on a farm in Canton Basel, July 7, 1840, a son of Martin and Farina Tschudin. The father served for the required time in the Swiss army and for a considerable period was a government employe. He also devoted some time to farming.

  His son, Jacob Tschudin, acquired a good education in the public schools of his native country and for four years in early manhood served in the army, being a member of the band. He was twenty-nine years of age when he bade adieu to friends and native country and in 1869 came to the new world, making his way to Illinois. For two years he was a resident of Aurora, King county, and in 1871 he came to Nebraska. He settled in Loup township, Platte county, which at that period was a frontier district largely undeveloped and unimproved as is indicated by the fact that much of the land was still in the possession of the government. He entered one hundred and sixty acres and began improving the farm, to which he has added as opportunity was offered and his financial resources have increased until he now has seven hundred and fifty acres in his home place. He also has six hundred and forty acres of cattle land with four hundred and ten acres on the Platte river. He is one of the extensive cattle raisers of this part of the state and is a most prominent and progressive farmer, holding to high standards in all departments of his work and utilizing modern scientific methods in the care and cultivation of his crops and also in his stock-raising.

  In 1871 occurred one of the most important events in the life of Mr. Tschudin -- his marriage to Miss Rosa Blaser, who was born in Canton Bern, Switzerland, in 1848. She spent her girlhood there and then took up the profession of teaching,

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 417

which she followed with success for two years in the land of the Alps. In 1866 she accompanied her parents to the United States, the family home being established six miles from Aurora, Illinois, where she attended school for a time. She had a sincere love for teaching and for seven years after her marriage she taught in the schools of Platte county, Nebraska, her labors resulting most beneficially among the people of foreign birth living in the district in which she was employed. She had the ability to impart clearly and readily to others the knowledge that she had acquired and to inspire her pupils with deep interest in their studies. To Mr. and Mrs. Tschudin were born seven children, of whom three are yet living: Mary, who was born April 16, 1875, and is the wife of Fred Nyffeller, of Duncan; Gertrude, who was born April 26, 1877, and is the wife of Frank Bass; and Walter, who was born October 16, 1879. Four of the children have passed away and the family circle was again broken by the hand of death when, on the 26th of April, 1915, the wife and mother was called to her final rest. She had always been a valued helpmate to her husband, who consulted her concerning many of his business transactions. She surrounded her home with flower beds filled with many kinds of beautiful flowering plants, and in every possible way made her home the most attractive place on earth to her husband and children. She was a devoted wife and mother, a kind neighbor and a faithful friend, and her many good qualities of heart and mind endeared her to all with whom she came in contact. Many speak of her in terms of highest praise and her memory will be cherished for years to come by all who knew her. Her influence was like the odor of the violet, delicate but permeating, and it ever constituted a force for good among those who knew her.

  Mr. Tschudin is a republican in his political views, but not a strongly biased partisan. He filled the office of justice of the peace for eight years and for many years was county supervisor, in which connection he made a capable official, looking ever to the interests and welfare of the county and exercising his official prerogatives for the public good. He holds membership in the German Reformed church, in which he has always been very active, and his influence is ever on the side of right, progress, reform and truth.


JOHN ADOLPH HAUSER.

  Along well defined lines of labor, actuated by a spirit of enterprise and laudable ambition, John Adolph Hauser has reached a creditable place in business circles of Platte Center, where he is known as the popular cashier of the Farmers State Bank. He was born in Fremont, Nebraska, November 18, 1887, a son of John and Margaret (Launer) Hauser, whose family numbered six children, of whom he was the second in order of birth. The father was born in Germany and there spent the first fourteen years of his life, after which he came to the new world, making settlement in La Salle county, Illinois. Later he removed westward to Nebraska, taking up his abode in Fremont, where he has since resided and where he is now engaged in the book and stationery business. He is one of the oldest and most interesting merchants of Fremont and is the owner of considerable real estate there.

  John A. Hauser acquired a high-school education and afterward spent a year in further study in the Fremont Normal School. He made his initial step in connec-

 

418PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

tion with banking when a youth of sixteen, securing a position in the Farmers & Merchants National Bank of Fremont, in which his father and brother were stockholders, and the latter is now a director. Two years later, or in 1905, when the First National Bank of Fremont secured control of the bank at Nickerson, Nebraska, Mr. Hauser was sent to that place to become cashier, in which capacity he continued for two years. That institution had been organized for three years and had never paid any dividends. Through Mr. Hauser's efforts, however, it was placed upon a paying basis and made one of the profitable financial concerns of the district. In 1907 Mr. Hauser returned to Fremont as manager of the collection and the remittances departments at the First National Bank and remained there until 1910, when he became cashier of the Farmers State Bank of Platte Center, which had been organized at that time for only six months. He is now one of the large stockholders of the bank and is very active in its control, directing its policy and bending his energies to the wise administration of its affairs. In addition to his bank stock he also owns some real estate in Platte Center. The stockholders of the Farmers State Bank are worth more than one million dollars and own over five thousand acres of Platte county land. During the five years in which the bank has been organized they have paid over eight dividends and placed over three thousand dollars in the surplus fund. They recently installed a six hundred and twenty-five dollar posting machine and the equipment of the bank is thoroughly modern in every respect.

  On the 25th of October, 1911, in Omaha, Nebraska, Mr. Hauser was married to Miss Emma Carstensen, a daughter of John and Alvina Carstensen, who are now living in South Dakota. The father was formerly a resident of Fremont. Mrs. Hauser is now acting as vice president of the domestic science department of the Farmers Institute. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hauser are well liked and highly respected in the city in which they reside and in fact, throughout the county. They are now erecting a thoroughly modern bungalow which will be one of the finest residences of Platte Center. In his political views Mr. Hauser is an earnest republican and for the past three years has been filling the office of village treasurer, being now the incumbent in that position. He is also serving for the fourth year as township clerk. He belongs to St. Joseph's Catholic church of Platte Center and fraternally is identified with the Modern Woodmen Camp of Platte Center and the Fraternal Order of Eagles at Columbus. He likewise has membership in the Platte Center Gun Club, in which he is serving as the treasurer. His business and political affairs have brought him prominently before the public and the sterling traits of his character, as manifest in his business, social and public connections, recommend him to the goodwill, confidence and friendly regard of those with whom he has been brought in contact.


JOHN R. BROCK.

  John R. Brock is a well known resident of Columbus. He wears the little bronze button that proclaims him a Civil war veteran and he is active now in government service as a rural mail carrier, displaying the same spirit of loyalty to duty which characterized him in more strenuous times when it was necessary to protect the life of the country at the point of arms. He was born in Switzerland,

 JOHN R. BROCK

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 421

  January 20, 1841, his parents being John and Katherine (Tuple) Brock, in whose family were eight children, of whom John R. Brock is the eldest. The father served as a soldier in the Swiss army and the grandfather was with Napoleon on the march into Russia. In 1849 the family came to America, settling first at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the father, who was a landscape gardener, entering the employ of James Buchanan, later president of the United States. Both he and his wife continued residents of Pennsylvania until called to their final rest.

  In early life John R. Brock learned the butcher's trade, at which he worked until 1866, when he removed with his family to Osage county, Missouri, and there settled upon a farm which he owned, remaining upon that property for twenty-six years. He then came to Columbus, Nebraska, in 1892, and for the past ten years has served as rural mail carrier on route No. 5.

  Before removing to the west Mr. Brock had served as a soldier in the Civil war. Hardly had the smoke from Fort Sumter's guns cleared away than he responded to the president's first call for troops, enlisting at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on the 16th of April, 1861, as a member of Company E, Tenth Pennsylvania Infantry. He was mustered in at Harrisburg and with his regiment was sent into the Shenandoah valley. He served as orderly on the staff of his colonel and while engaged in active duty at the battle of Chancellorsvile had his horse shot from under him while he was carrying dispatches. He took part in the second battle of Bull Run and in the engagements at Fredericksburg, Winchester and Charleston. It was in the battle of Chancellorsville that General Whipple was killed while directing the elevation of a battery, on the 4th of May, 1862. His remains were conveyed to Washington, being taken down the Potomac on the Ironclad Mohawk, and Mr. Brock was appointed to act as bodyguard. It was on that trip that he lost his diary, which he had kept from the beginning of his service. After acting as bodyguard to the remains of General Whipple he was on duty for a time in Washington and during that period met Lincoln personally. Subsequently he was transferred to Company D, One Hundred and Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry, assigned to the Third Army Corps, and saw active service on Emmetsburg road during the battle of Gettysburg, which was being fought two miles distant. After the engagement at that place the Union troops followed Lee's army southward, participating in the battles of Petersburg, Spottsylvania and other engagements. Mr. Brock was at Staunton, Virginia, when General Lee surrendered, and he afterward participated in the Grand Review in Washington, where the victorious Union troops marched through the streets of the capital, cheered by the thousands who lined the highways. From the time of Lee's surrender until the following September his company went to different towns and cities, reestablishing home governments. They were also on guard duty at the war department and at the treasury building in Washington from September, 1865, until January, 1866, and on the latter date Mr. Brock was honorably discharged, having been with the army from the outbreak of the war until some months after the close of hostilities, his record being a most creditable one.

  On the 3d of August, 1862, occurred the marriage of Mr. Brock and Miss Louisa Moeseh, a daughter of Conrad Moeseh, one of the early settlers of Pennsylvania, living in the vicinity of Lancaster. Mrs. Brock passed away in 1914, leaving two daughters and a son: Katherine, the wife of John Wuethrich, who since 1880 has been a resident of Platte county and is now living in Columbus; Rebecca, the wife

 

422PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

of Christian Wuethrich, who follows farming four miles southwest of Columbus; and John, who married Emma Smith and is mentioned elsewhere in this work.

  Mr. Brock holds membership in the Methodist church, while his political belief is that of the republican party, and for two terms he served as sheriff of Osage county, Missouri. Fraternally he is connected with Baker Post, No. 9, G. A. R., of Columbus and thus maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades. In days of peace he is as true and loyal to the interests of his country and of good government as when he followed the nation's starry banner on the battlefields of the south.


DAVID T. WILLIAMS.

  David T. Williams has now reached the eightieth milestone on life's journey and his has been an active and well spent life, rewarded by the fruits of earnest, persistent labor. He is still successfully engaged in farming on section 36, Joliet township, where he has an excellent property that in its well kept appearance indicates his careful supervisor and practical methods. He early recognized the fact that industry wins and he made industry the guiding principle of his business career. He became one of the early settlers of Platte county, arriving here in 1879, and through the intervening years has been closely associated with its agricultural interests, his labors contributing to its progress along that line.

  Mr. Williams was born in Newcastle, Wales, on the 6th of November, 1835. a son of John and Margaret (Evans) Williams, who in. 1852 emigrated to the United States and settled in Waukesha county, Wisconsin, where both passed away. The subject of this review spent the greater part of his boyhood and youth in Wales but attained his majority in Wisconsin. In 1864 he entered the employ of the federal government, driving a hospital ambulance at Nashville, Tennessee. He remained in that city for three years but following his marriage in 1869 began farming the homestead in Wisconsin. He was so occupied for ten years and remained in the Badger state until 1879, when he removed to Platte county, Nebraska, and purchased railroad land near Platte Center, which he cultivated for two years. At the end of that time he bought his present farm, comprising two hundred and forty acres in Joliet township, and in the intervening years has transformed n tract of wild prairie into a well improved and highly cultivated farm. He raises both grain and stock and receives a good annual income from his land. His business affairs are carefully conducted. He has studied the conditions of the soil, recognizes what is needed for various crops and plants and cultivates his fields accordingly, practicing the rotation of crops in order to keep the soil in good condition.

  In 1869 Mr. Williams was united in marriage to Miss Achsa Rees, a daughter of Rees Rees. She was born in Wales and came to the United States in 1867. To Mr. and Mrs. Williams have been born nine children: John, who is married and resides in South Dakota; Elizabeth, the wife of Owen Parry; Rees, who is farming in Joliet township; Mary, the wife of W. W. Parry, of the state of Washington; David, a resident of Monroe, Nebraska; Annie, the wife of William Williams, of Joliet township; Margaret the wife of William Owens, of Waukesha county Wis-

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 423

consin; Helen, the wife of William Griffith, a Methodist Episcopal minister stationed at Dodgeville, Wisconsin; and Walter, at home.

  In politics Mr. Williams has always been a stanch republican but has never been an office seeker. In religious faith he leans towards the Society of Friends. While his mother was a Methodist, his father was a Quaker, the family having been connected with the Society of Friends for many generations. His ancestors came to the new world in the seventeenth century with other Quakers that settled in South Carolina and other parts of the south.

  Mr. Williams has come to an honored old age, for his has been a well spent life. For thirty-six years he has been numbered among the residents of Platte county and is classed with the representative and valued citizens. He has worked persistently and energetically in carrying on and developing his farm and has thus contributed to agricultural progress in the county. After coming to the new world he early became imbued with the spirit of enterprise which has been the dominant factor in the upbuilding of the middle west and throughout the intervening years that spirit has characterized his business affairs. He has lived to see many changes in Platte county during the period of his residence in this state, where for more than a third of a century he has now made his home. At the time of his arrival here there were still large tracts of land that were undeveloped and uncultivated and there were many sod houses and other primitive dwellings, showing that the county had not passed beyond the pioneer period. All this has now changed. Upon the great majority of the farms are commodious and substantial residences with ample barns and outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock. Towns and villages have sprung up and the work of improvement and civilization has been carried forward.

  Mr. Williams has at all times been an interested witness of the changes which have occurred and has done his part toward bringing about general development and improvement, being especially active as an agriculturist.


ROBERT EDWARD WILEY.

  For a long time Robert Edward Wiley was actively engaged in farming in this county, where he settled in pioneer times when the land was still in possession of the government. He secured timber and homestead claims and in the course of years became one of the extensive landowners of the county but is now living retired, enjoying in well earned rest at Monroe the fruits of his former toil. He was born in Kewanee, Henry county, Illinois, February 5, 1850, a son of Robert and Sarah (Wiley) Wiley.

  Robert E. Wiley acquired a good common-school education, supplemented by four years' study in the Kewanee Academy and was thereby well equipped for life's practical and responsible duties. In early manhood he engaged in railroading and afterward was employed in the Henry County Nursery, but in the spring of 1873 left his native state for Nebraska, making his way to Monroe township, Platte county, where he homesteaded eighty acres. He also secured a timber claim of eighty acres and later an additional homestead of eighty acres and as the years passed he prospered in his undertakings, becoming the owner of one thousand acres of rich and valuable land, his property yielding to him a most gratifying annual

 

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