Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

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income. Year after year he carefully tilled his fields and cared for his crops, but at length retired and took up his abode in Monroe. However, he still owns six hundred and forty acres of his land, having sold three hundred and sixty acres. He is also connected with financial interests in the county as vice president of the Monroe Bank. He is likewise a director of the Farmers Elevator at Monroe and is president of the Monroe Coal Company, his investments having been judiciously made.

  In January, 1881, Mr. Wiley was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Jane Brown, who formerly lived in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are well known socially and have an extensive circle of warm friends. Mr. Wiley is an independent democrat in his political views, usually voting with the party yet not considering himself bound by party ties. For two terms he served as county supervisor and made an excellent record in office, but the greater part of his attention has been given to his business affairs, which, wisely directed, have brought to him very gratifying success. Moreover, in all of his business dealings he has sustained an unassailable reputation for integrity.


HON. HENRY CLAYBURN.

  Hon. Henry Clayburn, identified with farming interests in Lost Creek township, has made his home on section 28 for a period of forty-one years. His place is known as Shady Nook Farm and is one of the desirable properties of the township. In community affairs Mr. Clayburn has also been active and has represented his district in the state legislature, to which office he was called by the vote of his fellow townsmen, who have recognized his public spirit and his devotion to the general good. He was born in Yorkshire, England, February 27, 1855, a son of John and Ann (Hampshow) Clayburn, who were also natives of that country. The father worked as a laborer on farms there and never came to the United States.

  Henry Clayburn attended school in Yorkshire but his educational opportunities were limited, for he started to make his own living at a very early age. He left home when but thirteen and was never home for more than two weeks at a time afterwards. He was employed on farms in his native land until 1869, when he crossed the Atlantic to the United States, arriving at New York on the 11th of February. He did not tarry long in the east, however, but made his way at once to Du Page county, Illinois, where he remained until April 1, 1870, when he went to Missouri Valley, Iowa, and soon afterward secured employment as a farm hand in that vicinity. On the 11th of August, 1870, he arrived in Platte county and secured a homestead claim on section 28, Lost Creek township. All was wild prairie covered with the native grasses, which often grew to a great height. There were no schoolhouses and the work of development seemed scarcely begun. Mr. Clayburn helped to build the first schoolhouse in his neighborhood and with characteristic energy started in to make a home, living in a dugout. At that time Columbus was the nearest postoffice and he had to go there for his supplies and to market his produce.

  On Thanksgiving Day of 1878 Mr. Clayburn was married and on the 11th of

 HON. HENRY CLAYBURN

 

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March, 1874, he and his bride began keeping house on the farm which has since been their home. He has set out all of the trees upon the place, which is now appropriately named Shady Nook Farm. He has made all of the other improvements upon his two hundred and forty acres of land, bringing his fields to a high state of cultivation, erecting good barns and outbuildings and dividing his farm by well kept fences so that his fields of convenient size are thus easily cultivated. He also owns one hundred and twenty acres west of the home place. In connection with farming he has raised Duroc-Jersey hogs and in the early days he engaged in the dairy business, keeping Holstein cows. He won success in that undertaking. At a later period, however, he handled shorthorn cattle. He now largely leaves the cultivation, operation and management of his farm to his sons, which enables him to enjoy more leisure and take part in those things which are a matter of interest and recreation to him.

  Mr. Clayburn was married, as previously stated, on Thanksgiving Day of 1873, the lady of his choice being Miss Anna Jane Wright, who was born in New Jersey, a daughter of Ansel J. and Mary S. (Hill) Wright. The mother, also a native of New Jersey, died September 18, 1880. The father, who was a school teacher, was married in the east and then removed to Illinois, living in Stark county, becoming one of the pioneer farmers of that district. He was also a Baptist minister and he took an active and helpful part not only in promoting the moral progress of his community but in establishing standards of civic virtue and promoting the growth and development of the district in which he lived. From Stark county he removed to Henry county, Illinois, where he engaged in both preaching and farming. He enlisted in 1861 at Toulon, Stark county, for one hundred days service in the Civil war. In 1871 he came to Nebraska and secured a homestead in Lost Creek township, Platte county, where again he took active and helpful part in promoting the welfare of the community along material and moral lines. He preached the first sermon ever delivered in his neighborhood. There were only a few houses in the district and all of the families joined in the service. He was also the organizer of the first church of the neighborhood and his teachings were influences for good. His political support was given to the republican party, which found in him an earnest advocate. At the time of his death he was a resident of Davis county, Nebraska, and in his passing the state lost a citizen of sterling worth, whose memory is still enshrined in the hearts of all who knew him.

  To Mr. and Mrs. Clayburn were born twelve children, ten of whom are yet living: John William, who was born September 11, 1874, and is a thresher and farmer living on the old home place; Carrie Belle, the wife of A. E. Glines, a railroad man of Grand Island, Nebraska, by whom she has three sons; George H., who was born March 1, 1877, and died at the age of ten years; Robert E., who was born December 3, 1878, and was educated in the Boyles Business College at Omaha, and is now conducting a branch tailoring establishment at South Omaha; Lelia L., who is the wife of Ed Hill, a farmer of Monroe township, and has four children, two sons and two daughters; Luther M., who was born January 6, 1882, a farmer of Lost Creek township, who is married and has two sons; Clarence W., who was born January 21, 1884, and is deceased; Birt A., who was born May 17, 1887, and is upon the home farm; Leroy H., who was born December 25,1889, and attended the Columbus Business College, while at the present time he is a salesman for the Union Switch Signal Company of San Francisco, California; Myrtle E., the

 

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wife of August Olson, of Monroe township, by whom she has two sons, Ansel Bennett, who was born March 14, 1894, and was graduated from the Kearney State Normal School in 1915, being now a teacher at Bridgeport, Nebraska; and Pearl May, who is a graduate of the high school at Grand Island, where she is now clerking in a store.

  Mr. Clayburn has reared a large family, for whom he has made liberal provision along educational and other lines and they are now a credit to his name. In his business career he has won success by earnest effort and well directed energy and aside from his farming interests he is a stockholder in the Monroe Farmers Elevator Association and in the Independent Telephone Company of Monroe.

  Fraternally Mr. Clayburn is connected with Mystic Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Monroe, which society he joined more than thirty years ago, at Platte Center, and of which he has been an active representative. He also belongs to the local organization of the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Monroe. Both he and his wife are consistent and faithful members of the Baptist church, doing all in their power to promote its growth and extend its influence. In politics he is a democrat and has filled various township offices, while in 1914 he was chosen to represent his district in the state legislature, having the unusual distinction of securing the nomination on both the democratic and republican tickets. He served for the term of 1915, and fathered bill No. 185, known as the weed bill, which provided that the road overseer can cut the weeds along the highway and charge to the land -- its owner or its tenant. He is interested in all that pertains to the welfare of the county, seeks its benefit along many lines and is widely recognized as a public-spirited citizen whose efforts have been far-reaching and beneficial.


EDWARD D. JENKINSON.

  Edward D. Jenkinson, engaged in general farming in Lost Creek township, his home being on section 31, was born in Grand Prairie township, June 22, 1879, a son of D. W. Jenkinson, who is mentioned at length on another page of this work. His education was acquired in the schools of Monroe and in a business college at Galveston, Texas. His youthful days were spent in the usual manner of farm lads and he early became familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He remained at home until he attained his majority and then started out in business life on his own account as a farmer on section 31, Lost Creek township, where he has since resided. He now has one hundred and twenty acres of land which he has carefully and systematically cultivated, his labors rendering the soil very productive. He annually harvests good crops, raising the various cereals best adapted to soil and climate, and he also devotes considerable attention to the raising of Percheron horses, this branch of his business constituting an important source of revenue. He is this year beginning to feed cattle and if he finds it profitable will continue it along with his other activities.

  On the 5th of September, 1907, Mr. Jenkinson was united in marriage to Miss Belle Harris, who was born at St. Edward, Nebraska, a daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Wiley) Harris. Her father is a well known agriculturist of this state, having large land holdings in Boone county. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkinson have become the

 

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parents of two children, Edward David and Lloyd Thomas. The parents have wide acquaintance in their part of the county and enjoy the warm regard and friendship of all with whom they have been brought in contact.

  Mr. Jenkinson votes with the republican party but has no political aspiration never seeking office as a reward for party fealty. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and also holds membership in the Presbyterian church and in these associations are found the rules which govern his life. He ever holds to his principles and is recognized as a man of sterling personal worth throughout the community in which he lives.


JAMES GREIG.

  James Greig, living in St. Edward, is a retired farmer and stockman of Platte county and is also well known as a prominent figure in political circles, having previously represented his district in the state legislature. He was born in Ontario, Canada, March 29, 1846, and is a son of James and Catherine (Pim) Greig. The father was born in Banffshire, Scotland, while the mother's birth occurred in Ontario, Canada. James Greig, Sr., obtained a common-school education and when fifteen years of age left the land of hills and heather, coming with his parents to the new world. He engaged in business for a time as a nurseryman. In 1869 he went to Houston, Texas, where he conducted a nursery, and he was also active in public affairs of the community. He belonged to the Presbyterian church and his life was guided according to its teachings.

  James Greig, whose name introduces this review, acquired a common-school education and remained a resident of Canada until 1869, when at the age of twenty-three years he crossed the border into the United States, living on farms in Iowa and Illinois until 1871, when he came to Nebraska and homesteaded in Seward county. He had made the journey overland and lived in true pioneer style in the early days, doing his farm work with oxen and occupying a dugout. Only here and there had settlement been made to show that the work of civilization had been begun and much of the land was still in its primitive condition. Mr. Greig had to perform the arduous task of breaking the sod and preparing the wild prairie for planting. In 1880 he took a timber claim and a preemption in Holt county and carried on general farming and stock-raising, becoming owner of three hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land which he brought to a high state of cultivation. In 1892 he purchased property on section 4, Woodville township, Platte county, and now has four hundred and twenty acres of valuable land. He has always engaged extensively in raising stock, handling full blooded Red Polled cattle, which he sells all over Platte and also in adjoining counties. He likewise raises thoroughbred Duroc-Jersey hogs and his live-stock interests have ever constituted an important feature of his business.

  In 1874 Mr. Greig was united in marriage to Miss Stella White, a native of Wisconsin and a daughter of William and Alice (Smith) White, who passed away at the ages of eighty-two and fifty years respectively. The father came to Nebraska by ox-team in 1871 and took up a homestead claim in York county. In 1891 he took up his abode in Valley county, this state, where the remainder of his life was

 

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spent. He devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career and was a gentleman of retiring disposition whose worth, however, was widely recognized. Mr. and Mrs. Greig have become the parents of ten children, as follows: Paul, who operates the home farm, is married and has three children; Bertha, the wife of Frank Nelson, of Valley county, by whom she has four children; Roy, an agriculturist residing in St. Edward; Mary, the wife of Allen Bennett, who follows farming in Woodville township and by whom she has two children; Ruth, who gave her hand in marriage to Albin Pearson, of Woodville township, and is now the mother of two children; Grace, who is a graduate of the Agricultural College and is now teaching school in Valley county; and Jennie, Robert, Evelyn and Edgar, all at home.

  Mr. Greig belongs to the Farmers Union and has been prominent and active in public affairs. His political allegiance is given the democratic party, which recognizes him as one of its local leaders. While in Holt county he served for six years as county supervisor, making a most creditable record in that office. In 1907 he was elected to represent Platte county, which is the twenty-fourth district, in the state legislature, where he was actively connected with much important work done during the session. In fact it has been said that no general assembly ever passed so many beneficial legislative measures. They put through the anti-pass and railroad legislation, the guaranty bank bill and the pure food laws, all of which Mr. Greig strongly favored. He gave careful consideration to each question which came up for settlement and his support of a measure was an indication of his honest conviction concerning its worth. He has always maintained a progressive attitude in citizenship as well as in business affairs and his value as a public official is widely acknowledged.


WILLIAM THOMAZIN.

  William Thomazin, busily engaged in general farming, his efforts resulting in the winning of substantial success, makes his home on section 4, Joliet township where he owns and cultivates one hundred and sixty acres of land known as the Fairview Stock Farm. He was born near Joliet, in Will county, Illinois, June 22, 1869, and is a son of Thomas and Mary A. (Roberts) Thomazin, both of whom were natives of Lincolnshire, England. The father was a wagon maker and followed his trade in his native country until 1863, when he sailed for the new world, thinking that he might better his financial condition by utilizing the business opportunities offered on this side the Atlantic. He made his way to Will county, Illinois, where he became the owner of a farm of forty acres, thereon residing for a decade, or until 1873, when he came to Platte county and secured a homestead on section 4 in what is now Joliet township, which he aided in organizing. In early days he did his farming with oxen and his first home was a sod and frame house. He afterward erected the first frame house in the township. He found pioneer conditions here at the time of his arrival, for Platte county was then upon the western frontier and gave little evidence of the changes that were soon to occur and make it a prosperous and populous district. All around was wild prairie and undeveloped land and in early days the grasshoppers greatly devastated the crops which the settlers

 

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raised. In addition to farming his land Mr. Thomazin aided in building many of the early homes of the district. He was a very progressive and enterprising man and his well directed business affairs brought him a measure of success that made him in time the owner of six hundred acres of land in Joliet township. He was also active and prominent in its public affairs, serving as its first assessor and aiding in organizing school district No. 64. In politics he was an earnest democrat, giving unfaltering allegiance to the party and doing all in his power to advance its interests and secure its success. In the later years of his life he lived retired upon the home farm, enjoying a period of well earned rest. He had planted many trees upon his place and converted the raw prairie into a beautiful farm property, upon which he continued his residence until death called him in 1893, when he was sixty-seven years of age. His wife survived him for two decades and passed away March 3, 1913, at the advanced age of eighty-four years.

  William Thomazin, whose name introduces this record, is the fifth in order of birth in a family of seven children and was the first born in the United States. He attended the district school which his father assisted in organizing and spent his boyhood days upon the farm in the usual manner of farm lads, early becoming familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. In 1893 he began farming on his own account on the old home place. He has lived continuously on section 4, Joliet township, since 1873, or for a period of forty-two years, and there owns and cultivates one hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land. He also owns land in Banner county, Nebraska. His home place is known as Fairview Stock Farm and there he raises shorthorn cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs, for which he finds a ready market in the neighborhood in which he lives. He is well known as a good stockman, being an excellent judge of stock and believing in raising high-grade animals. In addition to his farming interests he aided in organizing the Farmers Elevator Company of Lindsay, of which he was one of the first directors and the second president.

  In 1896 Mr. Thomazin was married to Miss Matilda Born, whose birth occurred in Schoenwalde, Pomerania, Germany, a daughter of Gottlieb and Charlotte (Loyck) Born, who were likewise natives of Germany. The father was a tailor by trade and engaged in that business in the fatherland but in 1878 he emigrated to the new world and took up a homestead in St. Bernard township, Platte county, which constitutes the present site of the town of St. Bernard. He is active in all public affairs and has become a well-to-do citizen, his land holdings aggregating two hundred acres. In religious faith he is a Lutheran and assisted in organizing the church of that denomination in St. Bernard township. To Mr. and Mrs. Thomazin have been born six children: Laverna, who is engaged in teaching in the district schools of Platte county; Odetta, a high-school student in Lindsay; and Edgar, Charlotte, Earl and John Robert, all at home.

  Fraternally Mr. Thomazin is connected with the Modern Woodmen camp of Lindsay and has filled all of its offices. In his political views he is a democrat and is recognized as a local party leader. In 1901 he was appointed to the office of county supervisor for district No. 3 and filled that position for two years. He has served as a member of the democratic central committee in his locality and does everything in his power to insure the growth and success of his party. He has also been a member of the school board and he is interested in various movements for advancing the welfare and upbuilding of the district in which he lives. He has

 

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many substantial traits of character and his dominant qualities are those which have won for him warm regard among all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact.


JOHN ALLEN ABART, D. O. M.

  Dr. John Allen Abart, engaged in the practice of veterinary surgery in Columbus, was born February 5, 1887, near Schuyler, Nebraska, a son of Henry and Pauline Abart, who were farming people, living a few miles southeast of Schuyler. The father died in the year 1888. In the public schools of Schuyler the son pursued his education, passing through the consecutive grades to the high school and then, deciding to make the practice of veterinary surgery a life work, he entered the Chicago Veterinary College, from which he was graduated with the degree of D. O. M. in 1912. As soon as he was old enough to begin work in the fields he aided his mother upon the home farm until he went to college. Following his graduation he bought out the practice and hospital of Dr. L. P. Carstenson, of Columbus, the hospital being located at Nos. 201 to 205 West Eleventh street. There he enjoys a liberal patronage which comes to him from the surrounding country. He is a conscientious worker in his profession and keeps in touch with the advancement that is being made in veterinary practice and the discoveries which scientific investigation are bringing to light.

  After leaving college Dr. Abart was united in marriage to Miss Rosa Leavy, a daughter of L. H. Leavy, a druggist of Columbus. Mrs. Abart is a registered pharmacist, working with her father in the drug store. She is well informed along general as well as professional lines and is very successful in her chosen life work. Both Dr. and Mrs. Abart have a wide acquaintance in the city where they reside and goodwill is entertained for them by all who know them.


REV. RICHARD NEUMAERKER, D. D.

  The Rev. Richard Neumaerker, whose full name is John Richard William Neumaerker, is pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran church at Columbus and is one of the prominent divines of that faith in the state. He was born November 6, 1844, at Sprottau, Saxe-Weimar, Germany, a son of Pastor William and Ottilie (Carl) Neumaerker, of Blankenhain, Saxe-Weimar. His education was acquired in the schools of Blankenhain and also under private instruction from his father. He afterward became a student in the gymnasium at Weimar, where he pursued his studies from 1860 until 1865, being graduated at Easter time with highest honors. He studied theology at the Universities of Jena and Halle from the spring of 1865 until the fall of 1868 and passed his examination as a candidate in theology at the latter date. From that time until the summer of 1870 he was assistant professor at the gymnasium at Meiningen, in the duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, and was the tutor of Prince Karl, of Hesse-Phillippsthal. During the German-French war he was field deacon in the service of the Red Cross on the battlefields at Metz, Sedan and

 REV. RICHARD NEUMAERKER

 

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Strassburg, and in October, 1870, was called back and ordained as vicar of the court church at Weimar and assistant professor at the gymnasium. In 1872 he was called as pastor of the Evangelical congregation of the grand duchy of Luxemburg and from 1882 until 1885 was pastor of the church at Mihla, in Saxe-Weimar.

  In the spring of the latter year the Rev. Neumaerker was called to America as pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran St. Peter's congregation at Barada, Richardson county, Nebraska. From 1894 until 1899 he was pastor of St. John's Evangelical church in St. Joseph, Missouri, and in the latter year was called to Columbus, Nebraska, as pastor of the German Evangelical Protestant church there. He is a member of the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Nebraska, which is a district synod of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. For eight years he acted as president of the synod and recognition of his splendid work in behalf of his church came to him when Midland College of Atchison, Kansas, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.

  The Rev. Neumaerker was married in 1875, at Lissa, Posen, to Miss Elizabeth Roth, a daughter of Pastor Carl August Roth, of Sonnenburg, in the province of Brandenburg, Germany. Their children are: William, who is now a practicing physician of Columbus, Nebraska; John, who is a teacher in the Stuyvesant high school at New York; and Emmy, the wife of A. C. Platow, of Fontanelle, Nebraska. Liberal education as well as a clearly defined purpose qualify the Rev. Neumaerker for the holy calling to which he has devoted his life and in which he has made steady progress, his consecration, his zeal and the effectiveness of his service winning him a place among the foremost representatives of the ministry in his part of the state.


ANDERS ANDERSON.

  Anders Anderson has been engaged in merchandising at Rosenburg in Walker township for several years. He is a native of Jylland, Denmark, born November 11, 1867, and is a son of Lauritz and Hannah (Terkelson) Anderson. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, served with the infantry troops in the war of 1864 and never came to the new world, spending his entire life in Denmark.

  Anders Anderson pursued his education in the schools of his native country and worked upon the home farm until he reached the age of sixteen years, after which he learned the painting trade. He served for nine months in the army while still a resident of Denmark and in 1890 when a young man of twenty-three years made the long voyage to the new world with Platte county as his destination. Following his arrival in Nebraska he worked as a farm hand, after which he began farming on his own account on rented land. He then bought eighty acres in Joliet township, which he cultivated for five years and then sold, buying twenty acres in Rosenburg. He has divided that tract into lots, which he is selling to people who wished to live near the church and store. In 1909 Mr. Anderson and Mr. Bubl purchased the Rosenburg store of Eske Petersen, conducting it under the style of Petersen & Bubl. Mr. Anderson, however, became sole proprietor and carried on the business successfully for about six years. Although he is still in charge he has made arrangements to sell his store and expects to turn his attention to other pursuits. In the spring of 1916
Vol. II-21

 

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Mr. Anderson was married to Miss Anna Christensen, daughter of Jens and Jensine (Michaelsen) Christensen, and they have become the parents of five children: Laurina, Alma Ethel, Sophia Amelia, Otto Valdmar and Agnes Elizabeth. The family are Danish Lutherans in religious faith and are loyal to the teachings of the church and its purposes. Mr. Anderson gives his political allegiance to the republican party and for the past three years has served as road overseer. There is nothing spectacular in his career. He has lived a quiet life but has manifested those substantial qualities of manhood and citizenship which constitute the bulwark of American life. He is diligent, energetic and upright in all his dealings and connections.


HENRY LATTIMER SMITH.

  More than a century ago George Washington said: "Agriculture is the most useful as well as the most honorable occupation of man," and the truth of this statement has found verification in all of the ages. Until his death, which occurred October 19, 1915, after a few hours' illness, Henry Lattimer Smith was actively identified with farming in Oconee township, his home being on section 36, where he owned and cultivated an excellent tract of land. He had altogether one hundred and sixty-five acres -- a five acre tract on which he resides and a quarter section elsewhere.

  Mr. Smith was born in Syracuse, New York, April 25, 1856, a son of James R. and Martha (Jones) Smith, both of whom were natives of Ireland, the former born in County Fermanagh and the latter in County Cavan. Their last days, however, were spent in Platte county, Nebraska. In early life the father engaged in farming in Ireland but in the early '50s came to the United States and settled in New York. In the '60s he removed westward to Illinois, where he spent a few years, living during that period in Mercer and Rock Island counties. In 1880, however, he left Illinois and came to Nebraska, establishing his home in Platte county. He purchased land in Lost Creek township, where he met pioneer conditions. The town of Monroe had not been laid out and a branch of the railroad was just being built through the district. He began farming on his land and with characteristic energy carried on the work of the fields, adding to his place many substantial modern improvements and accessories. In time he became the owner of considerable land and he engaged in the raising of a good grade of Hereford cattle. He was a member of the Monroe Farmers Association. He continued to occupy the old homestead to the time of his death and in his passing the community lost one of its representative citizens. He was very active in church work and was ever willing to help any denomination and thus further the moral development of the community. He helped to build and always held office in the Episcopal church in Monroe, and he was also somewhat active in politics as a supporter of the republican party. High manly qualities won him enduring regard and his memory is yet cherished by all with whom he came in contact.

  Henry L. Smith was the fifth in order of birth in a family of eight children, three of whom are yet living in Platte county. He acquired his education in the public schools of Mercer and of Rock Island counties, Illinois, and he was trained to farm labor, all of the sons working together with their father on the old home-

 

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stead. After attaining his majority he began farming on his own account in Lost Creek township, where he lived until 1910, when he removed to the five acre tract near Monroe, where he was living at the time of his death. However, he still farmed his one hundred and sixty acres in the old home place, carrying on general agricultural pursuits. Ever greatly interested in the cause of education, he removed to the vicinity of the town in order that his children might have better school opportunities. In addition to his other business affairs he was a stockholder in the Monroe Farmers Association and in the Farmers Coal Company.

  Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Irene Sloss, who was born in Dodge county, Nebraska, and is a daughter of John and Susan (Kelley) Sloss, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Ohio. Mr. Sloss became one of the pioneers of Dodge county, Nebraska, and was active there in early day affairs. He also owned land and became one of the representative farmers of the district. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born three children: Susan, a graduate of the Normal School at Peru, Nebraska, and now a teacher in the public schools of McCook, this state; Anna K., who attended the Normal School at Kearney, Nebraska, and is now teaching in Monroe; and Lois, a pupil in the high school of Monroe.

  For many years Mr. Smith belonged to the Modern Woodmen of America and was active in the work of the local camp. He also affiliated with the Tribe of Ben Hur and was one of its active representatives. He never had political aspirations, yet held some minor offices. The cause of education, however, found in him a stalwart champion and he continuously served on the school board of his district until 1914. He belonged to the Episcopal church, was one of its earnest workers and generous contributors and was very active in soliciting funds for the erection of the house of worship. He was a man of high principles whose life was guided by honorable motives which found expression in his straightforward business dealings, in his devotion to the general welfare and in his fair treatment of his fellowmen. He was laid to rest in the Friends cemetery at Monroe.


LAURITZ JOHNSON.

  Lauritz Johnson, who ranks among the capable and progressive farmers of Woodville township, was born in Denmark on the 6th of December, 1861. His parents, Jurgen and Gertrude (Jurgensen) Larsen, both passed their entire lives in that country.

  The subject of this review received his education in his native land and there grew to manhood, but when twenty-seven years of age he emigrated to the United States, desiring to take advantage of the opportunities which he had heard awaited the energetic young man here. He came to Platte county, Nebraska, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 22, Woodville township, where he still resides. At that time fifty acres of the place were broken but there were no buildings upon it. He at once began to put the remainder of the farm under cultivation and to make the necessary improvements. His residence is commodious and comfortable, and the barns and other buildings are well adapted to their purposes. Everything about the place is well kept up, and it is one of the valuable properties of his locality. He does general farming. employing up-to-date methods and improved

 

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machinery, and his labors have been rewarded with a gratifying measure of prosperity.

  In 1897 Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Christina Hendricksen, who was born in North Schleswig, Germany, a daughter of Mads Hendricksen, a farmer, who is now living retired in Woodville township. To this union have been born three children, Max, Arthur and Alma, all at home.

  Mr. Johnson is a stanch adherent of the democratic party and takes a commendable interest in everything relating to the public welfare but has never sought office as his farm work makes heavy demands upon his time and energy. His religious faith is indicated by the fact that he holds membership in the Danish Lutheran church, and no movement seeking the moral advancement of his community lacks his hearty cooperation and support. During the many years that he has resided here he has not only gained recognition as a capable farmer but also as a good citizen and as a man of sterling integrity.


CARSTEN PETERSEN, SR.

  Carsten Petersen, Sr., engaged in general agricultural pursuits on section 9, Lost Creek township, is the owner of an excellent farm of four hundred and thirty-eight acres. He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, near Bredstedt, September 19, 1849, a son of Carsten and Anna K. (Jacobson) Petersen, in whose family were five children, of whom the subject of this review is the third in order of birth. The father followed farming and thus provided a comfortable living for his family.

  Carsten Petersen left Germany to avoid military duty, coming to America in the fall of 1869, when about twenty years of age. He made his way to Racine county, Wisconsin, there spending the winter, and in the spring of 1870 arrived in Platte county, after which he began work as a farm hand near Columbus, spending four years in that way. In the fall of 1870, however, he took up a homestead on section 8, Lost Creek township, securing eighty acres of land. He continued to work at farm labor, however, in order to acquire some ready capital, and at the end of four years became the occupant of his farm, to which he has since added from time to time until he is now the owner of a large and valuable property of four hundred and thirty-eight acres. In the early days he engaged extensively in raising cattle, but now devotes his energies entirely to general agricultural pursuits. However, he is practically living retired, having largely turned the management and operation of the farm over to his sons, while he is enjoying a rest that he has truly earned and richly deserves. In addition to his farming interests Mr. Petersen is a stockholder and director in the Platte County Bank of Platte Center and in the Monroe Independent Telephone Company.

  Mr. Petersen has been married twice. In the fall of 1874 he wedded Margaret Holman, a daughter of Diedrick Holman, but she passed away thirty years ago, leaving five children as follows: Anna, the wife of Henry Hagelmann, a farmer living in Grand Prairie township; Tilda, the wife of Edward Arndt, a farmer of Lost Creek township; Emma, who became the wife of Otto Mueller, of Grand Prairie township, and died in 1913; Carsten, who married Alvina Hoeffelman and is a resi-

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 439

dent farmer of Lost Creek township; and Mary, the wife of William Brunken, who follows farming in Oklahoma. On the 30th of March, 1887, Mr. Petersen was again married, his second union being with Ida L. Martinson, a daughter of B. P. Martinson. She, too, has passed to the home beyond, her death having occurred May 24, 1913. To this union were born the following: Minnie, the wife of Charles F. Grossnicklaus, a farmer of Shell Creek township; Lucy, who married William Griepentrog, who is farming in Lost Creek township; Celia, the wife of Frank Weber, also a farmer of Lost Creek township; and Chris and Freida, both at home.

  In his political views Mr. Petersen is an earnest republican, ever loyal to the party because of his firm belief in its principles. For four years he filled the office of road supervisor and for forty-two years he was school treasurer, acting in that capacity for a longer consecutive period than any other known incumbent. He belongs to the German Lutheran church, of which he served as an officer for six years, and at all times he has been a generous contributor to its support and an active worker in its behalf. He is also accounted one of the most intelligent and progressive farmers of his community, ranking high in public regard, and that his life has been well spent and his labors carefully directed is indicated in the success which has crowned his labors and which finds visible evidence in his large, modern residence and improved farm buildings standing in the midst of highly cultivated and productive fields.


ESKE PETERSEN.

  Eske Petersen is now living practically retired, although for many years he figured as a representative farmer and business man of Platte county. He makes his home on section 10, Walker township, where he is comfortably situated, having there a good farm which returns him a substantial annual income. He is among the worthy citizens that Denmark has furnished to the new world, his birth having occurred in that country September 19, 1852, his parents being Peter Eskeson and Mary Clausen. The father served his country in the war of 1848. He was a farmer by occupation, living an active, useful life, and his course was ever guided by the teachings of the Lutheran church, of which he was a consistent member.

  Eske Petersen attended school in Denmark to the age of sixteen years, when he began work as a farm hand. When eighteen years of age he entered the Danish army, with which he was connected for one year. Some time afterward he determined to try his fortune in the new world and in 1881 made the voyage to America, after which he crossed the country to Platte county, Nebraska. Here he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 10, Walker township, for which he paid five hundred and ten dollars. The improvements upon the place were a sod house and straw barn. He paid thirty dollars down upon his property, and his friends and neighbors indorsed his note for the remainder. He was then entirely without capital but he possessed a resolute spirit and determination and upon those qualities built his success. It required ready money to begin the development of a farm and as he had none he went to Louisville, Nebraska, where he worked in the stone quarries until he had made and saved enough to enable him to buy a team and plows. He then began farming on section 10, where he has since lived and his

 

440PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

labors are evidenced in the carefully tilled fields and many improvements which he has added to his property. From 1901 to 1909 he conducted a store on his farm, and he also worked to secure the establishment of a postoffice, which he named Rosenburg after his old home place in Denmark. As time passed on success rewarded his efforts, and he not only became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land in Platte county but also three hundred and sixty acres of land in Greeley county, Nebraska. He has since given land to all of his children, but still retains eighty acres of his original purchase, where he resides on section 10, Walker township.

  Mr. Petersen was united in marriage to Miss Marguerite Sorensen, who was born in Denmark in 1861. Her parents, Michael and Mettie Sorensen, arrived in Platte county in 1878 and the father purchased raw prairie land in Walker township. He took an active part in early day affairs and did everything possible to further the welfare and interests of the community, including the organization of a church. In 1907 he removed to Minnesota, where he now makes his home. To Mr. and Mrs. Petersen have been born seven children: Anna, a resident of Greeley county; Mattie, the wife of Christ Petersen; Michael, farming in Greeley county; Ellen M. and Peter A., twins; John; and Soren.

  Mr. Petersen has always been most helpful to the people of his nationality who have come to Platte county, assisting them in getting settled and starting in business. He has no political aspirations but has always been willing and ready to aid in any movement or measure for advancing the public good. He helped organize the Danish Lutheran church at Rosenburg, and his entire life has been in consistent harmony with his professions as a representative of that denomination. He has many sterling traits of character, has ever been found reliable in business, progressive in citizenship and devoted to the welfare of his family and friends.


EDWARD F. LUSIENSKI.

  Edward F. Lusienski is proprietor of the Clother Hotel at Platte Center and is proving a popular host by his earnest efforts to please his patrons and by his progressive methods. He was born in Columbus, Nebraska, December 24, 1884, his parents being Constance and Katherine Lusienski, of Galicia, Poland, whence they came to the United States, making their way to Columbus, where the father followed the shoemaker's trade, which he had previously learned in his native land. He entered the employ of Greisen Brothers of Columbus and with them remained until his removal to Platte Center, where he continued to work as a shoemaker until his death on the 2d of November, 1903. His widow survives and is still living in Platte Center.

  Edward F. Lusienski acquired his education in the Catholic schools, spending a year and a half as a student in Omaha. After laying aside his textbooks he began clerking and was connected with general merchandising for five years, after which he took up the plumbing trade. On the 1st of November, 1914, he purchased the Clother Hotel, of which he is now the proprietor. He studies the needs and wishes of the traveling public and is ready to meet every demand. An excellent

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 441

cuisine, well furnished rooms and honorable business methods are the attractions which bring travelers to his hostelry, so that his business has become a paying one.

  On the 4th of November, 1914, Mr. Lusienski was united in marriage to Miss Nellie Regan, a daughter of John and Mary Regan, of Platte Center. In politics he is a liberal republican and for two terms filled the office of township clerk. He belongs to the Fraternal Order of Eagles and adheres to the faith of the Catholic church, in which he was reared. He is still a young man but has already gained a creditable position in business circles and is now well known as one of the representative residents of Platte Center.


CHRISTIAN PETERSEN.

  In the history of Platte county's pioneer development it is imperative that mention be made of Christian Petersen, who came here at an early day and whose work was of the greatest worth in the reclamation of wild lands and in the development of the county to its present stage of progress and prosperity. Mr. Petersen is a native of Denmark, born on the island of Langeland, December 4, 1834, so that he has now passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey. He pursued a common-school education and for one year was connected with the Danish army, being a servant to the general. His business activity in his native country was along industrial lines, being for twelve years employed at carpenter work.

  The opportunities of the new world, however, attracted Mr. Petersen and in 1873 he crossed the Atlantic, making his way to Vermont, where for a year he was employed in the marble quarries. He afterward spent three years in the iron mines of New York and in May, 1877, came to the west, making his way to Platte county, where he homesteaded eighty acres on section 14, Walker township. Since that time he has been identified with the agricultural interests of the district. His first home was a sod house and he lived in true pioneer style. All around were rolling prairies stretching far and wide with little token of the plow, with no barrier fences for miles, spangled in June with a million wild flowers and in December covered with one unbroken sheet of dazzling snow. There were many hardships and trials to be borne in those early days before the comforts of civilization could be secured. Mr. Petersen broke the prairie sod with ox teams and hauled his lumber from Columbus with a yoke of oxen a distance of thirty-five miles, but he persevered in his work and in time his labors brought substantial results. After a year he bought forty acres of land on section 23 and six years later made purchase of eighty acres on section 15, Walker township, which is now owned by his son, P. J. Petersen. Year by year he carefully tilled the soil and continued his farm work until he brought his land to a high state of cultivation, making it a productive and valuable farm.

  On the 4th of September, 1857, Mr. Petersen was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta Christianson, who was born in Denmark in 1836, a daughter of Christian and Karen (Hanson) Christianson, and passed away in the year 1914. She took a very active and helpful part in church work and was a woman of many admirable traits of character. To Mr. and Mrs. Petersen were born six children, as follows: Hans J., who is a resident of Albion, Nebraska; Mary, who is the wife of Ludwig

 

442PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

Swanson, of St. Joseph, Missouri; Caroline, now Mrs. Louis Knudsen and a resident of Texas; Nels C., living at St. Edward, Nebraska; Peter J,, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this work; and Carl Christian, who makes his home at Clear Lake, Wisconsin.

  Mr. Petersen holds membership in the Danish Lutheran church, which he aided in organizing in 1879 and of which he has been a very active and helpful member, doing all in his power to promote its growth and extend its influence, while his life has ever been guided by its teachings. In his political views he has long been a republican, earnest in support of the party but not an active party worker. He has always given his attention to his business affairs, and has long been numbered with the leading and energetic farmers of the community. His residence in the county now covers thirty-eight years, during which time he has witnessed many changes. No longer is the sod house to be seen, for such primitive homes have given place to commodious and substantial farm residences and in place of the wild prairie grasses are to be found highly cultivated fields, bringing forth rich crops of corn and other cereals. Mr. Petersen can relate many interesting incidents of the early days and is justly numbered among the honored pioneers of the county.


JOHN BLASER.

  John Blaser is a resident farmer of Loup township, living on section 22. His entire life has been passed in this county, his birth having occurred in Columbus on the 8th of November, 1869, his parents being Mr. and Mrs Nicholas Blaser. At the usual age he became a public-school pupil and is indebted to the common-school system of the county for the educational privileges which he enjoyed and which fitted him for the later duties of life. In 1870 his parents left Columbus and took up their abode upon the farm upon which John Blaser now resides, so that he was reared in the usual manner of farm lads, taking his place in the fields as soon as his age and strength qualified him for such tasks. He thus became familiar with every phase of agricultural life and, starting out for himself, he resolved to continue in the same line of labor. He began farming on his own account in 1893 by renting land from his father. In addition to tilling the soil he began raising stock and makes a specialty of handling Hereford cattle and Poland China hogs. He is an excellent judge of stock, so that he makes judicious purchases, while his sales return to him a gratifying annual income. He has made all of the improvements upon his farm, which is an excellent property, equipped with good buildings and machinery and all of the accessories and conveniences of the model farm property of the twentieth century. In addition to his other business interests he is a stockholder in the Duncan Independent Telephone Company.

  In June, 1893, Mr. Blaser was married to Miss Mary Lemp, a daughter of Gotlieb Lemp, who came from Switzerland to the new world and in the year 1871 established his home in Loup township. Three children, Ella, Lilly and Quenten, have been born of this marriage.

  In his political views Mr Blaser is a democrat but has never sought nor desired public office. However, he has served as school director for two terms and is a stalwart champion of the cause of education. He belongs to the German Reformed

 JOHN BLASER AND FAMILY

 

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