Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 585

ducted a brickyard in Omaha and later engaged in the same business at St. Edward. He has always taken an active interest in public affairs and is widely known and highly respected. He takes a great deal of pleasure in all forms of outdoor sport and now has leisure to indulge his taste in that direction. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have five children: Merle, Nina, George, Jr., Margaret and Mary.

  Mr. Anderson gives his allegiance to the republican party and is recognized as a leader in local politics. For four years he served as township clerk; was a director of school district No. 62, from 1910 to 1915; and in 1910 was elected county supervisor from district No. 4. He has at all times proved faithful to public trust and has discharged his duties with efficiency. He is recognized as a good citizen and as a man of unquestioned integrity, and his personal friends are many.


AUGUST HELLBUSH.

  August Hellbush, who follows farming on section 13, Grand Prairie township, belongs to that large class of representative and progressive citizens that Oldenburg, Germany, has furnished to Platte county. He was there born August 12, 1855, his parents being John and Anna Hellbush. The father, also a native of Oldenburg, was born on the 14th of November, 1824, and his death occurred August 12, 1901, when he had reached the age of seventy-seven years. On coming to the United States, where he believed that he might find more favorable business conditions, he made his way at once to Platte county, arriving in the year 1869. This was then a western frontier district and much of the land was still in the possession of the government. He secured a homestead in what is now Grand Prairie township and his first dwelling was a sod house. He passed through the hard times of the early days when grasshoppers devastated the crops and when it was difficult to find a market for anything raised because of the remoteness of the district from any cities. Mr. Hellbush was forced to endure many hardships and privations but in course of time these were done away with by energy and perseverance and he was able to add to his possessions until he had acquired seven eighty-acre tracts of land and also two timber claims. He not only concentrated his attention upon his farm work but also helped to organize St. John's German Lutheran church on section 13, Grand Prairie township, and took an especial and helpful interest in the moral welfare of the community.

  August Hellbush attended school in Germany and was a youth of fourteen years when his parents left the fatherland and came to the United States. He then became actively identified with farming interests in Grand Prairie township, within the borders of which he has lived for forty-five years, occupying his present farm for twenty-eight years. He now has one hundred and twenty acres of land and is bending his energies to the further development and improvement of the property, on which he annually raises good crops.

  Mr. Hellbush was married to Miss Anna Maisenbroch, a native of Germany, and a daughter of Bernhard and Katrina Maisenbroch. The family emigrated to the United States in 1885, at which time their home was established in Platte county. Here the father is engaged in farming. His religious faith is indicated by his
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586PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

membership in the Lutheran church. Mr. and Mrs. Hellbush have a son and daughter: Henry, born in 1907; and Louise, whose birth occurred in 1910.

  Mr. and Mrs. Hellbush are members of the German Lutheran church and are loyal to its teachings. They are worthy German citizens of the community in which they make their home and enjoy the warm friendship and regard of many people of their nationality.


HENRY HUNTEMANN.

  Henry Huntemann, who has gained gratifying prosperity as a farmer, is one of the well known and highly esteemed residents of Sherman township. A native of Germany, his birth occurred on the 9th of January, 1856. His father, Henry Huntemann, having passed away in Germany, the mother became the wife of Henry Robert, an account of whom appears in the sketch of Louis Robert elsewhere in this work. Our subject attended school in his native land, but when a boy of seventeen accompanied his mother and stepfather on their removal to the new world. He remained under the parental roof until his marriage and then purchased one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved land on section 2, Sherman township. He has not only developed that place and brought the land to a high state of cultivation, but he also owns eighty acres additional in this county and one hundred and sixty acres in Colfax county. His buildings are commodious and substantial and his farm is well equipped. He raises both grain and stock and as the years have passed his resources have constantly increased.

  Mr. Huntemann married Miss Sophia Luschi, who was born in Bismark township on the 22d of May, 1860, a daughter of Henry Luschi, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Huntemann have five children: Emil, who is living on his father's farm in Colfax county and who married Miss Mary Oldegs; Minnie, the wife of Adolph Sanders; Alma, who married Gerhard Loseke; and Elizabeth and Henry, at home. Mr. Huntemann is interested in public affairs, but has never desired to hold office. His religious faith is indicated by the fact that he is a communicant of the Lutheran church and in all relations of life he has proven honorable and considerate of the rights of others.


REV. ANDREW RASMUSSEN.

  Rev. Andrew Rasmussen has contributed largely to the moral progress of the community during the years of his connection with the Lutheran church in this state. He is now living on section 13, Walker township, and is one of the most highly respected and worthy residents of the county. He was born in Denmark, May 20, 1858, a son of Lars and Annie Rasmussen. He is indebted to the common-school system of his native country for the early educational privileges which he enjoyed and in his youthful days learned the blacksmith's trade. In 1875 he arrived in the new world, being then a youth of seventeen years. He made his way first to Sheffield, Illinois, where he worked for two years at farm labor and in a blacksmith shop. He

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 587

then went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he attended school from the 1st of January, 1878, until Christmas of 1882, pursuing a course of study in the Augsburg Seminary in preparation for the work of the ministry, to which he had determined to devote his life.

  After leaving school he was ordained as a minister of the Lutheran church and accepted his first pastorate in Howard county, Nebraska, where he remained from the 1st of January, 1883, until the 1st of October, 1884. At the latter date he went to Hastings, Nebraska, where he engaged in preaching until the 1st of April, 1886. The succeeding four years were spent as a minister at Council Bluffs and on the 1st of May, 1890, he went to Olga, Nebraska, where he remained until the 1st of October, 1891. At that date he accepted a call from the church at Racine, Wisconsin, where he continued until July 1, 1895, and returning to enter again upon the work of the ministry in Nebraska, he took charge of the church at Blair, where he continued until October 1, 1901. He spent ten months at Latimer, Iowa, and on the 1st of August, 1902, went to McNabb, Illinois, where he engaged in preaching for more than eight years or until December, 1910. At that date he returned to Nebraska and has since been a resident of Platte county, making his home on section 13, Walker township. His life work has been fraught with excellent results. He has carefully studied the best methods of reaching the people of his congregations and his earnest, thoughtful and convincing utterances have borne rich fruit in the lives of those with whom he has come in contact.

  On the 20th of December, 1882, the Rev. Rasmussen was united in marriage to Amalia Rasmussen, by whom he has six children, namely: Theodora, a resident of Latimer, Iowa; Victor, who makes his home in Blair, Nebraska; Christian; Emanuel, living in Walker township; Esther; and Naomi.

  In his political views Mr. Rasmussen is an independent republican. He keeps well informed on the questions of the day, believing that it is the duty of every citizen so to do. He has never allowed anything, however, to interfere with his church work and in his labors he has not been denied the full harvest nor the aftermath, his teaching and his influence proving an effective force in uplifting many who have sat under his preaching.


HERMANN L. KUNNEMANN.

  Hermann L. Kunnemann, a prosperous agriculturist residing on section 12, Shell Creek township, has lived in this county for forty-six years, devoting his attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his entire business career. He now owns three hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land in Shell Creek township and another farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Grand Prairie township.

  His birth occurred in Oldenburg, Germany, on the 21st of July, 1859, his parents being Henry and Katie (Ehlers) Kunnemann, also natives of that country. In 1869 they determined to come to the new world, leaving the fatherland on the 25th of July of that year. At the end of eighteen days on the ocean they landed at Baltimore, Maryland, and thence came by rail to Columbus, reaching that city after a five days' journey by train, or on the 25th of August. Henry Kunnemann took up a home-

 

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stead claim of eighty acres in Shell Creek township and erected thereon a sod house, eight by twelve, in which the family lived for four years. On the expiration of that period he built a log house of the dimensions of twelve by fourteen feet, which was the home of the family for eighteen years. Mr. Kunnemann died on this farm at the age of seventy-seven years, ten months and eight days, while his wife passed away at the age of sixty-seven years, nine months and twenty-seven days. They were consistent and faithful members of the Lutheran church and were well known and highly esteemed for their many good qualities. To them were born six children, five daughters and a son, three of whom survive, namely: Sophia, the wife of William Hoefelmann, living in Grand Prairie township; Gesine, the wife of Henry Luers, a resident of Columbus; and Hermann L., of this review.

  The last named was a youth of ten years when he accompanied his parents on their emigration to the United States and well remembers the details of the voyage. He has always remained on the home farm in this county and early became familiar with the work of the fields, for he was the only son in his father's family and his assistance was needed in the operation of the homestead. He helped his father accumulate two hundred acres of valuable land and eventually came into possession of the old homestead farm. His landed holdings now embrace three hundred and sixty acres in Shell Creek township and a quarter section in Grand Prairie township. The property is highly cultivated and equipped with all modern conveniences and accessories, including the latest machinery to facilitate the work in all departments. Bountiful harvests are annually gathered and these find a ready sale on the market.

  On October 25, 1880, Mr. Kunnemann was united in marriage to Miss Anna Gesine Weichmann, who was born in Germany, on the 2d of April, 1858, her parents being Henry and Katie (Schutte) Weichmann. Our subject and his wife now have four daughters and three sons, namely: Gustav H.; Walter H., who was married in 1914 to Annie Haka and is now farming in Grand Prairie township; Hermann G.; Gesine A., the wife of John F. Meyer, a farmer of Bismark township; Adelia E.; Olga M.; and Annie P.

  Mr. Kunnemann formerly gave his political allegiance to the democracy, but has recently become an advocate of republican principles, not being in sympathy with the course of the present administration. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Lutheran church, to which his wife and children also belong. He is a shrewd, well informed man, possesses a remarkably retentive memory and is a fluent and pleasing conversationalist. Many of his warmest friends are those who have known him from his boyhood to the present time--a fact which indicates that his life has been well spent and that his strongest qualities are those which win him respect and confidence.


ALVIN GERHARD LUESCHEN, M. D.

  Dr. Alvin Gerhard Lueschen is a well known and successful young representative of the medical profession in Columbus. His birth occurred on a farm in this county on the 12th of October, 1880, his parents being Gerhard G. and Margaret (Kuhlmann) Lueschen, who were married in Wisconsin. The father, born in

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 589

Germany in 1840, emigrated to the United States in 1859, locating first in Wisconsin, while several years later he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and has since carried on general agricultural pursuits here. His wife also still survives and both are well known and highly esteemed in their home community.

  Alvin G. Luesehen acquired his early education in the rural schools of this county and subsequently attended the State Normal School at Nebraska City, while later he took up the study of medicine in the Creighton Medical College of Omaha and was graduated from that institution in 1904. He then located in Columbus for general practice and in 1908 went to Bakersfield, California, where he remained until 1914. In that year he returned to Columbus and is here engaged in general practice to some extent but specializes in the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. He now enjoys a large and lucrative practice which is steadily growing as he demonstrates his skill and ability in the field of his chosen calling.

  On the 24th of November, 1908, in Columbus, Nebraska, Dr. Lueschen was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude Elias, a daughter of Charles F. Elias. To them have been born two children, Alvin Gerald and Willamette Marguerite.

  The Doctor is a republican in politics and is now ably serving in the capacity of city physician. Fraternally he is known as a York and Scottish Rite Mason and also belongs to the Mystic Shrine, while his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. He is popular in both professional and social circles. for his salient characteristics are such as command regard and esteem.


JOHN PETER ANDERSON.

  John Peter Anderson, whose well improved farm in Walker township is known as Fairview Farm, also has a number of other business interests and is one of the substantial men of his township. He was born at Kronoberg, Sweden, January 11, 1861, of the marriage of Andrew and Anna (Peterson) Anderson. He was the second child and the only son in a family of four children and all of the children and the father emigrated to America and located in De Kalb county, Illinois, following the demise of the mother, which occurred in Sweden. The father passed away in 1879.

  J. P. Anderson attended the common schools in his native land and following his arrival in De Kalb county worked on farms for six years and later was employed in De Kalb City for two years. At the end of that time, or in 1887, upon the suggestion of his employer, who took a sincere interest in his welfare, he bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land in Walker township, Platte county, Nebraska, paying twelve dollars and fifty cents per acre. In the spring of that year he removed to his farm, which is on section 19, and has since lived there continuously. In 1910 he bought a quarter section on section 20, opposite his home place, and he is now cultivating the entire three hundred and twenty acres. When he bought his first quarter section there were only a few acres broken on the place and there were no improvements at all. He now has a commodious and substantial residence, good barns and outbuildings, and the place is always well kept. The success which he has gained has been acquired by hard work and careful management and he deserves recognition as an efficient and progressive farmer. He formerly raised Poland China

 

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hogs but for a number of years past has raised Duroc-Jerseys. He also breeds Aberdeen Angus cattle and Buff Orpington chickens and finds those interests profitable. He owns stock in the Farmers Union store of Newman Grove, the Monroe Independent Telephone Company and the Scandia Mutual Insurance Company, of which he served as director for eight years.

  Mr. Anderson was married on the 28th of April, 1888, to Miss Emily J. Olson, a daughter of John Olson, who was an old settler of Walker township. Five children have been born to this union. Elmer L., who does much of the actual work of operating his father's farm and will assume entire charge of it when the latter retires, is an enterprising and progressive young farmer, keeping in touch with the latest developments in scientific agriculture. Bertha has taught district school No. 61 for the past three years and is meeting with gratifying success in her chosen profession. Earl Albert died in 1914, at the age of eighteen years. Della Mae is attending school, and one died in infancy.

  Mr. Anderson is a republican and has been active in local politics since his arrival in Walker township. For seven years he served as road supervisor and he is now filling the office of township clerk, which he has held altogether for twelve years, although his terms have not all been consecutive. He has been school director of district No. 61, for twelve years, while for nine years he served as moderator. He holds membership in the Salem Lutheran church, of which he has served as trustee for the past twelve years. No project for the moral advancement of his community lacks his cooperation and he is also heartily in sympathy with efforts to advance the material interests of his township and county. He has a wide acquaintance and his salient characteristics are such that all who have been brought into contact with him respect him highly.


JOHN H. PARKER.

  John H. Parker, a well known contractor of Columbus, was born at Keyingham, England, February 3, 1862, a son of Samuel and Mary (Finch) Parker. The father was born at Gressenhall, in Norfolk, England, famous as the place at which worsted was first manufactured in that country. The mother was born at Brisley, a village a few miles to the north of Gressenhall. She was connected with the aristocracy, while Mr. Parker is of the family to which belonged Admiral Parker, who prudently ignored the signal for the English troops to retire given him by Nelson and thus saved the day. Samuel Parker was the eldest of four children and was but six years of age at the time of his father's death. This was before the days of the compulsory school law, and at an age when most boys would be giving their attention to study, he was earning his own living and also contributing to the support of the family. In 1854 he removed to Sunk Island, where he worked and met with a fair measure of prosperity until February 2, 1858, when he returned to his native county and was married at Brisley Church to Miss Mary Ann Finch. They began their domestic life at Roos and afterward removed to Keyingham, while later they lived for ten months at Hull. Mr. Parker purchased a plot of ground at Halsham village and erected thereon a comfortable home, after which he continued in business as a contractor and builder. He has been a mem-

 JOHN H. PARKER

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 593

ber of the Foresters' Friendly Society for about sixty-five years. A most important event in his life was the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of his marriage, which was made the occasion of rejoicing throughout the village of Halsham. He is still living but his wife, who was born in 1830, passed away in 1911. In their family were eight children, seventeen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

  John H. Parker, who returned to his native country to aid in celebrating the golden wedding of his parents, attended school in his native town to the age of nine years, after which he began working with his father and learned the brick mason's trade. As the clock was striking twelve on Christmas morning of 1882 he landed at Halifax, after which he made his way to Detroit, Michigan, working at his trade there and in the upper peninsula of Michigan until 1884, when he returned to England. He only remained for a short time, however, after which he again came to the United States and was employed in Cincinnati, Ohio, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and at other points until June, 1886. He then made his way westward to Omaha, where he worked at his trade and also engaged in contracting until 1894. In 1892 he was president of the Bricklayers' Union and was instrumental in arbitrating a strike. In 1888 he built a schoolhouse at Albion, Nebraska, and on the 1st of August, 1894, he removed to that town, where he afterward built three schoolhouses, including the high-school building, which was erected at a cost of fifty-five thousand dollars. He also served as city engineer of Albion in 1897. He remained in active business with his brother at Albion until 1910 and then removed to Columbus.

  Before taking up his abode in this city, however, he had been engaged on the construction of some of the best buildings of the town. He took the contract for the brick and stone work on the Young Men's Christian Association building, the German National Bank, the Evans Hotel, the Galley Dry Goods Company's building, the building of the Fonteen Piano Company and the Reece Shoe Company. He also erected the addition to the Meridian Hotel and the residences of Charles Carrig, Dr. Evans and A. C. Anderson. He took the contract for the erection of the W. L. Poesch building, the Henry Gass building and the additions to St. Francis Academy and to the hospital. He has been a resident of Columbus since August, 1910, and on all sides are seen the evidences of his handiwork, manifesting the high degree of skill which he has attained. In Albion he erected a church for sixty-five thousand dollars and also one of the fine bank buildings of the place, and he built the Church of the Visitation at Greeley, Nebraska.

  In February, 1889, Mr. Parker was united in marriage to Miss Clara J. Giles, a native of England, who passed away in the following April. For his second wife he chose Miss Mary J. Roberts, a native of Manchester, England, and a daughter of James W. and Anna (Hargreave) Roberts. The father, engaged in business as a general contractor, conducted a lumberyard and brick mill in Lancaster until the time of his emigration to the United States in 1880, when he made his way direct to Albion, Nebraska. He became the owner of four hundred and eighty acres of land near the town and erected a number of business buildings and residences in Albion, where his demise occurred in 1892. Mr. and Mrs. Parker are the parents of three children, as follows: Clara R., who is a nurse in the West Suburban Hospital of Chicago; Rose Amy; and Evelyn, who has manifested pronounced ability in music and drawing.

  Mr. Parker is an Episcopalian and took a very active part in the work of the

 

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church in Albion as he has done in Columbus, contributing generously to its support and doing all in his power to further its growth and extend its influence. He is a democrat in politics but has no political aspiration. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America but prefers outside of business to concentrate his energies on those plans and movements which seek the moral progress of the community and he is therefore active in the Young Men's Christian Association, of which he is now a director. He may truly be called a self-made man, for since the age of nine years he has been dependent upon his own resources and, working his way upward, has wisely used his time, talents and opportunities, proving that honorable and intelligently directed industry will always win success.


FREDERICK BEHLEN.

  The term agricultural activity finds expression in the life record of Frederick Behlen, who lives on section 1, Shell Creek township. A native of Germany, he was born in Oldenburg, March 4, 1848, and is a son of John and Anna (From) Behlen, who were also natives of Oldenburg. The father carried on farming on a small scale and guided his life according to the teachings of the Lutheran church in which faith he died in 1858, at the age of thirty-nine years. His wife passed away in Platte county at the very advanced age of eighty-four years.

  Frederick Behlen attended school in Germany to the age of fourteen years, when he started out to earn his living as a farm hand. In 1867 he came with his mother and brother to the new world, settling in Ogle county, Illinois, where he remained upon a farm for two years. In March, 1869, he arrived in Platte county and homesteaded eighty acres in Bismark township, at which period there were few settlers within the borders of the township and pioneer conditions everywhere existed. Arduous work confronted him, for the land was entirely destitute of improvements not a furrow having been turned upon it. He lived in a dugout and began his farm work with oxen. The days passed in hard and unremitting labor, but the faithful performance of each day's task gave him strength and courage for the labors of the succeeding day. After two years he sold his original farm and bought land in Shell Creek township. It was difficult to find the section lines for there were no landmarks to indicate them. There were no houses, all was open prairie and it seemed hardly possible that, within the lifetime of one man, this district would become a populous and prosperous region. Mr. Behlen purchased railroad land at five dollars per acre, set out trees upon the farm, made other substantial improvements and as the years have passed has added to his property until he is now the owner of six hundred acres. He was busily engaged in the development and further work of the farm until a recent date, when he retired from the active work of the fields. He still occupies the old homestead, however, on which he has erected a comfortable little cottage, and he is now looking after his fruit. He has a nice orchard and top grafts his trees, planting French and .Japan pear trees. He also has a large apple orchard, in which the trees are in excellent condition, and the care and sale of his crops occupy all of the time which he wishes to give to business affairs.

  On the 18th of April, 1870, Mr. Behlen was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Schneider, who was born in Oldenburg, Germany, a daughter of E. Fred and Eliza-

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 595

beth Schneider, who were always farming people of the fatherland. Mr. Schneider died before the birth of his daughter Elizabeth, who by her marriage has become the mother of ten children: Lena, the wife of Henry Hobbensiefken, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work; Anna, who is the wife of George Meinke, of Texas, and has six children; Ida, the wife of Rev. Fred Mindrup, a minister of the German Baptist church at McClusky, North Dakota, by whom she has two children; William, a farmer of Shell Creek township, who is married and has three children; Emma, the wife of William Reese, living near Platte Center, by whom she has four children; John, who occupies the old home farm and is married and has two children; Minnie, the wife of William Lange, of Shell Creek township, by whom she has three children; Gustave, a farmer living on part of his father's land, who is also married and has one child; Freda, at home; and Lydia, who married Gustave Mohrmann, and has two children and who lives near the old homestead.

  In politics Mr. Behlen is independent, but in church work he and his family are very active as members of the German Baptist church. His brother, D. Behlen, gave the land on which the church of the neighborhood is built and Frederick Behlen and his family have been very helpful in promoting the work of the church and have contributed most generously to its support. Mrs. Behlen is the only one left in the community that aided in organizing the German Baptist church of Shell Creek. She is a true Christian mother, is active in the Ladies' Aid Society, of which she is the treasurer, and is loved by all who know her for her many good qualities. Their son John is now secretary of the Sunday school, William is also active in the work of the church and Freda is one of the teachers in the Sunday school. The children are indeed a credit to their parents, their records being an expression of the Christian training of the home. Mr. Behlen deserves commendation for his business career, for he started out empty-handed at the age of fourteen years and has since depended upon his own resources, but while putting forth earnest and strenuous effort to gain a living and secure a comfortable competence for his family he has never neglected the higher, holier duties of life and is recognized throughout the community as an earnest Christian gentleman.


WILLIAM SCHELP.

  William Schelp, of Grand Prairie township, has contributed to the agricultural development of Platte county and has also been a factor in the political life of the state, as he has served in the state legislature, proving an able and farsighted lawmaker. A native of Germany, his birth occurred in Westphalia on the 17th of March, 1848. His parents, Phillip and Fredericka Schelp, who were also natives of that country, came to the United States with their family in 1854 and for two and a half years thereafter resided in St. Louis. They then removed to Morgan county, Illinois, and for six years lived on the Jacob Strawn farm near Jacksonville, whence they removed to Sangamon county, Illinois, where both passed away.

  William Schelp was about six years of age when he accompanied his parents to this country and received his education in the public schools of Illinois. When but sixteen years of age, however, he put aside his textbooks and began work upon the farm by the month, so continuing until he turned his attention to learning wagon

 

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making. He became an excellent workman and conducted a shop at Berlin, Sangamon county, for eighteen years, gaining and holding a gratifying patronage. In 1885 he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Grand Prairie township. At that time but thirty acres were broken and there were no buildings upon the place. As soon as possible he placed all of his land under cultivation and in the intervening years he has made his farm one of the well developed tracts of his locality. He has erected good substantial buildings and keeps everything in excellent repair, while he uses the latest machinery in the work of the farm. He grows grain and raises stock, and both branches of his business have proved profitable.

  Mr. Schelp was married August 6, 1871, in Berlin, Illinois, to Miss Wilhelmina Blecher, who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, a daughter of William and Gertrude Blecher, both natives of Prussia, Germany. They were early settlers of Berlin, Illinois, where the father engaged in merchandising for years, becoming one of the successful business men of that time. Both he and his wife are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Schelp have become the parents of four children, of whom two survive: Elizabeth, the wife of William Arndt; and W. P., who is cashier in a bank at Platte Center.

  Mr. Schelp is a democrat where national issues are at stake but otherwise votes independently. For a number of years, when the populist movement was at its height, he supported that party. In 1891 and again in 1893 he was elected to the state legislature and during the two terms that he was a member of that body he supported many measures which have since proven of benefit to the state as a whole. Both he and his wife hold membership in the German Lutheran church and strive to exemplify the teachings of that organization in their daily lives. Mr. Schelp has always been energetic and industrious, and these qualities, combined with his business insight and good management, have enabled him to win financial independence. He holds not only the respect of all who have been associated with him but also the warm regard and personal friendship of many.


FRED WILLE.

  Fred Wille is a very prominent farmer and stockman of Shell Creek township, his home being on section 36. His property is known as the Wayside Farm and he is one of the leading breeders and raisers of Poland China hogs in the state, having been in that line since 1900. He was born in Cook county, Illinois, February 26, 1873, a son of August and Maria (Sieckmann) Wille. The father was born in Prussia, February 26, 1843, and his life record covered the intervening years to the 23d of July, 1914, when he passed away. His wife, who was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1845, is still living. August Wille was but four years of age when brought to the United States by his parents, who settled in Illinois. On attaining his majority he began farming in Cook county, that state, and occupied the first farm which he purchased until 1912, when he retired and went to live with a daughter at Blue Island, Illinois, where he passed away. Success attended his efforts in a business way and he became the owner of over four hundred acres of good land on which he had a fine herd of dairy cattle. In religious faith he was a

 FRED WILLE

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 599

German Lutheran and was very active, earnest and zealous in the work of the church.

  Fred Wille was the eldest in a family of seven children. He attended the parochial and public schools in the acquirement of his education and continued his residence in Illinois until 1898, when, at the age of twenty-five years, he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 36, Shell Creek township. Upon this property he has made substantial improvements and the place is now one of the attractive farms of the county. He has erected good buildings, including a comfortable residence and substantial barns and outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock. He uses the latest improved machinery and has divided his farm into fields of convenient size by well kept fences. In all that he undertakes he displays a most progressive spirit and his life work constitutes an example that may well be followed by other agriculturists and stockraisers. He raises a high grade of Guernsey cattle, which he ships to adjoining states, and he also makes a specialty of the raising of Poland China hogs, winning many prizes. He won first prize on a boar over two years old; first prize on a boar of eighteen months; first prize on a boar under six months; first prize on a sow, eighteen months; first prize on a sow under six months; first prize, breeder's ring; first prize, four animals, get of one boar; and grand championship of show, any age or breed. He was superintendent of the hog exhibit at the Platte County Agricultural Society Fair in 1915 and has been treasurer of the society. He ships hogs all over the United States and has one of the best bred herds in Nebraska.

  In 1898 Mr. Wille was united in marriage to Miss Louise Behle, a daughter of Henry and Emilie (Bebler) Behle, of Shell Creek township. Mr. and Mrs. Wille have become the parents of seven children, namely, Irene, Ethel, Alice, Olive, Edgar, Lorna and Clara. In politics Mr. Wille is a democrat and manifests a citizen's interest in the leading questions and issues of the day. He has filled the offices of clerk and constable in his township and has also been justice of the peace, in which connection his decisions have been strictly fair and impartial. He has likewise served as school director and believes in the employment of good teachers that adequate educational opportunities may be given to the young. In a word, he is a progressive man, the spirit of advancement being manifest in all that he does and he well deserves the reputation which he has won as a foremost stock-raiser and breeder of this section of the state. The name of the Wayside Farm has become well known not only in adjoining states but in other sections of the country and its owner is a most enterprising man, meeting with well deserved success in his under takings. Mr. Wille belongs to the German Lutheran church and aided in organizing the parochial school conducted in connection with that church.


JAMES P. NUNNALLY.

  James P. Nunnally, who was a cavalryman during the Civil War and who for many years carried on general agricultural pursuits in this county, is now living in Monroe. He has always made his home west of the Mississippi river, his birth having occurred in Danville. Montgomery county, Missouri, September 30, 1844,

 

600PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

his parents being John T. and Elizabeth Nunnally. They were farming people and died during the boyhood of their son James.

  He acquired a fair education for that time and in his youthful days worked as a farm hand. After the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the military forces, enlisting as a member of Company A, Third Missouri Cavalry, under Colonel Tracy. He saw very hard service during the first of the war and remained with that command for four months. He afterward reenlisted as a member of Company C, Third Regiment of Missouri Cavalry, under Colonel Coffee, and remained at the front throughout the entire period of hostilities, surrendering at Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1865.

  Mr. Nunnally then returned home and engaged in railroad work until 1868, when he removed to Cass county, Nebraska, where he turned his attention to farming, following that occupation for fifteen years. In 1900 he removed to North Dakota and later in that year came to Platte county, settling near Monroe, where he continued to carry on general farming. His labors in the cultivation of the fields were attended with good harvests and the sale of his crops brought him a substantial annual income, so that he was able to save something year by year and is now the possessor of a good competence.

  In Cooper county, Missouri, in 1870, Mr. Nunnally was united in marriage to Miss Artemesia Rickman and they became the parents of eight children, of whom five are yet living: Lee, a resident of Tacoma, Washington; Hezekiah, also living in Tacoma; Fairfield, who follows farming a mile west of Monroe; Jack, living in Sutherland, Nebraska; and Charles, who is clerk of the council at Monroe.

  Mr. Nunnally has always supported the democratic party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise, but has never been an aspirant for public office. He holds membership in the Baptist church and has lived an upright, honorable life, ever being loyal to his honest convictions and true to his professions.


GEORGE GRABE.

  George Grabe, a well known and successful architect of Columbus, is now engaged in business as a member of the firm of Grabe & Helleberg. His birth occurred in Germany on the 28th of February, 1883, his parents being Frederick and Eliza (Ohlwein) Grabe, who were born, reared and married in that country. The father, whose natal year was 1858, brought his family to the United States in 1883, locating first in Gladbrook, Iowa, where he remained for three years. Subsequently he spent a period of thirteen years at Kilgore, Cherry county, Nebraska, and then took up his abode on a farm near Blair, Washington county, this state, where he has since resided. The paternal grandfather of our subject was William Grabe.

  George Grabe acquired his education in the public schools of Kilgore, Nebraska, and in Omaha. He studied architecture and in 1905 began the practice of his profession, while the year 1910 witnessed his arrival in Columbus, where he was a member of the firm of Wurdeman & Grabe, architects, for four years. They prepared the plans for the high school at Humphrey, this county, for the third ward school at Columbus, and for the St. Francis Hospital at Grand Island, Nebraska, which cost ninety-six thousand dollars. In 1914 Mr. Grabe formed his present

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 601

partnership with John Helleberg, under the style of Grabe & Helleberg, and among the many structures which stand as monuments to their skill are the Ragatz building in Columbus, the new forty-five thousand dollar high school at Schuyler, Nebraska; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows building at Polk, Nebraska, and school buildings at Cairo and Cody, Nebraska.

  In 1906, in Lincoln, Nebraska, Mr. Grabe was united in marriage to Miss Mabel Clare Peak, a daughter of Julius and Viola (Thompson) Peak. Their children are three in number, namely: Hazel, Pearl and Ruby Clare. In his political views Mr. Grabe is a republican, while his religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. He enjoys an enviable reputation as an enterprising and capable young business man of Columbus and his continued success is assured.


CLAUD J. FENNEL.

  Merit and ability have placed Claud J. Fennel in the front rank among the photographers of Nebraska. He has the artistic sense, the mechanical ingenuity and the unfailing enterprise which are indispensable in this field of art. He now has splendidly equipped studio in Columbus, where he has been in business since 1912. He was born in Grundy county, Illinois, January 8, 1880, a son of William and Mary (Convis) Fennel, natives of Vermont and New York respectively. The father was a carpenter and wagon maker of the Green Mountain state and after the war removed westward to Illinois, settling in Grundy county, where he continued to follow his trade. In 1886 he came to Nebraska, establishing his home in Thayer county, where he lived until 1902, when he went to Schuyler and afterward became a resident of eastern Colorado, where he owned and cultivated land. From that state he returned to Columbus, where he is now living retired. In early life he was identified with the Baptist church, while later he became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

  Claud J. Fennel completed his education in the high school of Hebron, Nebraska, and then began the study of photography with William Griffin of that place. In 1900 he removed to Schuyler, where he established a studio, continuing active in business there for twelve years, or until 1912, when he came to Columbus. Here he opened a photographic studio and the artistic character of his work has brought to him a liberal and growing patronage. In fact his ability has gained for him wide and well merited prominence in his chosen field. He is a member of the Tri-State Photographers Association, which includes Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri; has been secretary, vice president and president of the State Association of Photographers; is a member of the National Photographers Association and has been twice a delegate to the national congress of photography. He keeps in touch with the most advanced thought, methods and scientific processes of his art and has won first prizes in both Class B and Class A at the state conventions. In addition to conducting business in Columbus he has branch studios at Silver Creek and at Spalding and is accorded a most liberal and well deserved patronage.

  On September 26, 1906, Mr. Fennel was united in marriage to Miss Lou E. Williams, who was born near Rockville, Missouri, a daughter of John and Mary (Riley) Williams. The mother, who was born in Cooper county, Missouri, is now

 

602PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

living in Columbus. The father, who was born in Tennessee and died in 1889, was a minister of the Baptist church in Missouri and Illinois. He was also prominent in political circles and was chosen to represent Bates county in the Missouri legislature. In his business affairs he prospered and became the owner of farm lands. At the time of his death, which occurred in 1889, he was a resident of Rockville, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Fennel have two children, Catheryn and Marjorie.

  Mr. Fennel belongs to the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Tribe of Ben Hur. He has always been very active in the Methodist Episcopal church, especially in Sunday-school work, and is now Sunday-school superintendent. In 1915 he was elected lay delegate, from Nebraska, to the Methodist Episcopal General World Conference convening during the full month of May, 1916, at Saratoga Springs, New York. His religious belief has ever been the guiding force in his life and thus his career has measured up to the highest standards, winning for him the confidence and respect of all.


OWEN JONES.

  Owen Jones is a retired farmer living on section 16, Joliet township. For a long period he was closely associated with agricultural interests and won the success that now enables him to leave the work of his farm largely to others. His example may well serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to others, showing what may be accomplished when ambition points out the way and energy and determination continue therein. Mr. Jones was born in Talbont, Conway, Wales, in February, 1851, a son of John and Mary (Owen) Jones, both of whom passed away in the year 1890, the father at the age of eighty-two and a half and the mother when eighty-one years of age. Mr. Jones carried on general farming and stock-raising, having a small tract of land. He lived a quiet life, was unassuming in manner but his entire course was directed by honorable principle in keeping with his professions as a member of the Methodist church.

  Owen Jones was the fourth in a family of seven children. His educational privileges were extremely limited, for he had the opportunity of attending school for only two weeks and his lessons of life had to be learned in the school of experience, in which, however, he has picked up much valuable knowledge. He was only eleven years of age when he began to earn his living as a farm hand and when old enough he began work in the slate mines of his native country. In July, 1881, he became a resident of Iowa, settling in Montgomery county, renting a farm not far from Red Oak. There he lived for about five years and in 1886 arrived in Platte county, after which he continued the cultivation of a rented farm in Joliet township for three years. In the meantime he carefully saved his earnings and his diligence and economy enabled him in 1889 to purchase one hundred and twenty acres of land, constituting the nucleus of his present farm. To this he has added from time to time until he now has four hundred acres of land all well improved. Upon his place he has a good home and other substantial improvements. When he made his first purchase, only thirty acres of the land was broken and there were no buildings upon the tract, but with characteristic energy he set to work to break the sod, turning the furrows and developing the fields. He has added good improvements

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 603

from time to time and is today the owner of a valuable farm property. At the present time he is largely living retired, leaving the actual work of the fields to his sons. In addition to his farm in Platte county he is the owner of land in Pierce county, Nebraska.

  Mr. Jones was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Jones, who was born in Wales June 30, 1851, a daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Jones) Jones, and the second in order of birth in a family of five children. The father, who was born April 5, 1826, worked in the quarries in Wales and there spent his entire life, passing away in 1896. The mother's birth occurred March 25, 1826. By her marriage Mrs. Jones has become the mother of ten children: Mary, the wife of D. Jenkins, a farmer of Wayne, Nebraska, by whom she has five children; Richard, who is a street car conductor in Los Angeles, California; John, who is a farmer of Pierce county, Nebraska, and is married and has five children; William E. and Robert who are on the home farm; Elizabeth, the wife of W. G. Jones of Joliet township; Dorothy, the wife of Arthur Nelson, who is farming in Joliet township, and by whom she has two children; Evan; Jane, the wife of H. Schmill, a farmer of Whitney, Nebraska, by whom she has one child; and Gladys, at home.

  Mr. Jones has adhered to the religious faith of his fathers and is an earnest Methodist. His political views are those of the republican party but he has never aspired to office, preferring to leave office holding to others. He has ever concentrated his attention upon his business affairs, working earnestly and persistently to achieve success. Starting out a poor boy at the age of eleven years, he has advanced steadily and is now numbered among the substantial farmers of Joliet township.


F. E. BELKNAP.

  F. E. Belknap, who is successfully engaged in farming on section 8, Creston township, was born in Bureau county, Illinois, November 23, 1864. His parents, Willard and Sarah (Martin) Belknap, were both natives of Ohio, but when eighteen years of age the father accompanied his parents to Bureau county, Illinois. In 1865 he removed to Iowa and purchased land in Marion county, which he cultivated until 1874, when he sold out and came to Platte county, Nebraska. He took up a homestead in Creston township, which he improved and operated until 1888. In that year he retired from active life and removed to Creston, where he lived until 1910, when he became a resident of Ogallala, Nebraska, where he is still living. His wife, however, passed away in May, 1902.

  F. E. Belknap grew to manhood and received his education in Creston township, this county, and remained with his parents upon the homestead until he reached the age of twenty-two years. He then began his independent career by renting land, which he farmed until 1897, and then purchased two hundred and forty acres of land on section 8, Creston township. He has made many improvements upon the place and as it is always well kept up it is one of the most attractive farms of the county. In addition to growing grain he raises full blooded Hereford cattle, and both branches of his business yield him a good profit.

  On the 23d of February, 1887, Mr. Belknap was united in marriage to Miss Carrie V. Keigwin, who died in 1892, leaving three children, Jessie B., John Oscar

 

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