Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II
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among his salient characteristics and his has been a creditable career, for from early youth he has been dependent upon his own resources and has employed straightforward methods to win success, his course at all times bearing close investigation and scrutiny.
Clemens Wemhoff, who owns a well improved farm of two hundred and thirty-four acres in Grand Prairie township, was born in Westphalia, Germany, on the 21st of September, 1856. When nineteen years of age he emigrated to the United States and after spending two years in Winneshiek county, Iowa, he removed to Platte county, Nebraska, where he has since remained. Following his marriage he purchased forty acres of land from his father-in-law and subsequently bought a quarter section from him. The land at that time was raw prairie and not only every fence and building but also every tree that stands on it at the present time have been placed there by Mr. Wemhoff. He now owns two hundred and thirty-four acres of land which he has brought to a high state of cultivation, and he derives a good profit from the operation of his place.
Mr. Wemhoff was married in February, 1882, to Miss Victoria Wieser, a native of Austria and a daughter of August and Marie Wieser, further mention of whom is made elsewhere in this work. Thirteen of the children born to this union survive: John, who is married and lives in Idaho; Mary, the wife of Stephen Foltz, of Grand Prairie township; Alois, who is married and resides in Idaho; Josephine, the wife of Anton Hanna, of Humphrey township; Victoria, who married Christ Greisen; and William, Clara, Theresa, Susie, Matilda, Albert, George and Clemens, all at home.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Roman Catholic church and Mr. Wemhoff gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. His enterprise, public spirit and integrity have gained him the respect of his fellow citizens.
REV. ERNST C. G. HOLM.
The Rev. Ernst C. G. Holm, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran church, has ministered to his present charge in Grand Prairie township since the fall of 1888 and during those years the church has grown steadily in numbers and in strength. A native of Prussia, Germany, his birth occurred on the 11th of December, 1861. His parents, Anton and Wilhelmina Holm, were likewise natives of Germany, the former of whom died in St. Louis in 1872 and the latter in 1866 of cholera. Three brothers of our subject also died of the dread disease, all passing away within a week.
Rev. Holm was brought to the United States in 1868 and attended the public schools of St. Louis for five years, after which he was a student in Concordia College at Fort Wayne, Indiana, for six years. Subsequently he pursued his theological study in the Concordia Seminary at St. Louis, where he graduated in 1885 after completing a three years' course. His first charge was at Scotia, Greeley county,
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Nebraska, and he remained there three years, becoming pastor of the Evangelical church in Grand Prairie township, this county, in 1888. At that time there were twenty-five voting members in the congregation, but there are now seventy-two. The growth in numbers has been paralleled by the growth of the congregation in influence, and Rev. Holm has proved an efficient leader in the moral advancement of the community. For fifteen years he taught the parochial school for four days a week, and for many years he also filled pulpits in Creston and Humphrey, his many duties leaving him no time for leisure. He is devoted to his work and has always thought rather of the good that he could do than of his personal comfort or convenience.
Rev. Holm was married in July, 1889, to Miss Clara Estel, who was born in St. Louis, March 14, 1867. They have become the parents of eleven children: Eunice, the wife of H. Rabeler, of Leigh; Irene; Elsra; Hilda; Bruno, who is attending St. Paul's College at Concordia, Missouri; Ruth; Herbert; Esther; Alexander; Clara, and Ernst, Jr.
Rev. Holm is a democrat and takes a keen interest in public affairs as he believes it to be the duty of every good citizen to do his share in making the government efficient and righteous. During the many years that he has been at his present charge he has won the entire confidence and loyalty of his people and also the esteem and respect of those of other religious denominations.
MARTIN KARGES, JR.
One of the attractive farm properties of Butler township is that owned by Martin Karges, Jr., on section 19. He well deserves the proud American title of a self-made man, for he started out empty handed, having neither wealth nor influential friends to aid him at the outset of his career, but depending entirely upon his own labor and resources. Today he is one of the extensive land holders of the county, his possessions aggregating fourteen hundred acres. Such a record may well serve as an example to young men who desire to win success along honorable lines.
Mr. Karges is a native of Baden, Germany, born November 12, 1865, and he came to the United States with his mother and her parents in the year 1867, the family home being established in Wisconsin, where they remained for two years. In 1869 they arrived in Platte county, Nebraska, and through the intervening period to the present time, or for a period of forty-six years, Mr. Karges has remained a resident of this county. He began earning his living when but ten years of age, herding cattle for a wage of four dollars per month, thus working for seven years. His educational privileges were extremely limited. He attended school in a little sod building which had no windows, and in the winter a fire was built in the center of the floor. Blocks of wood served for stools and desks and the methods of instruction were almost as primitive as the building, but later he had the opportunity of spending a winter in school in Columbus. His training at farm labor, however, was not meager and his youth was a period of earnest, unremitting toil. He early realized that only industry would bring him success and he began to save his earnings, living frugally and economically until he was able to purchase a farm. When twenty-four years of age he first invested in property, becoming the owner of forty acres, and later he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in the sand hills. To his original
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purchases he kept adding from time to time as his financial resources increased and favorable opportunity presented. As each tract was added he kept on the work of improvement, converting it into well tilled fields or using it for other farming purposes. In time he became the owner of fourteen hundred acres and today he has a very valuable property, on which is seen a beautiful farm residence, substantial barns and outbuildings, well kept fences and the latest improved farm machinery.
Mr. Karges has been married twice, his first wife being Amelia, daughter of John and Anna Schulz, whom he wedded January 27, 1891, and who passed away on the 20th of January, 1896, after a brief but happy married life of about five years. There were two children of that marriage: Anna, who died in infancy; and Eva, who is a telephone operator at Duncan. In July, 1898, Mr. Karges was again married, his second union being with Celia Weleciek, and they have become parents of seven children: Francis, Adam, Lucy, Celia, Martha, Martin and Mary. All are yet under the parental roof, as is Frank, a stepson of Mr. Karges.
In religious belief Mr. Karges is a Catholic and he holds membership with the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. For nineteen years he has served as school director in his district and he drew the plans for the No. 8 schoolhouse, which is a beautiful cement block structure. He advocates good educational opportunities whereby children may be fitted for life's practical and responsible duties, and he stands for progress and improvement along many lines. That this spirit actuates him is evident in the highly improved appearance of his farm with its well tilled fields, its good pasture lands, its splendid modern buildings and its high grade stock. His business record is indeed creditable and shows what may be accomplished when there is a will to dare and to do.
Adolph Liebig, who carries on general farming on section 25 Lost Creek township, where he has two hundred acres of good farm land, is one of the native sons of Platte county, his birth having occurred in Shell Creek township on the 3d of March, 1878. He is the fourth in order of birth in a family of eight children, whose parents were Joseph and Mary (Wagner) Liebig. The mother has passed away, but the father is now living near Platte Center.
The common-school system of the county afforded Adolph Liebig his educational privileges, which he improved in his youthful days by attending school through the winter seasons, while the summer months were devoted to farm work. He continued to assist his father in the cultivation and improvement of the home farm until he reached the age of twenty-five years, and for the past twelve years he has been farming on his own account, concentrating his efforts upon the development and improvement of his place of two hundred acres on section 25, Lost Creek township. He carefully tills his fields and in addition to grain production he is winning success as a stock-raiser, handling shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs. He is likewise a stockholder in the Monroe Independent Telephone Company. In 1913 he built a large modern residence upon his place, it being one of the attractive homes of his part of the county. In fact, all of the equipment of his farm is thoroughly modern
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and up-to-date and is indicative of his progressive spirit and his efforts to keep in touch with modern advancement.
On the 19th of May, 1905, Mr. Liebig was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Schumacher, also a native of Platte county and a daughter of Henry and Margaret (Klien) Schumacher, old-time residents of Burrows township. Mr. and Mrs. Liebig are now parents of six children: Linda, Evelyn, Elizabeth, Adolph, Ferdinand and Carroll. The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church and Mr. Liebig is also identified with the Catholic Order of Foresters. His political faith is that of the democratic party, but he does not seek nor desire office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs, in which he is meeting with well merited and substantial success.
CHARLES E. CHAPIN.
Charles E. Chapin is the owner of an excellent farm of one hundred and forty acres near Oconee and leads a busy life in the further development and improvement of that property, giving his attention to general farming and to the raising of hogs. Iowa claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred at Council Bluffs on the 12th of January, 1858. He was brought to Nebraska in 1860 by his parents, Adolph and Laura Chapin, and for four years thereafter the family lived upon a rented farm which the father carefully cultivated. In 1864 he started to drive across the country to California, journeying as far as Utah, when he gave up the trip. He then returned to Platte county and secured a homestead claim of eighty acres, after which he carried on general agricultural pursuits until his death on the 24th of August, 1880.
Charles E. Chapin acquired his education in the schools of Columbus and when his textbooks were put aside secured employment in the Clother Hotel. In 1874 he was employed by the government to assist in preparing quarters for the Pawnee Indians and acted as a courier for four years. In 1879 he went to western Nebraska for Major North and there worked on a cattle ranch for about a year. In 1880 he engaged in buying mules, which he shipped to Colorado, and assisted in constructing the Colorado Central Railroad from Julesburg, Colorado, to South Platte. When that task was completed he returned to this county and purchased eighty acres of land, since which time he has extended the boundaries of his farm to include one hundred and forty acres of rich and arable land, upon which he carries on general farming and also makes a specialty of raising fine hogs, his labors bringing him a substantial financial return annually.
On the 2d of February, 1882, Mr. Chapin was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Jane Wood, who was born in Wisconsin September 15, 1860, her parents being James A. and Betsy Wood. Mr. and Mrs. Chapin have two children, namely: Bertha, the wife of H. L. Stires, of Baltimore, Maryland, by whom she has a son, Carroll Chapin, who was born October 13, 1913; and Mildred, who is a resident of Omaha.
Mr. Chapin votes with the republican party and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. He has served as township clerk and as road supervisor and at all times is ready to respond to any call of citizenship that is made
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upon him. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp and his life is guided by the teachings of the Presbyterian church, of which he is a faithful member. He has worked earnestly and persistently since starting out in life on his own account and whatever success he has achieved is the reward of his own labors. He is familiar with every phase of pioneer life in Nebraska from the days of early Indian occupancy and can relate many interesting incidents concerning Platte county when it was upon the frontier. As the years have passed he has borne his share in the work of development and is accounted one of the worthy and substantial citizens of his community.
Anthony Eisenmenger, a well known stockman and farmer of Burrows township, owner of the Locust Grove Stock Farm, employs most progressive methods in carrying on his business affairs and energy and industry are bringing him to success. He was born in Peoria county, Illinois, March 29, 1861, a son of Peter and Theresa (Reinhart) Eisenmenger, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Alsace-Lorraine, Germany. Throughout his entire life Peter Eisenmenger followed farming, while his father, who bore the same name, was a saloon keeper and hotel proprietor in the old country. On coming to the United States, however. he took up farming in Pennsylvania. He had five children, namely: Peter, who became the father of our subject; Joseph, a retired farmer residing in Anthon, Iowa; Mrs. Elizabeth Hesendentz, who is deceased; Mrs. Margaret Best, a resident of Kickapoo, Peoria county, Illinois; and Mrs. Mary Reinhart, who has passed away.
In the Keystone state Peter Eisenmenger, Jr., attended the public schools and afterward worked upon his father's place until he reached the age of seventeen years, when he made his way westward to Peoria county, Illinois, where he rented land and engaged in farming. Later he removed to Champaign county, Illinois, where he purchased land and carried on general agricultural pursuits until death ended his labors on the 12th of July, 1913. He had become the owner of four hundred and eighty acres of rich and arable land in Illinois and also had a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Minnesota. His wife died in the former state in 1868. To them were born six children, as follows: Anthony, of this review; Frank, an agriculturist of Sherburn, Minnesota; Joseph, also a farmer of that place; Peter, who is engaged in farming in Granville township, Platte county: Mary. who died at the age of two years; and Wendell, who passed away when six weeks old. Having lost his first wife, the father married again, his second union being with Miss Mary Meister, a daughter of John Meister, of Woodford county, Illinois, whom he wedded in the spring of 1869 and who yet survives her husband, living on the old home place in Pesotum township, Champaign county, Illinois. They became the parents of eleven children, as follows: John who is a resident of Sherburn, Minnesota; George, living in Humphrey; Mrs. Kate Laley, of Douglas county, Illinois; Michael, deceased; Otto, who died at the age of thirty-four years; Mrs. Anna Kelly, who makes her home in Mattoon, Illinois; Mrs. Abbie Riemke, of Pesotum, Illinois; William, a resident of Pesotum, Illinois; Charles, of
ANTHONY EISENMENGER AND FAMILY
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Champaign county, Illinois; Leo, also a resident of Champaign county, Illinois; and Frederick, who died at the age of three months.
Anthony Eisenmenger is indebted to the public-school system of Champaign county, Illinois, for the educational opportunities which he enjoyed. His youthful days were spent under the parental roof and when he attained his majority he began farming on his own account, renting eighty acres of land which he thus continued to cultivate for five years, at the end of which time he purchased the property, having carefully saved his earnings until his capital was sufficient to enable him to make the investment. The year 1894 witnessed his arrival in Platte county, at which time he took up his abode on the farm where he now resides on section 1, Burrows township, becoming owner of two hundred and forty acres which he today cultivates. In 1910 he erected a fine residence in attractive style of architecture and modern in every way. He has engaged in breeding full blooded shorthorn cattle since 1908 and feeds both cattle and hogs. His live-stock interests constitute an important branch of his business, bringing to him substantial financial return. He devotes his entire time to farming and stock-raising but is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey, which he aided in organizing.
On February 16, 1886, Mr. Eisenmenger was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Schelkopf, a daughter of John and Walburga (Heiermeier) Schelkopf, both of whom were natives of Bavaria. They passed away in Peoria county, Illinois, where the father had been successfully engaged in general agricultural pursuits. Mr. and Mrs. Eisenmenger are the parents of nine children, namely: Rose, the wife of Joseph M. Brockhaus, a farmer of Granville township, by whom she has a son, Gerald; Cecelia Mary, who is employed as a clerk in the Braun & Brockhaus store of Humphrey; Bertha, who is a teacher in the Tarnov public school; Theresa, who attends school in Kearney, Nebraska; and Rita, Regina, Mark, Esther and Romana, all at home.
All of the family are members of St. Francis Catholic church of Humphrey, and Mr. Eisenmenger belongs to the Knights of Columbus and to the Catholic Order of Foresters at Humphrey. He is also a member of St. Joseph's Men's Society of his church. In politics he is independent and the only office that he has ever filled has been that of justice of the peace in Burrows township for one term. He has always preferred to devote his entire time to farming and stockraising and in that connection has so directed his efforts that he has met with substantial and growing success, being now one of the leading farmers of Burrows township.
AUGUST F. SWANSON.
August F. Swanson is the proprietor of Fairview Farm, a very desirable property situated on section 26, Monroe township. The place comprises one hundred and sixty acres of land naturally rich and arable and its productiveness has been enhanced through the capable efforts of the owner, who is a farsighted and enterprising business man. Mr. Swanson was born in Helsingborg, Sweden, January 2, 1856, and is now the only surviving member of his father's family. His parents were Carl and Nellie (Anderson) Swanson and both passed away in 1868. Of
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their children, Carl and Anna came to the new world before their brother August and established their home in Nebraska City, where both passed away.
August F. Swanson obtained a common-school education. He was only twelve years of age when his father died and the following year he began providing for his own support. He went to sea as a sailor and served on fourteen different ships, visiting China, East India and the west coast of South America, being an able seaman. That life brought him valuable experience and wide knowledge concerning different countries, their peoples and modes of life.
It was in the year 1878 that August F. Swanson arrived in the new world, leaving his vessel at Wilmington, North Carolina, whence he proceeded to New York and from that point made his way direct to Nebraska City, his brother and sister having already become residents of that place. For a year he worked as a farm hand for an uncle near Dunbar, but was anxious to engage in business for himself and bought eighty acres of land in Otoe county, near Dunbar. He did not locate thereon, however, until 1882, spending the preceding years at work as a section hand and as a farm hand, his time being divided between the two kinds of labor. After taking up his abode upon his farm in 1882 he remained there for thirteen years and wrought a marked transformation in its appearance by his methods of cultivating the fields and by the improvements which he put upon the place. He then removed to Platte county and settled on section 26, Monroe township, where he now has one hundred and sixty acres of land which he calls Fairview Farm-a place well named, for he has an excellent view of the surrounding country and looks out over his own well tilled fields and excellent farm improvements, which make his place one of the desirable farm properties of the township. He raises mule-foot hogs and keeps on hand good grades of other stock. He has a large orchard and in a word his farm is one of the valuable and attractive properties in that part of the county. Aside from his agricultural interests, Mr. Swanson is a stockholder in the Monroe Independent Telephone Company and the Farmers Elevator Company of Monroe.
On the 17th of March, 1884, Mr. Swanson was united in marriage to Miss Christina Johnson, of Nebraska City, Nebraska. Her parents were John and Christina Johnson, neither of whom ever came to America. To this union have been born ten children, five of whom survive, namely: Fred, Lilly, Alice, Mabel and August.
Mr. Swanson is independent in politics and has never been an office seeker. He belongs to the Lutheran church and is interested in the moral progress of the community. In a word, he stands for all that is best for the individual and for the commonwealth and his influence is always on the side of right and order. In business he has displayed a most progressive spirit and at all times has followed a course which has made him most highly respected.
FRANK WILLIAM SCHOLZ.
Working along well defined lines of labor and placing his dependence upon the safe, substantial qualities of industry and determination, Frank William Scholz has gained a place among the representative business men of Platte county, being now engaged in the general hardware trade at Duncan. He has always lived in this
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county, his birth having occurred in Loup township on the 20th of September, 1879, his parents being John and Anna (Olbrich) Scholz. His early education was acquired in District No. 16, Butler township, and later he continued his course in the parochial schools of Duncan. When his textbooks were put aside he began learning the carpenter's trade, which he followed for about fifteen years, displaying excellent workmanship and becoming recognized as one of the foremost builders of the district. In the spring of 1904 he went to Pierce, this state, but in 1913 he returned to Duncan and purchased the hardware store of W. H. Thomas, and he now conducts a general hardware business, dealing also in paints and oils. His trade has grown rapidly and he has won a well earned reputation for enterprise and thorough reliability.
On the 9th of May, 1905, Mr. Scholz was united in marriage to Miss Emma Ida Engle, who was born in Duncan, October 9, 1880. They have two children, namely: Milton Frank, whose birth occurred in June, 1906; and Clarence, whose natal day was October 22, 1909. Mr. and Mrs. Scholz hold membership in the Methodist church and guide their lives according to its teachings. Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America, while in politics he is an earnest republican, believing firmly in the principles of the party. At all times it has been a recognized fact that his cooperation and aid could be counted upon to further measures and movements for the public good. He has served as school director in District No. 7 and when the town was incorporated in May, 1913, he was elected its first mayor. In April, 1915, he was reelected to the office, so that he is the present incumbent in the position. He is likewise president of the Duncan volunteer fire department and in managing public affairs he displays the same interest and fidelity and the same spirit of enterprise and progress which characterize the conduct of his individual interests. He is making a most excellent record in office and well merits the high regard which is so uniformly tendered him.
Jacob Madura, whose home is pleasantly situated on section 26, Loup township, where he is engaged in general farming and stock-raising, was born in Austria in 1857. His father, John Madura, was a farmer of that country. Jacob Madura worked for his father until he reached the age of twenty-seven years, when, attracted by the opportunities of the new world, he decided to try his fortune on this side of the Atlantic. Bidding adieu to friends and native country, he sailed for America and made his way to Columbus, Nebraska, where for five years he was in the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company. At the end of that time he secured employment at farm labor by the month, but after a time left Platte county for Omaha, where he continued for three years, employed in a packing house. He then returned to this county and with the money which he had saved from his earnings purchased two hundred and eighty acres of land. He has since bent his energies to the development and improvement of the place, which, in its neat and thrifty appearance, indicates his careful supervision and practical and progressive methods. He carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes and his diligence and energy have constituted the basis of his growing success.
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On September 25, 1889, occurred the marriage of Mr. Madura and Miss Sophia Kusrak, a daughter of George Kusrak, and to them have been born the following children: Julia, now deceased; Balinda, living in Omaha; John, who has also passed away; and Mary, Alvin, Elenora, Felemona, Joseph, Alfan, Julia and Michael, all yet at home.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church, of which Mr. Madura has been a lifelong communicant. He votes with the democratic party, for his study of the political issues and situation has led him to the belief that the best interests of the country would be promoted by the adoption of its principles. He has never taken an active part in politics, however, but has concentrated his energies upon his business affairs and thus has gained a fair measure of success in the conduct of his farm.
E. T. GRAHAM.
E. T. Graham, residing on section 12, Humphrey township, is perhaps the wealthiest man in this part of the country, now owning and cultivating ten hundred and forty acres of valuable land in Humphrey and Creston townships. The period of his residence in Platte county covers forty-four years, for it was in 1871 that he took up a homestead claim in Humphrey township. His birth occurred in Prince Edward Island on the 20th of February, 1845, his parents being John and Arm (Bernard) Graham, likewise natives of Prince Edward Island. The father, an agriculturist by occupation, removed to Wisconsin at an early day and in that state purchased land which he cultivated during the remainder of his life.
E. T. Graham was reared and educated in the Badger state and remained under the parental roof until twenty-five years of age. During the period of the Civil war he had served for one year as a member of the Forty-second Wisconsin Infantry. In 1867 he bought a tract of land, which he cultivated for a few years or until 1871, when he came to Platte county, Nebraska, taking up a homestead claim in Humphrey township. This he improved and as time passed on and his financial resources increased, owing to his well directed industry and capable management, he augmented his holdings by purchase until they now embrace ten hundred and forty acres, although he has sold some of his land. His property lies in sections 12 and 13, Humphrey township, and section 7, Creston township, and his agricultural interests are conducted in a manner that brings him a most gratifying income annually. In connection with the production of cereals he feeds about thirty ear loads of cattle and seven hundred hogs each year. He is likewise the vice president of the Citizens State Bank of Creston and has long been numbered among the influential and leading citizens of the county.
On the 22d of December, 1869, Mr. Graham was united in marriage to Miss Laura B. Morris, a daughter of Thomas and Mary A. (Todd) Morris, who were natives of Virginia and Kentucky respectively. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, removed to Wisconsin at an early day and there successfully carried on agricultural pursuits during the remainder of his life, passing away in 1879, when seventy years of age. His widow long survived, her demise occurring in June, 1914, when she had attained the remarkable age of ninety-five years. Mr.
(missing photo? - no sign it was ever bound into the book)
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and Mrs. Graham are the parents of seven children, as follows: James, who is a resident of Wyoming; Lola B., who is the wife of E. H. Farnsley and lives in Kansas; Elmer T., at home; Marshall, living in Wyoming; Anna, the wife of H. W. Luedtke, who is a banker of Creston; Leila, the wife of S. E. Ewing, who is engaged in the drug business at Creston; and Mary, who gave her hand in marriage to C. L. Galbraith, of Beemer, Nebraska.
Politically Mr. Graham is a stanch republican, exercising his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of that party. His religious faith is that of the Methodist church, the teachings of which he exemplifies in his daily conduct. Throughout his life he has manifested qualities which have won for him high regard, which have gained for him success in business and which have established him as one of the prominent and respected citizens of Platte county.
J. H. DRINNIN.
J. H. Drinnin is a resident farmer of Columbus township, his home being on section 3, where he now has two hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land. He bought one hundred and sixty acres of this place in 1882, paying ten dollars per acre and having ten years in which to make the payments. Today the property is worth many times that sum owing to the settlement of the county, which has created a demand for land, and also owing to the excellent improvements which he has placed upon it.
Mr. Drinnin was born in a log cabin in Stark county, Illinois, August 5, 1844, and from the experiences of his boyhood as well as of later years he has become thoroughly familiar with the different phases of pioneer life. His parents, John and Christine (Acker) Drinnin, were both of foreign birth. The father, a native of Queens county, Ireland, was born in 1812, while the mother was born on the Rhine, in Germany, in 1814. John Drinnin had no educational opportunities, but that he possessed the ambition to improve his condition is indicated by the fact that he came to the United States, having heard favorable reports concerning business opportunities in the new world. He worked with several yoke of oxen on the grading and construction of the Erie Railroad and in 1843 went from Buffalo to Chicago by boat and thence drove with two yoke of oxen and a wagon to Stark county, Illinois, which was then a pioneer district. He had to travel an entire day to find a dozen families and the work of development and improvement seemed scarcely begun there. He had purchased one hundred and sixty acres of timber land on Spoon river, which he traded for eighty acres of prairie and then turned the first furrows upon that tract, broke the sod and planted the seed. He built a house of white oak and while there residing was greatly annoyed by the Indians in the early days. He was truly a pioneer settler and took an active and helpful part in all affairs pertaining to the upbuilding and settlement of the district. In politics he was an active democrat and in religious faith a devout Catholic, holding membership in the church at Wyoming. He died in 1881, while his widow survived until 1903.
J. H. Drinnin was the third of their children and he pursued his education while sitting on a slab bench in one of the old-time log schoolhouses. He lived upon the home farm in Stark county to the age of twenty-four, assisting his father in the work
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of the fields, and then turned his attention to the trades of plastering and bricklaying, which he followed for some thirteen years, both as an employe and as a contractor. He was also active in the affairs of the county and entered most earnestly in Sunday-school work, teaching in three Sunday schools which were held in schoolhouses.
Hoping to benefit by a removal to the west, he arrived in Columbus on the 28th of February, 1883, having purchased his present farm on the 12th of June, 1882. All was open prairie between his place and Columbus and only about six families lived in the vicinity. The purchase price was ten dollars, but he was allowed ten years in which to make payment. After he had paid car fare and the other expenses of the journey west he had two hundred and sixty-five dollars remaining. He broke the prairie and began the development of the home farm, making progress, although he had to overcome many difficulties and obstacles. On the 13th of July, 1883, his crops were entirely destroyed by hail and this and other conditions brought on very hard times. After the hail he began working on the second ward school in Columbus and was thus employed until the 15th of December, 1888. He also did the mason work on the homes of J. P. Bichers and Charles Speice and by such labor he eked out his income and was thus able to tide over the difficult days before his farm became productive. He is now the owner of two hundred and forty acres of rich and valuable land in Platte county and is also interested in land in Holt county, Nebraska, and in Illinois. He has a fine large orchard upon his place and specializes in the production of Wolfe River apples, Baldwins and Jonathans. His place is known as the Home Farm and is now one of the attractive properties of Columbus township, equipped with all modern accessories and improvements. He is still directing the work of the fields and keeps abreast of the times in every particular. He brought Knoxville corn from Illinois and crossed that with Leaming, the result being Read's Yellow Dent corn. This he crossed with Gold Dust, which makes an unusually nice clean early yellow corn. He is now largely producing this corn, having an extensive sale in his home locality, while in California he is represented by agents who ship to neighboring states. Mr. Drinnin personally gives his supervision to the sale and shipment of his seed corn and this branch of his business is a profitable one.
On the 2d of September, 1868, Mr. Drinnin was joined in wedlock to Miss Harriett L. Pomeroy, who was born in Vermont in 1846 and died March 2, 1901. She possessed many admirable traits of heart and mind, was very active in neighborhood Sunday-school work and her beautiful Christian character endeared her to all who knew her. She was a daughter of Elijah and Catherine Pomeroy, natives of Vermont. where the father followed carpentering until he removed westward to Stark county, Illinois, and there engaged in farming from 1870 until his death. He was a very active and earnest member of the Methodist church, in which he served as deacon, and he took a helpful interest in all the progressive and beneficial affairs of his community. To Mr. and Mrs. Drinnin were born five children: Samuel P., who is engaged in agricultural pursuits near Home Farm, is married and has four children whom he has brought up himself and who are a great credit to him. Eliza is the wife of Burt Stevenson, who has a farm of eighty acres in Colfax county, and their children are six in number. George and Evelyn remain upon the Home Farm. Plessie is the wife of Henry Yonkie, a farmer of Colfax county, by whom she has two sons.
Mr. Drinnin has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1878. He gives his political allegiance to the democratic party, of which he is an
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 557
active supporter. He has served as town clerk, as township treasurer and as justice of the peace and, in fact, is active in all affairs relating to the upbuilding and progress of his community. He attends the Congregational church and his influence is ever on the side of right, truth, reform and progress. He keeps well informed on current events and is abreast of the times in every particular, being a most energetic and progressive citizen, alive to every interest that affects the community. He deserves much credit for what he has accomplished as he started out empty handed, depending entirely upon his own resources for his advancement and his success.
Nels Pearson, of Monroe township, who has won gratifying success as a farmer and stock-raiser, was born in the northern part of Jemtland, Sweden, December 8, 1861, a son of Andrew and Sarah (Nelson) Pearson, the former of whom was born in central Sweden in 1824. In April, 1882, he left his native land and emigrated to the United States, making his way to the middle west and remaining for a time near Des Moines, Iowa. Subsequently he removed to Monroe township, Platte county, Nebraska, and bought one hundred and forty-four acres of land, for which he paid five dollars per acre for eighty acres and twelve dollars and a half per acre for the remainder. In addition to farming he devoted some time to carpentering during his active life and his well directed labor enabled him to gain financial independence. He passed away about 1890. His wife was born in central Sweden in 1840 and is now living in Genoa, Nebraska. She still owns the old homestead, which is well improved and in a high state of cultivation.
Nels Pearson attended the common schools of Sweden for about five years and subsequently worked as a farm hand. In 1882 he accompanied his parents to the United States and for the first year thereafter assisted his father in the development of the home farm. He then worked on the farms of others for three years, after which he was again on the homestead for a year. In 1887 he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land on section 21, Monroe township, and later he bought an additional eighty acres, all of which he still owns. He raises graded Red Polled cattle and Duroc Jersey hogs, and the sale of his stock nets him a good profit annually. He also grows the usual crops and employs improved methods and machinery in his work.
On the 7th of May, 1887, Mr. Pearson was married to Miss Christina Peterson, who was born in Kewanee, Illinois, September 18, 1867, a daughter of Louis and Katherine (Person) Peterson. Her parents emigrated from northern Sweden to America in 1867 and first located in Kewanee, Illinois, where they remained until 1869. In that year they came to Platte county, Nebraska, and homesteaded eighty acres of land on section 3, Oconee township, which the father farmed for about thirteen years. He then sold that place and purchased one hundred and twenty acres in Monroe township. He went to Columbus to buy lumber with which to make contemplated improvements on his farm and coming back fell from the wagon and broke his neck. He was but forty-seven years of age when his life was thus tragically ended, and he was survived by his wife for many years, her demise occurring in 1912 when she was seventy-seven years old. Mr. and Mrs. Pearson have
558 PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
two sons: Lawrence, born October 13, 1903, and Edmund, born July 8, 1906, both of whom are attending school.
Mr. Pearson is a democrat but has never taken a very active part in polities. He is an influential member of the Swedish Methodist church and is at present serving as an exhorter, as a Sunday school teacher and as steward. He furthers in every way possible the influence of the church and contributes generously to its support. His upright life and regard for the rights of others has gained him the high esteem of all who have come in contact with him.
With various features of business and public life in Platte county Peter Kozlowski has been identified but is now living retired in Duncan. He was born in West Prussia, September 11, 1847, a son of Joseph and Anna (Deia) Kozlowski, who were also natives of Prussia. Throughout his entire life the father followed the occupation of farming and his place was considered one of the large farms of the neighborhood. Upon it he raised good stock and he carefully conducted his business affairs to the time of his death, which occurred when he was forty-two years of age. He was prominent in the community and served as justice of the peace in his native village. He belonged to the Rosary Society of the Catholic church and his wife was a communicant of the same church. She passed away at the age of thirty-eight years.
Peter Kozlowski was the second in a family of six children. His youngest brother came to the United States but Peter could not locate him. After attending the common schools of his native country Peter Kozlowski continued his education in an academy at Palpleen. He afterward began teaching in the Royal Teachers School at Graudenz and followed that profession for fifteen years. At length he determined to try his fortune in the new world and, crossing the Atlantic to the United States, made his way to Omaha, where he arrived July 27, 1885. On the 9th of June, 1886, he reached Duncan, after having been employed for about a year as collector for an Omaha brewery. In September, 1886, he established the first parochial school in Butler township, Platte county, where he continued teaching for about two years. In 1888 he engaged in merchandising, in which business he continued for twenty-six years. He also conducted an insurance and real-estate agency and sold all the lots in Duncan for the railroad company. As a merchant he occupied an enviable position among the leading representatives of business activity in his part of the state.
Mr. Kozlowski has also been prominent in other connections. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party, of which he is an earnest supporter, and for twelve years he filled the office of postmaster of Duncan. He was also township treasurer for six years, was township clerk for several years and for the past six years has filled the office of justice of the peace, in which he is the present incumbent. Because of his education he has been called upon to assist all the early Polish settlers in the conduct of their business enterprises. He is a man of sound judgment and his cooperation has been a helpful element in promoting individual prosperity and in advancing the general welfare of the community.
In 1877 Mr. Kozlowski was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Klatt, a native of
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 559
West Prussia and a daughter of Rudolph and Anna Klatt. The father acted as overseer and inspector of a large country estate and served in the army. In later life he became a real-estate agent and notary public in Liebsau, Prussia, and was an active man of affairs. His religious faith was that of the Lutheran church. Mr. and Mrs. Kozlowski have nine living children. Sister Concordia is a sister in St. Anthony's school of Columbus, Nebraska. Clara gave her hand in marriage to Leo Broviak, a traveling salesman residing in Norfolk, Nebraska, by whom she has three daughters. Monica is the wife of Edward Melkus, of Norfolk, Nebraska, who is the freight agent of the Union Pacific Railway and by whom she has one son. Alexander, who holds the position of pay clerk on the United States ship South Dakota, has been in the service of the navy for fourteen years, beginning as a yeoman and winning steady promotion. He is married and has two daughters. Valeria is the wife of Winfred Hartford, a carpenter living in Silver Creek, Nebraska, by whom she has two children. Elizabeth became the wife of Frank Zybach, of Duncan, by whom she has one child. Theofield is employed as a weigher in the Union stock yards of Omaha. Joseph is with the Duncan Mercantile Company. Helen, who is still at home, will graduate from the Silver Creek high school in the spring of 1916.
In his religious faith Mr. Kozlowski is a Catholic. He owns and occupies a nice home in Duncan and is able to enjoy all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life because of his intense and well directed activity in business affairs in former years. His worth is widely acknowledged and he enjoys in large measure the respect and goodwill of those with whom he has been brought in contact.
REV. FRIEDRICH SPRIEGEL.
The Rev. Friedrich Spriegel, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran church in Grand Prairie township, has exerted a strong influence for righteousness. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, June 27, 1849, a son of Lenhardt and Magdalena Spriegel, both of whom passed their entire lives in the fatherland.
Friedrich Spriegel was educated in the Seminary of St. Chrisehone at Basel, Switzerland, from which he was graduated in 1876. Subsequently he labored in the home mission field in Wurtemberg for three years, but in 1879 he came to America. During the first winter he had charge of several missions in the vicinity of Scribner, Nebraska, and in 1880 he organized a church at Plattsmouth, Cass county, and another near Berlin, Otoe county, of which he continued to serve as pastor for thirty-three years. At the time of the organization of the church there were but a few members but when he left for other fields the congregation was a strong one and the church was recognized as a powerful factor for good in the life of the community. His own zeal and sincere belief in the truths which he taught, combined with his effective presentation of the teachings of the church, enabled him to gain many new members, and his efficiency as an organizer and administrator insured the wise management of the affairs of the church. In 1888 a house of worship was erected and the church prospered under his pastorate both in spiritual and temporal matters. In 1913 he came to his present church in Grand Prairie township, Platte county, and his ability and sincerity have been plainly manifested. He is held in high esteem by all who know him and is recognized as a leader in religious circles.
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Rev. Spriegel was married in October, 1879, to Miss Magdalena Brendle, who was born in 1858 in Germany and passed away in 1892. She was the mother of three children: Marie, at home; Martha, the wife of H. Young, of Avoca; and Helen, at home. In 1893 Rev. Spriegel was again married, Miss Wilhelmina Link becoming his wife. She was born in Wurtemberg in 1863 and died in 1910. To Rev. Spriegel's second union were born four children: Fred, deceased; Magdalena, the wife of Rev. M. Mortenson, of Liberty, Illinois; Agnes, who is attending Midland College in Atchison, Kansas; and Ernest, at home.
Rev. Spriegel is a republican in his political belief. He labors untiringly for the advancement of the church and has in full measure the confidence and cooperation of his congregation and also the respect of the community at large.
GERHARD G. LUESCHEN.
Gerhard G. Lueschen, who is successfully carrying on farming on section 17, Sherman township, was born November 24, 1840, in Oldenburg, Germany, a son of Henry Groteluschen and Kate Margaret (Kuhlmann) Lueschen, both now deceased. In 1859, when about nineteen years of age, he emigrated to America and, making his way to the middle west, settled at Mayville, Wisconsin, where he remained for twenty years. At the end of that time he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and bought a quarter section of railway land in Sherman township. He still resides upon that place, which he has farmed since it came into his possession, and in addition to raising the usual crops he devotes considerable attention to stock-raising. He has gained financial independence and owned at one time about seven hundred acres of land but since has disposed of all of his holdings, save his home farm of forty acres.
In November, 1866, Mr. Lueschen married Miss Margaret Kuehlmann, a native of Saxony, Germany, by whom he has five children: Edward, a farmer of Sherman township; William; Dr. A. G., of Columbus; Adolph, at home; and Annie, who died at the age of three years.
Mr. Lueschen votes the republican ticket and in religious faith is a German Lutheran. He is well known and highly esteemed in Platte county and throughout life has adhered to high standards of conduct.
HENRY G. LUESCHEN.
Henry G. Lueschen, who has for many years been identified with agricultural interests in Bismark township, is entitled to honor as a veteran of the Civil war, having proved his loyalty to his adopted land by enlisting for service in the Union army. He was born in Oldenburg, Germany, on the 7th of February, 1855, of the marriage of Henry and Kate Margaret (Kuhlman) Groteluschen, both now deceased. Owing to an error made by the army officials at the time of his enlistment, the name became officially Lueschen and it is by this name he and his brothers are now known. He remained in his native land until he was twenty-five years of
GERHARD G., HENRY G. & HERMAN G. LUESCHEN
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