Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II



church and guides his life according to its teachings, being an upright, honorable man, highly esteemed by all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact.


  Emil G. and Ernest W. Loseke are the owners of Pleasant View Farm, a valuable, attractive and very desirable property situated on section 30, Bismark township. They are sons of Gerhard Loseke, and therefore representatives of one of the old pioneer families of the county, which has now had representatives of four generations of this family within its borders. The elder, Emil Gottfried Loseke, was born on the old family homestead in Bismark township, January 21, 1891, while Ernest Walter Loseke was born at the same place on the 19th of March, 1893. No important event occurred to vary for them the routine of farm life during the days of their boyhood and youth. The parents, realizing the value of education, gave them good opportunities in that direction and when their textbooks were put aside they were thoroughly trained to farm work that they might be thus well qualified to take up business responsibilities and duties in later life. From their father they received as a gift the one hundred and sixty acres of land which they now own and cultivate. This is an excellently improved farm, presenting a neat and thrifty appearance which indicates their careful supervision, their practical labors and their progressive methods.

  Both brothers are married and pleasantly situated in homes of their own. On the 11th of June, 1913, Emil G. Loseke was joined in wedlock to Miss Anna M. Mueller, a daughter of R. C. Mueller, a resident farmer of Bismark township, and to them has been born a daughter, Evelyn. The younger brother, Ernest W., was married October 11, 1914, to Miss Martha M. Arnold, a native of Gage county, Nebraska. They are well known young people of Bismark township and enjoy the friendship and high regard of many with whom they have been associated from early life. Pleasant View Farm is well named and the hospitality of the two homes found thereon is well known in the community. A fact equally evident is that the owners of this farm are enterprising, progressive young business men who are rapidly winning their way to a foremost place among the representative agriculturists of the county.


  Owen Parry, who is residing on section 25, Joliet township, is numbered among the successful farmers of his locality and is a representative of that class of citizens whom we term self-made men. Starting out in life empty-handed, he thoughtfully considered the possibilities and resolved that he would win success if it could be obtained by honorable methods and indefatigable energy. Throughout his life he has worked persistently and diligently and when one avenue of opportunity has seemed closed he has marked out another path which has brought him to the desired goal.



  Mr. Parry was born on the 18th of April, 1854, in North Wales, near Pwllheli, a son of Robert and Mary (Roberts) Parry. The father followed agricultural pursuits throughout his entire active life. In 1884 Owen Parry came to America and first settled in Gage county, Nebraska, where he remained for six and one-half years. In 1891 he removed to his present farm in Joliet township, Platte county, which then consisted of two hundred and forty acres but to which he has since added one hundred and sixty acres on section 26, so that the farm now comprises four hundred acres. The fields are enclosed by strong, durable fences, and he has made a number of improvements upon the place. He raises stock in addition to growing the usual crops and his labors yield him a good profit.

  On September 28, 1892, Mr. Parry was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Williams, a daughter of David T. and Achsa (Rees) Williams, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Parry have become the parents of eleven children, one of whom is deceased, the others being Robert O., Achsa, Mary, David R., Owen W., Watkin H., Eleanor, Rees F., Margaret and Sarah Jane Vivian, all at home.

  Mr. Parry does not consider himself bound by the dictates of party leaders but on occasion votes independently, although he believes in the wisdom of the policies of the republican party. His life has been one of well directed and useful activity and the success that he has gained is well deserved. His standards of conduct are high and his genuine worth has gained him the warm friendship of many. His life record should serve to encourage and stimulate others who must start out as he did, for his career shows what can be accomplished when energy and ambition point out the way. His valuable farm property is the visible evidence of well directed energy and thrift. Coming to this county, he resolutely set to work to make his farm a productive and valuable property and the result of his labors is seen in well cultivated fields which annually produce good crops. In all of his business dealings he has been thoroughly reliable and he enjoys in unusual degree the confidence and goodwill of those with whom he has been brought in contact.


  Gustav Benning, who owns and operates a well improved farm on section 34, Bismark township, was born in Pomerania, Germany, December 24, 1867. His father, Joachim Benning, was born on Christmas Day, 1826, and the birth of his mother, who bore the maiden name of Christina Jones, occurred on the 3d of July, 1834. In 1868 they left their native land and crossed the Atlantic to the United States, as they had heard much of the unusual opportunities which this country afforded. For two years they lived at Chatsworth, Illinois, but in 1870 they came to Platte county, Nebraska, and the father homesteaded eighty acres of land in Bismark township. He met with gratifying success in his farming operations and from time to time purchased more land, becoming the owner of three quarter sections. He passed away on the 31st of October, 1898, but is survived by his widow, who is still living in Bismark township. The family are Lutherans in religious faith. Six of the ten children are living, namely: Augusta, the wife of Carl Labens, of Bis-



mark township; Fredericka, the wife of William Schreiber, of Columbus township; Carolina, who married F. G. Stenger, of Columbus township; Gustav; William, who is residing on the old homestead; and Lizzie, now Mrs. Carl Reinke, of Bismark township.

  Gustav Benning was reared under the parental roof and under the guidance of his father early became acquainted with modern methods of agriculture. His education was that afforded by the public schools of the county and since putting aside his textbooks he has devoted his entire time to farm work. His father gave him one hundred and sixty acres of land in Bismark township, on which he engages in general farming. The place is well improved and as he uses up-to-date methods in his work he derives a good return from his labor.

  Mr. Benning was married November 15, 1894, to Miss Agnes Runge, who was born in Bismark township on the 13th of April, 1874, a daughter of August Runge, a resident of Columbus. She passed away on the 22d of March, 1915, leaving four children: Lillie, William, Gustav and Freada.

  Mr. Benning gives his political allegiance to the democratic party, and his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. Practically his entire life has been spent in this county and the fact that those who have known him intimately since boyhood are his warmest friends is indicative of his worth as a man.


  Frederick Henry Gerrard, a prominent and well known representative of commercial interests in Monroe, where as a partner of his brother, E. A. Gerrard, he is engaged in general merchandising, was born on the 7th of May, 1848, in Rock Island, Illinois, and attended school in that city. He afterward studied law with a brother at Columbus, Nebraska, and in 1872 was admitted to the bar, following which he entered upon the practice of the profession at Fairmont, this state. In 1875 he removed to York, Nebraska, where he continued in practice for two years, and while there he also published the York Republican, a weekly newspaper. Later he went to Madison, Nebraska, in 1877 and in addition to practicing law edited the Madison Review, also a weekly republican paper, but in 1879 he returned to Columbus, living there until 1880. In the latter year he established a store in Oconee, Nebraska, which was then a village of considerable importance, and in 1890 he removed to Monroe, where he organized the first Farmers Grain Association in the county and one of the first in the state. His grain office was the first building moved into the present town of Monroe. For a time he was the owner of land in Loup county and there engaged in farming, but in 1915 he once more entered mercantile circles in Monroe, where he is now engaged in general merchandising under the firm style of Gerrards. The brothers carry a complete line of general merchandise, their store being tastefully and attractively arranged, and by the courteous treatment of their patrons and the earnest desire to please they have gained a large trade. Fredrick H. Gerrard also owns a section of land in Brown county and two and a quarter sections of land in Rock and Loup counties, this state. He devotes all of his attention, however, to his mercantile interests save for the general supervision which he gives to his investments.



  In 1875 occurred the marriage of Fredrick H. Gerrard and Miss Adaline Walamwood, a native of Michigan and a daughter of Christ Walamwood, who lived in that state prior to the Civil war. In 1861 his patriotic spirit prompted his response to the country's call for troops and he enlisted in Company F, Eleventh Michigan Infantry, with which he served for four years. Following the war he removed westward to Fillmore county, Nebraska, where he entered land and carried on general farming. He was a resident of Kearney at the time of his death, which occurred when he was about sixty years of age. His daughter, Mrs. Gerrard, passed away in 1886. By her marriage she had become the mother of two sons and two daughters. Charles, now a printer of Canada, is married and has a daughter. Stella is the wife of Loren Barnum, a farmer of Greeley county, Nebraska, and they have three children. Emma is the widow of George Barnum, of Platte county, Nebraska and they had one son. Lee is the owner and manager of the Lee Gerrard Comedy Company, a traveling theatrical organization. He, too, is married. Having lost his first wife, Mr. Gerrard wedded Mrs. Mary Crookham, a native of Ohio, and to them has been born a son, Fred Joseph, now a farmer of Loup county, Nebraska, who is married and has one child.

  In his political views Mr. Gerrard is a democrat and has always been an ardent worker in the local ranks of the party, seeking to secure the adoption of its principles, yet never desiring office for himself. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church and he has guided his life by its teachings. Those who know him, and he has a wide acquaintance, speak of him in terms of high regard and are glad to call him friend, for he has many sterling traits of character in addition to the social qualities which render him popular in the community in which he lives.


  Elbert Taylor, who owns and operates two hundred and twenty acres of good land in Joliet township, was born February 14, 1853. His parents, Lewis and Sarah (Edwards) Taylor, were natives respectively of Virginia and North Carolina. The father, who was born in 1811, was prevented by his age from serving in the Civil war. In 1855 he removed to Missouri, whence in 1867 he went to Iowa, where he passed away in 1886. His entire life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, in which he gained a gratifying measure of success.

  Elbert Taylor received his education in Iowa and in his boyhood also learned practical methods of farming through assisting his father. In 1887 he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and cultivated rented land in Humphrey township for eleven years. For the next five years he operated rented land in Joliet township but in 1904 he purchased two hundred and twenty acres on section 32, that township. He has since cultivated his place, which is well improved, and in addition to growing grain he raises stock, from the sale of which he receives a substantial addition to his income.

  In 1873 Mr. Taylor was married to Miss Anna McClung, a daughter of Edward and Melvina (Young) McClung. Eight children have been born of this union, namely: William, who died at the age of twelve years; Charles, a resident of Monroe township, who married Nellie Davis and has three daughters: Edward, living near



Redfield, South Dakota, who married Lydia Stenzel and has two sons and one daughter; Henry, a resident of St. Bernard township, this county, who married Kate Connelly and has two sons and one daughter; Samuel, at home; Lee, who died at the age of ten years; Oscar, a resident of Monroe township, who married Minnie Peterson and has one son; and Lilly, who is now attending high school in Monroe.

  Mr. Taylor supports the candidates and measures of the democratic party at the polls and takes the interest of a good citizen in public affairs although he has never been an office seeker. He holds membership in the Baptist church, and in his daily life exemplifies the teachings of that organization.


  John Potter is a retired farmer living in Monroe. For many years, however, he was actively identified with agricultural interests and it has been along the line of persistent, earnest and intelligently directed effort that he has won his success. He is of English birth, his natal day being December 10, 1840, and the place of his nativity Stafford county, England. He is the eldest of the family of five children whose parents were John and Dorothy (Clarke) Potter, the former a farmer of England. In the common schools of that country John Potter pursued his education, and his early training under parental care was such as brought to him a realization of the value of industry and honesty as factors in the attainment of success. He was a young man of twenty-five years when, in 1865, he became a resident of Kane county, Illinois, where he began farming and, meeting with success in his undertaking, he later acquired considerable real estate in Elgin, Illinois. In 1878, however, he disposed of his interests there and, coming to Platte county, established his home on section 28, Lost Creek township, where he took up a homestead of eighty acres, to which he afterward added by the purchase of forty acres of railroad land. Thereon he resided for twenty-nine years, carefully, systematically and successfully developing and improving his farm, and at the end of that time he removed to his present location just outside the city limits of Monroe, where he has seventeen acres of land. Indolence and idleness are utterly foreign to his nature and, realizing that he could not be content without some occupation, he has planted his land to ever-bearing strawberries and to various vegetables. He is very enthusiastic on the subject of horticulture and takes great pride in his garden. He is also a stockholder in the Bank of Monroe, owns considerable land in Lincoln county, Nebraska, and in the past seven years has owned and sold eight different farms.

  In April, 1864, Mr. Potter was married in the parish of Hagly Worchestershire, England, to Miss Mary Whitehouse, a native of that locality, and they have become the parents of eleven children who are yet living: Alfred, a resident of Albion, Nebraska; Ellen, who married Thomas Dress, of Woodville; William, who is farming in Lincoln county; Charles, a resident farmer of Lost Creek township; Edward, who follows agricultural pursuits in Merrick county; Walter, also a farmer of Lincoln county; Frank, who is cultivating a farm in Oconee township; Dorothy, the wife of Len Reilly, of Lincoln county; Mattie, at home; Lucy, the wife of Harry Hill, living in Hersey, Nebraska; and Anna, at home. Mr. Potter gave to each of



his sons material assistance to enable them to begin farming and they now all own their own farms and are doing well, proving themselves enterprising, progressive business men.

  Since becoming a naturalized American citizen Mr. Potter has given his political allegiance to the republican party and he has been equally loyal in his adherence to the Episcopal church. He is now nearing the seventy-fifth milestone on life's journey but is still active and energetic and in spirit and interests seems yet in his prime. He is most enthusiastic concerning fruit raising and well he may be, for his intelligently directed efforts are producing excellent results in his gardens, constituting an example that others may well follow.


  John Sorensen, a farmer living on section 23, Woodville township, has resided upon his present place for thirty-one years and is entitled to honor as one of the pioneers of Platte county. There were many difficulties to be surmounted before the wild prairie could be converted into cultivated fields, but he persevered and as the result of his industry and good management has gained a gratifying measure of success as an agriculturist.

  Mr. Sorensen was born in Denmark on the 3d of June, 1858, a son of Michael and Mattie M. (Jensen) Sorensen, also natives of that country, where they remained until 1879. In that year they came with their family to the United States and made their way westward to Nebraska, where they arrived May 12, 1879. They located in Walker township, Platte county, and their first home in this new country was a dugout, which later gave place to a sod house. Subsequently a comfortable frame residence was erected and in time the farm was brought to a high state of development. Six years before his death the father removed to Minnesota, where he passed away in 1909 at the advanced age of eighty-one years. His wife is still living in that state. She belongs to the Danish Lutheran church, as did her husband, who was one of the organizers of the local congregation of that denomination. To their union were born ten children: John; Soren, who is deceased but whose widow still owns a good farm in Walker township, this county; Marguerite, the wife of Eske Petersen, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Elsie, now Mrs. Nels C. Petersen, of Boone county, Nebraska; Mattie C., the wife of Peter Johnson, a farmer of Walker township, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Jappe, who is living in Minnesota; Jensine, who died in young womanhood; Hans C., who died in Minnesota; Karen, who is living in Lindsay; and Christ, a resident of Minnesota.

  John Sorensen received a common-school education in Denmark and lived there until he was twenty years old, when he accompanied his parents to the United States. He assisted his father in the work of the home farm in this county and among other things helped to build the sod house. Later he worked as a farm hand by the month in different parts of eastern Nebraska and was also for a time employed in a stone quarry at Plattsmouth. On returning to Platte county he purchased eighty acres of land, to the cultivation of which he devoted his energies, and subsequently bought forty acres from his father. He has since increased his holdings, which now total two hundred and eighty acres, and has made all the improvements upon his place.



  The buildings are substantial and well designed and in his farm work he uses up-to-date methods and improved machinery. He has worked hard and has given much thought to the management of his business affairs and, as is but natural, he has accumulated a competence. When he came to this country he was a poor boy but he took advantage of the opportunities offered and is now one of the substantial men of his township.

  On January 18, 1885, Mr. Sorensen was married to Miss Josephine Svenson, a native of Sweden, whose parents, Sven and Fredrica (Haktor) Sanerson, passed their entire lives in that country. To this union were born seven children: Carl, a resident of Minnesota, who is married and has two children; Anton, a farmer of Walker township, who is married and has one child; Albert, who is cultivating land belonging to his father and who is married and has one child; Herman, at home; Victoria, the wife of Nels P. Petersen, of Walker township, by whom she has one child; and Harold and Mattie, at home. Mrs. Sorensen passed away December 4, 1910.

  The republican party has a stanch adherent in Mr. Sorensen, but he has never had time to take an active part in politics. He holds membership in the Danish Lutheran church, the teachings of which have guided his life. When he first came to this county it was still a frontier region and he made trips to Columbus when there were no section roads, and he followed the ridge across the prairie in order not to lose his way. The trip required two days and twenty-five cents was considered a large amount to spend for expenses. He worked on farms for a wage of ten dollars per month. These reminiscences give some idea of conditions that prevailed only about three decades ago in the county and indicate the rapidity of its development. Mr. Sorensen takes justifiable pride in the fact that he has had a part in the transformation of the wild prairie into a region of highly developed farms and thriving towns and villages.


  John Cherry, a large landowner, who is devoting his time and attention to farming and stock-raising in Joliet township, was born in what is now a part of Toronto, Canada, August 10, 1852. His parents, Frank and Catherine (Keffer) Cherry, were also natives of the Dominion, the former born in April, 1827, and the latter on the 10th of August, 1833. When the subject of this review was but twelve years of age the family removed to the United States and located in Michigan, whence they went to Indiana. On the day that President Garfield was shot they were on their way to Nebraska, which they reached in due time. They lived successively in Dodge, Saunders and Holt counties, and there the father carried on agricultural work. He passed away on the 17th of August, 1904, when seventy-five years of age, while on a visit in Missouri. His wife died on the 6th of September, 1905. They were the parents of seven children: John; William, who died in Michigan when nineteen years old; Harper, who died in Canada; Jennie, the wife of William D. Burkholder, a resident of this county; Frank, who lives in Linn county, Missouri; Albert. who died in Michigan; and Amanda, who became the wife of James Burkholder and passed away in Denver, Colorado, three years ago.



  John Cherry was reared on the home farm and during his boyhood and youth assisted his father with the work. On leaving the parental roof he went to Kansas, where he took up a homestead, but never proved up upon that property, although he remained there one year and then returned to Wisconsin. Following his marriage he cultivated the home farm for a year and then removed to Madison county, Nebraska, where he lived for about four years. On leaving there he came to Platte county and located near Lindsay, where he spent a similar period. In 1897 he settled on his present farm, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres on section 32, Joliet township, twenty acres of which were broken. He soon had all of his farm under cultivation and as the years passed his resources increased and he purchased additional land. He now owns five hundred and sixty acres in Joliet township, one hundred and sixty acres in Merrick county and three hundred and sixty acres in Brown county. He grows the usual crops and also feeds cattle, and he and his sons are ranked among the most successful farmers of the county. They are hard workers and are at once practical and progressive, adopting new methods when their usefulness has been proved.

  In 1888 Mr. Cherry married Miss Ellen Loftquist, a native of Sweden, who came to the United States when fifteen years of age with her parents and settled in Polk county, Nebraska. She passed away on the 6th of January, 1905, her demise occasioning sincere regret, for she was held in high esteem by all who knew her. To this union were born eight children: Charles H., Albert, Sadie, Verna, John, Annie May, Lillie, all at home; and one who died in infancy.

  Mr. Cherry supports the republican party at the polls but has never desired to hold office. He is a member of the Baptist church and in its teachings are found the guiding principles of his life, and his strict integrity has gained him the sincere respect of his fellowmen.


  Rev. John Calvin Evans, who passed away in Columbus on the 21st of April, 1914, brought a colony to that city in the fall of 1879 and was long a factor in the moral development and growth of the community. His birth occurred in Connoquenessing township, Butler county, Pennsylvania, on the 22d of October, 1838, his parents being William Valentine and Rachel (Hammer) Evans, who were married at Faulkstown, Ohio, October 2, 1834. This branch of the Evans family are direct descendants of Evan Evans, who came from Montgomeryshire, Wales, in 1722 and on November 17th of that year settled on a farm on White Clay creek, Chester county, Pennsylvania. The place is still in the possession of members of the family. A complete record of those of the name will be found in the book entitled "History of the Evans Family," which was finished by Rev. John C. Evans a few months before his death in 1914.

  John C. Evans acquired his education in the public schools of Butler county and those of Tarentum in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. Subsequently he entered Franklin College, now the University of Ohio, at Athens, Ohio, being graduated from that institution in 1861. The same year he volunteered for service in the Union army but was rejected on account of physical disability. He was drawn




in the first draft in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, and was again rejected because of physical disability occasioned by organic heart disease. Preparing for the ministry, he was graduated from the Allegheny Theological Seminary of the United Presbyterian church in 1867 and during the next twelve years acted as pastor of churches in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, presiding over Four Mile church and the Remmington and Oakland congregations. In 1879 Rev. Evans brought a party of over sixty persons from the neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Columbus, Nebraska, the colony arriving here on the 17th of October. With this party came William Cornelius and family, the Dodds family, James Boggs and family and the McKims, and the following year many others were added from the same locality, including Dr. C. D. Evans. Many of these are still residents of Platte county and are numbered among its most substantial citizens. From 1879 until 1883 Rev. Evans was engaged in home mission work for the United Presbyterian church in Nebraska and during the remainder of his life was a clergyman of the Congregational church. About 1883 he removed with his family to Buffalo county, Nebraska, where he resided until 1910 and then went to southern California on account of failing health. In the spring of 1914 he returned to Columbus and here passed away on April 21st, being buried in the Columbus cemetery beside his wife, Mrs. Nancy A. Evans, whose demise occurred in 1903.

  On the 23d of December, 1862, in Tarentum, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, Rev. Evans was united in marriage to Miss Nancy A. Gilliford, a daughter of Robert and Nancy Gilliford. She was educated in the common schools of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, and the Ladies' Seminary of Juniata county, Pennsylvania, at Academia, and taught school in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. Her family were early pioneers of the Keystone state and her ancestors served in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war. To Rev. Evans and his wife were born the following children: William S., Robert G., Charles V., Edgar G., Henry C., Nancy K. and Rachel H. In his political views Rev. Evans was a republican, exercising his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of that party. His life was devoted to the service of the Master and his zealous, consecrated labors were not denied the full harvest nor the aftermath.


  Simon Edward Pearson is the present well known and popular cashier of the Bank of Monroe, to which position he was appointed on the 1st of September, 1915. He had previously had banking experience, however, and was well trained for the onerous duties of his present responsible position. He was born on a farm in Monroe township, Platte county, August 27, 1882, a son of Andrew and Sara (Nelson) Pearson. His father's birth occurred in the central part of Sweden in the year 1834, and in that county the paternal grandmother is still living at the remarkable old age of ninety-nine years. The entire life of Andrew Pearson was devoted to the two occupations of farming and carpentering. It was in April, 1882, that he left his native land and made his way to the new world, remaining for a time near Des Moines, Iowa, while subsequently he removed to Monroe township, this county, and invested in one hundred and forty-four acres of land, for which he paid
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five dollars per acre for eighty acres and twelve dollars and a half for the remainder. This property has greatly increased in value, owing to the settlement of the county and also to the many excellent improvements which Mr. Pearson placed upon his farm. His wife was also born in the central part of Sweden, her natal year being 1840, and both parents are now living in Genoa, Nebraska. Their children are Peter, Nels, Andrew Olaf, Bettie (Elizabeth) and Simon Edward.

  Simon E. Pearson is indebted to the district schools for the early educational opportunities which he enjoyed. Later he attended a business college in Lincoln, Nebraska, but in the meantime worked upon the home farm and became familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He also became a student in the Highland Park College at Des Moines, Iowa, and in this manner qualified for the work to which he has since devoted his energies. His connection with banking began in the fall of 1908, when he accepted the position of bookkeeper for the First National Bank of Genoa, spending two and a half years in that institution. He was then promoted to the position of assistant cashier, and in 1915 he came to Monroe to accept the position of cashier of the Bank of Monroe, entering upon the duties of that office on the 1st of September. His previous experience and training well qualified him for the work that now devolves upon him, and he is already making good in his present connection. He is a courteous and obliging official, doing everything possible to accommodate the bank's patrons and at the same time carefully safeguarding the interests of the institution.

   On the 22d of December, 1909, Mr. Pearson was married to Miss Augusta Peterson, of Lincoln, Nebraska, who was born near Karlskrona, Sweden, on the 25th of October, 1883. They now have two interesting little sons, Harold Edward and Carl Bernard. Mr. and Mrs. Pearson are well known in Monroe and this part of the county, where they have a large circle of warm friends. They ho]d membership in the Swedish Methodist church, and Mr. Pearson gives his political allegiance to the democratic party, finding, as he believes, the elements o£ good government in its platform. He is always loyal to his honest convictions and his position on any vital question is never an equivocal one.


  The wealth of Platte county comes mainly from the fertility of its soil and the labors of its farmers, and those who have aided in its agricultural development are deserving of honor. Peter Jorgensen, better known as Peter Johnson through an official error in recording the name after his arrival in this country, is farming on section 10, Walker township. He has been identified with agricultural pursuits in this county for many years and has gained a gratifying measure of success. He was born in Denmark on the 22d of November, 1859, a son of Jurgen and Gertrude (Jurgensen) Larsen, both of whom died in their native land.

  Peter Jorgensen was educated in Denmark and there grew to manhood, but when twenty-two years of age came to the United States, seeking the opportunities which this country offers. After residing for two years in Omaha he and his brother Hans came to Platte county and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 10, Walker township. They operated that place in partnership for about



ten years, during which time their sister, Martine, kept house for them. At the end of that period Hans Jorgensen returned to Denmark and the sister became the wife of Peter Damgard. Our subject has continued to operate the farm which he and his brother homesteaded and also owns and operates one hundred and sixty acres on section 16. He carries on general farming and as he uses improved methods and up-to-date machinery his labors are rewarded by excellent crops, from the sale of which he receives a good profit. He also raises high grade stock and finds that branch of his business likewise profitable.

  Mr. Jorgensen was married November 28, 1890, to Miss Christine Sorensen, a sister of John Sorensen, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. They have become the parents of six children, Sine, Godfred, Herluf, Harold, Gertrude, and one who died in infancy.

  Mr. Jorgensen is a stanch republican but has never been an office seeker, as the operation of his farm has demanded his entire time and attention. He was one of the organizers of the Danish Lutheran church and can always be depended upon to further its interests in any way possible. His integrity and upright life have gained him the sincere respect of all who have been associated with him, and his financial prosperity ranks him among the substantial men of his community.


  Martin Dunn, living on section 4, Shell Creek township, was born in Queens county, Ireland, May 25, 1854. His father, James Dunn, also a native of that country, came to the United States in the '60s and settled in New Jersey, where he owned and cultivated a farm. In 1885, however, he left the east and removed to La Salle county, Illinois, where he became the owner of a small tract of land. In later years he retired from farming and removed to Chicago, where he continued until his death. He voted with the democratic party and was ever a loyal adherent of the Catholic church. He died in 1886, at the age of seventy years, and his wife was also seventy years of age when she passed away in 1892. She bore the maiden name of Bridget Dowling and, like her husband, was a native of the Emerald isle.

  In a family of eight children Martin Dunn was the second in order of birth and was a young lad when he accompanied his parents to the new world. For two terms after reaching La Salle county he continued his education in the public schools, but he left home at the age of fourteen years to make his own way in the world and on attaining his majority he began farming on rented land in La Salle county. In 1883 he secured a homestead on section 4, Shell Creek township, Platte county, a tract of raw prairie, on which he has set out trees, while much of the wild land he has converted into productive fields. For thirty-two years he has resided continuously upon this place and devotes all of his time to farm work, having one hundred and sixty acres of good land. He raises high grade stock, making a specialty of hogs, and is quite successful in that work.

  In 1879 in Gilman, Illinois, Mr. Dunn was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Coleman, who was born in County Cork, Ireland, a daughter of Jeremiah and Joanna (O'Neill) Coleman, who were also natives of County Cork. On coming to the United States with his family in 1872 Mr. Coleman settled in Iroquois



county, Illinois, and there carried on general farming, owning a good tract of land, from which he annually derived a substantial income, for his work was systematically and carefully managed. He, too, voted with the democratic party, while his religious belief was that of the Catholic church. Mrs. Dunn was the fifth in a family of ten children and a sister, Ella Coleman, taught in Platte county schools for about twenty years. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn are the parents of six children: Elizabeth, a teacher in a country school near St. Edward, Nebraska; Ella, the wife of Ben Betterton, a teacher of Columbus; Mary, the wife of James Sullivan, a farmer living near Platte Center, by whom she has two children; Florence, a teacher, living at home; James, at home; and Frances, in school at Platte Center. All of the children attended the district and afterward the parochial and public schools of Platte Center. The family are members of the Catholic church in Platte Center.

  Mr. Dunn is well known in this locality, where he has long resided, and he enjoys the goodwill and high regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact. He has lived in the new world since his early teens and for almost a third of a century has occupied the farm upon which he now resides and which in its well cultivated condition is an expression of his industry and thrift.


  Ezra Fellers is the owner of Locust Grove Farm, situated on section 10, Monroe township, but is now living retired, for he has advanced far on life's journey, reaching a period when nature seems to have intended that man should enjoy a season of rest. He was born in Columbia county, New York, March 24, 1831, a son of John N. and Maria (Coleman) Fellers, both of whom were natives of New York. The father devoted his entire life to farming and continued a resident of the Empire state until 1858, when he went to the middle west, establishing his home in Walworth county, Wisconsin, whence after two years he removed to Rock county, that state. There he engaged in farming until 1877, at which time he removed to Minnesota, where he lived with a son. He was always an active man in affairs of his community, giving his influence on the side of progress and improvement, and held membership in the Congregational church.

  After pursuing his early education in the common schools Ezra Fellers attended an academy at Sodus, New York. He continued a resident of Wisconsin until 1877, when he removed westward to Nebraska and the following year secured a homestead on section 10, Monroe township, Platte county, at which period there were few settlers in the entire township and the work of development seemed scarcely begun. All land was very cheap, selling from four to eight dollars per acre, and the most farsighted could scarcely have predicted the changes which would rapidly occur and bring about a marked transformation in the county and its appearance. Mr. Fellers built a sod house and began farming and in the years which have since come and gone he has developed an excellent farm property. He has a comfortable residence upon his land with a small orchard together with berries and other fruits. The place is called the Locust Grove Farm and comprises one hundred and sixty acres of rich land.



  In 1865 Mr. Fellers was married to Miss Flora Dow, who was born in 1835, in Vermont, a daughter of Joseph B. and Lucy Dow, also natives of the Green Mountain state. On leaving New England in 1810 they removed westward to Wisconsin, where they met pioneer conditions, but bravely faced the dangers and hardships of frontier life. Mr. Dow was both a cooper and farmer and continued his residence in Wisconsin until called to his final rest. His daughter, Mrs. Fellers, passed away in 1903. She was very active in church work and was a most earnest, consistent Christian woman whose good qualities of heart and mind endeared her to all.

  To Mr. and Mrs. Fellers were born the following named sons and daughters: Benjamin, who operates the home farm; Lucy, who is the wife of James O. Gillan, a farmer living in Monroe township, and has three sons; Gertrude, at home; Eugene, who is engaged in the real-estate business at St. Edward, Nebraska; and Arthur, who is a real-estate dealer of Fullerton, Nebraska, and is married and has a daughter.

  In his political views .Mr. Fellers has long been an earnest democrat and has filled various local offices, the duties of which he has discharged with promptness and fidelity. For several years he was justice of the peace and he has ever been active in community affairs and has aided in promoting various plans and movements for the general good. His religious faith is that of the Congregational church, of which he has long been a faithful member, and in 1881 he helped haul the lumber for the house of worship on section 10. Mr. Fellers still occupies the old home farm, on which he has lived for thirty-eight consecutive years, and he is respected by the entire community, for his many good traits of character have endeared him to all with whom he has come in contact. He has been loyal and progressive in citizenship, reliable in business, faithful in friendship and devoted to the welfare of his family and these are the traits which make honorable manhood.


  Hartvig Andreasen is a representative farmer living on section 26, Woodville township. and one whose life work has not only resulted beneficially to his own interests but has also been an element in bringing about benefits for the community, for he stands loyally in support of all plans and measures for the general good. He was born in Denmark on the 3d of January, 1868, and is a son of Andreas and Maren (Christensen) Williamson. The father died in Denmark, after which the mother followed her children to the new world, making her home in Iowa, where her remaining days were passed.

  It was in 1884 that Hartvig Andreasen crossed the Atlantic, being then a youth of sixteen years. He had attended school in Denmark until he reached the age of fourteen when he came to the new world, went to Shelby county, Iowa, where an older brother, Jens, had previously located and where Hartvig Andreasen lived for ten years. During that period he was engaged in farming on his own account for three years and in 1894 he removed to Nebraska, taking up his abode on his present location on section 26, Woodville township, Platte county. He first purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land and afterward added another tract of one hundred



and sixty acres to the south and also bought eighty acres on section 35, so that he now has four hundred acres of valuable farm property. On his home place he has four acres planted to orchard and his trees are now in bearing. There are also good buildings upon the place, providing ample shelter for grain and stock. His home is a commodious residence, comfortable and attractive, and water has been piped into the house, while other conveniences have been added. In addition to tilling the soil he is engaged in raising shorthorn cattle, Duroc-Jersey hogs and Belgian horses and his business interests are carefully and systematically conducted, bringing him a substantial measure of success.

  In February, 1891, Mr. Andreasen was united in marriage to Miss Meta Catherine Nielsen, a native of Schleswig, Germany. To them have been born twelve children, as follows: Andrew, Mary, Christian, Carl, William, Arthur, Alfred, Ida, Francis, Emma, Greger and Frieda. Mr. Andreasen is a believer in education and works earnestly for better schools, realizing that intellectual training is the basis of all advancement. His children speak fluently both the Danish and the English tongues. Mr. Andreasen has always been a great reader and is a well informed man, keeping in touch with the trend of public thought. He belongs to St. Ansgar's Danish Lutheran church, in which both he and his wife are active and earnest workers, doing much to further its interests. In his political views he is a republican yet is somewhat independent, voting at times without regard to party ties if he feels that the best interests of the public will be conserved thereby. He has served as school trustee and as treasurer of the school board for twelve years and at all times stands for progress and improvement. His life has been fraught with good results for the benefit of the community and for the furtherance of his individual interests. He possesses many sterling traits of character, is held in high esteem wherever known and is most respected where he is best known.


  Walter A. Green, proprietor of Green's Transfer Line of Columbus, was born in Hopkinton, Delaware county, Iowa, April 25, 1872, a son of John A. and Hannah M. Green. The father was born in Indiana, September 6, 1839, and with his parents removed to Delaware county, Iowa, where he erected the first frame house in Hopkinton, the other dwellings being log or sod. He became a teamster but he put aside all business considerations during the Civil war when, aroused by a spirit of patriotism, he enlisted for service in the Union army, joining the boys in blue of Company K, Twenty-first Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He sustained wounds in his leg and shoulder and it seemed that on various other occasions he could hardly escape injury, for he was often in the thickest of the fight amid a rain of leaden hail from the enemy's guns. However, he lived to return home at the close of the war and in 1875 he removed to Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, where he homesteaded land and improved a farm, carrying on general agricultural pursuits for a number of years. He is now living retired at Lincoln and well merits the rest which has come to him. His religious belief is that of the Methodist church and his political faith that of the republican party, on which ticket he was elected constable at




Cedar Rapids. His has been an active life, fraught with many good works in behalf of his family and of his country.

  Walter A. Green attended school in Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, and at thirteen years of age began work in the sugar beet fields near Norfolk. Subsequently he went to Sioux City, Iowa, and was engaged in herding cattle near there through the summer seasons, while in the winter months he attended school. Later he began a teaming business in Sioux City, where he continued for five years, after which he removed to Pierce and later to Norfolk and to Edgemont, South Dakota, being employed at various kinds of work. He also spent a year as an employe in the Evans Hotel at Hot Springs, South Dakota, and for twelve years he was with the Homestake Mining Company at Deadwood. He then returned to Nebraska, settling at Columbus, where he has since been engaged in the transfer business. He is accorded a liberal patronage and the reliability of his business methods, combined with his promptness in executing orders, is one of the features of his growing success.

  In 1904 Mr. Green was united in marriage to Miss Marie Uren, who passed away on the 14th of July, 1915, leaving three children, namely: Walter, born January 27, 1906; Allen, whose birth occurred November 12, 1909; and Milton, born June 18,1911.

  Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Green has voted with the republican party. In fraternal circles he is well known, belonging to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, the Owls and the Sons of Veterans. His father set him an example of patriotism and public-spirited devotion to duty which he has ever followed, and Columbus numbers him among its valued and representative citizens.


  Henry Buss makes his home on section 8, Bismark township, not far from Columbus, and is the owner of a valuable farm property of three hundred and sixty acres equipped with all the accessories, conveniences and improvements of the model farm. He was born in 1869, in the township in which he still makes his home. His father, Engleke Buss, was a native of Hanover, Germany, and was married in that country to Miss Helena Suessens, who was also born there. They continued their residence in the fatherland until 1869, when they made the voyage across the briny deep to the new world. They did not tarry on the Atlantic coast but continued at once into the interior of the country, Platte county being their destination. At that time this district was upon the Nebraska frontier and the work of development was just being begun, a few hardy settlers having penetrated into the county to claim its rich lands and convert them into productive fields. Much of the land was still in the possession of the government, so that Engleke Buss had opportunity to secure a homestead claim on section 8, Bismark township, which constituted the nucleus of later extensive possessions, for he added to his holdings from time to time as his financial resources permitted and as opportunity offered until he was the owner of one thousand acres of rich and valuable land, thus becoming one of the leading farmers of the county. His life record showed what may be accomplished



when energy and determination lead the way. Both Mr. and Mrs. Buss continued to reside upon the homestead farm until called to their final rest. They were the parents of five children, of whom four are living: Henry; Fritz and Kate, both of whom reside on the old home farm; Meta, who is the wife of Edward Bakenhus, of Platte county; and Helena, the deceased wife of John Bakenhus.

  Henry Buss, whose name introduces this review, was reared on the old homestead farm and no event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for him in his boyhood days. He worked with his father, early learning the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. His educational advantages were those offered by the public schools and after his textbooks were laid aside he concentrated his efforts upon farm work, remaining on the old homestead until he reached the age of thirty-four years. He was then married and, having inherited land from his father, he began farming independently, having now an excellent property of three hundred and sixty acres on section 8, Bismark township. The land is well developed and has been brought to a high state of cultivation, while the improvements found thereon are thoroughly modern and attractive. He carries on general farming, giving his attention to the crops best adapted to soil and climatic conditions, and annually his harvests are gratifying. In connection with his brother he also owns two hundred and forty acres of land in Joliet township.

  As a companion and helpmate on the journey of life Mr. Buss chose Miss Lizzie Bakenhus, sister of John Bakenhus, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this work. To them have been born five children, namely: Henry, Edward, Louise, Alma and Walter. Mr. Buss and his wife hold membership in the Lutheran church and he is interested in the moral as well as the material progress of the community, giving his support also to many measures which have to do with the civic development of this part of the state.


  Nature seems to have intended that man should enjoy a period of rest in the evening of life. In early manhood he is possessed of energy, courage, ambition and determination and as the years go on these qualities are directed by mature judgment and perseverance is added thereto. A man therefore may attain success if he but follows correct methods and in the evening of life he may have a competence that will enable him to put aside the more arduous cares of business. Such has been the course of life of John M. Kelley, who is now living retired in Monroe. He was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, January 31, 1832, and is a son of John and Charter (Beeson) Kelley. The father was a native of Columbiana county, born in 1804, and after living there for a long period he removed to Hancock county, whence in 1857 he came to Nebraska, settling in Omaha. He afterward took up his abode in Monroe township, Platte county, where he preempted one hundred and sixty acres of land and after proving up on it he sold that property and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in Oconee township. He had the usual experiences of the pioneer settler, who is forced to endure hardships and privations in order to establish a home upon the frontier. In addition to tilling the soil he raised cattle :and thus continued actively in business until his death, which occurred in 1869. He


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