Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

604PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

and Florence. Mr. Belknap was again married February 25, 1897, his second union being with Miss Isabella Langmuir, a daughter of James and Agnes (Angus) Langmuir, who were natives of Scotland but came to America in childhood and were married in this country. They located in Minnesota, where Mr. Langmuir engaged in farming for some time, but subsequently took up their abode in Mills county, Iowa. There he purchased land, to the cultivation of which he devoted the remainder of his life. He passed away in 1889 but his wife still survives and resides on the homestead in Mills county, Iowa. By his second marriage Mr. Belknap has four children, namely: Mabel E., Lacy L., Ethel A. and Donald L.

  Mr. Belknap supports the republican party at the polls and is much interested in all matters of public concern. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and of the Degree of Honor. A life of well directed activity and of strict adherence to high standards of conduct has brought him financial independence and the respect of all who are associated with him.


EDWARD ZYBACH.

  An excellent farm of four hundred and sixty acres in Loup township pays tribute to the care and cultivation of Edward Zybach, who is working diligently along well defined lines of labor to attain success. He was born August 23, 1870, in the township where he still resides, his parents being Peter and Barbara Zybach. The father, a native of Switzerland, was a watchmaker in his native country and came to America from the land of the Alps in 1868, and, making his way to Nebraska, east in his lot with the pioneer settlers of Platte county, where he endured all of the hardships and privations incident to frontier life. He took up a homestead of eighty acres, which now constitutes a part of his son's farm, and with characteristic energy began to develop and improve the place, being one of those to take the initial step in converting the county into a prosperous agricultural district. In the family were but two children: Edward; and Mrs. Lena Hecker, now of Polk county, Nebraska. The father died in 1902 and the mother, surviving for seven years, passed away in 1909.

  The son acquired a common-school education and from early youth assisted his father upon the home farm, early becoming familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He was a young man of nineteen years when he left home and made his way to the northwest, spending some years in Yamhill county, Oregon. He engaged in farming during that period and then returned to Platte county, since which time he has continued to make his home in Loup township, where he has a farm of four hundred and sixty acres situated on sections 24 and 25. In addition to tilling the soil he also devotes considerable time and attention to the raising of registered Poland China hogs, for which he finds a ready sale on the market, commanding good prices because of the high grade of his stock. He carries on all of his farm work according to modern scientific ideas and his is a valuable and splendidly improved property, equipped with all modern accessories and conveniences found upon the model farm of the twentieth century. His buildings are large, adequate, comfortable and attractive and his farm presents a most pleasing feature in the landscape. He has a large

 EDWARD ZYBACH AND FAMILY

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 607

tractor which he uses in plowing and all of his farm machinery is thoroughly modern.

  On the 24th of September, 1900, Mr. Zybach was united in marriage to Miss Lena Liebengoed, a daughter of John Liebengoed, one of the pioneer residents of Platte county. They have become parents of four children: Elvina, Frank, Edward and John. The family are well known in this county and Mr. and Mrs. Zybach have many warm friends. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and for two terms he filled the office of deputy assessor. He has also been a school director for four years and he is interested in everything that pertains to the welfare and upbuilding of the community. Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America, belonging to the camp at Columbus, and his name is also on the membership roll of the Tribe of Ben Hur. He is justly accounted one of the representative citizens of his community, standing at all times for progress and improvement along material, intellectual and social lines.


ALBERT HANKE.

Albert Hanke, residing on section 10, Joliet township, is a self-made man, who deserves much credit for the success he has attained as the years have gone by -- a success that has come as the reward of earnest, persistent effort, and which finds tangible expression in the excellent appearance of his farm of three hundred and twenty acres. He devotes his attention mainly to the raising of high grade shorthorn cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs and is accounted one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of his locality. He was born in Chickasaw county, Iowa, April 28, 1870, a son of August and Minnie (Kohn) Hanke, who were natives of Prussia and are now residents of Phillips county, Kansas, the father having attained the age of seventy-nine years, while the mother has reached the age of seventy-three. He was a farmer in Germany and continued a resident of Prussia until 1865, when he severed his connections that bound him to his native country and sailed for the new world. Making his way into the interior, he settled in Chickasaw county, Iowa, where he was engaged in the cultivation of a rented farm until 1879. He then removed to Phillips county, Kansas, where he lived for a considerable period. In 1890, however, he homesteaded in Platte county, securing a tract of land in St. Bernard township, which he owned and cultivated until 1902. He then returned to Kansas and has become the owner of nine hundred and sixty acres in that state. In his political faith he is a democrat and his religious belief is that of the Lutheran church. He has always been very active in church work and though he had little educational opportunity and no advantages at the outset of his career, he has learned many valuable lessons in the school of experience, has become a successful business man and has made his life of worth and benefit not only to himself, but to others.

  Although born in Iowa, Albert Hanke spent much of his boyhood and youth upon the old homestead farm in St. Bernard township, Platte county, meeting with the usual experiences of the farm lad who divides his time between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the work of the fields. In 1900 he began farming on his own account, renting land on section 10, Joliet township, and his industry and economy brought him the measure of success that enabled him
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608PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

to purchase the property in the spring of 1903. He has added to his original holdings until he is now the owner of three hundred and twenty acres. All this he has made through his own efforts, having no outside help or assistance, but he possesses industry, determination, persistency of purpose and honesty and these qualities always win results. He started out with three horses, a wagon, plow and a few household goods and he now has a nice farm, which is known as Shell Creek Valley Stock Farm, on which he raises good grades of shorthorn cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs. His life has been an active one and success crowns his efforts in substantial measure.

  In 1900 Mr. Hanke was united in marriage to Miss Frances Melcher, who was born in Granville township, a daughter of John and Frances (Smeltzer) Melcher natives of Germany. The father emigrated to the new world in 1870 and took up a homestead claim in Granville township, Platte county. That he has prospered in his undertakings is indicated in the fact that his possessions now aggregate twelve hundred and eighty acres of land. He is active in public affairs and assisted in the organization of the Catholic church in St. Bernard and gave a third of his profits from what he raised one year toward the erection of the house of worship. To Mr. and Mrs. Hanke have been born four children, Edward, Emma, Clarence and Roy.

  In his political views Mr. Hanke is a democrat, but has never been ambitious to hold office. He has served, however, as treasurer of school district No. 42 and is a member of St. John's Catholic church in Joliet township. He is interested in its work, contributes generously to its support and at all times manifests a public-spirited devotion to the general good. He has concentrated his efforts, however, upon his farm work and has allowed no obstacle nor difficulty to bar his path if it could be overcome by persistent, earnest effort.


REV. JENS J. LERAGER.

  Rev. Jens J. Lerager is the pastor of St. Ansgars Danish Lutheran church and makes his home on section 11, Walker township. He is well known in the county, and among the people of his denomination and in the community in which he lives he is held in highest esteem and regard. He was born May 31, 1883, in S. Aldum, Denmark, and is a son of Jens C. and Maren (Hansen) Lerager. His educational advantages of early boyhood were such as the Danish lad ordinarily receives. He was a young man of twenty years when, in May, 1903, he bade adieu to friends and native land and sailed for the new world, making his way to Flynn, near Plankinton, South Dakota, where a brother was engaged in merchandising. Our subject took up his abode upon a farm in that locality, but, being ambitious to direct his labors into a field of still broader usefulness, he later went to Des Moines and entered the Grand View Theological College, in which he took the regular course. Subsequently he pursued the study of theology in that institution, from which he was graduated in 1911. During his eight years in college he worked during the summer months, being employed at farming and tiling and during the latter years at teaching, and through his earnest, persistent efforts won the means that enabled him to pursue his college course. He was then assigned to duty at Elba, Howard county, Nebraska,

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 609

where he remained from the 1st of July, 1911, until the 1st of April, 1915, when he came to his present charge, accepting the pastorate of St. Ansgars Danish Lutheran church.

  In December, 1912, Rev. Lerager was united in marriage to Miss Anna Petersen, a daughter of M. Peter and Anna Petersen, of Cordova, Seward county, Nebraska, and they have one son, Carl. Rev. and Mrs. Lerager have become well known in Platte county during the period of their residence here and their attractive home is noted for its warm-hearted and generous hospitality. They do much to aid in the intellectual as well as moral progress of the community and Rev. Lerager is a most earnest worker in behalf of his church, consecrating almost his every effort and thought upon its upbuilding and the promotion of the cause for which he stands.


GEORGE WALTER PHILLIPS.

  In many public offices George Walter Phillips has demonstrated his loyalty to the best interests of Platte county, his efforts ever being a potent force in promoting public progress. In business circles, too, he has figured prominently and, moreover, there is no one in this section of the state more conversant with the history of the county, for his residence in this part of Nebraska covers a period of more than a half century. His birth occurred in Lake county, Illinois, October 24, 1856, his parents being George Dinsmore and Julia Ann (Jackson) Phillips. His great-grandfather in the paternal line was Nicodemus Phillips, who removed from the state of New York to Illinois in 1840, settling in Chicago. John Jackson, great-grandfather on the maternal side, was born near London, England, and came to American in 1839. George Dinsmore Phillips was a native of Onondaga county, New York, and was a miller by trade. After living for some years in Illinois he came to Nebraska in 1864, settling in Elk City, Douglas county, where he resided until 1896, when he came to Columbus and made his home with his son, G. W. Phillips, until his death. His widow still resides with their son.

  G. W. Phillips lived in Algonquin, Illinois, until seven years of age, when in 1864 the father came to the west with his family, including the mother, the son, G. W. Phillips, and two daughters. They landed from a Missouri river steamboat at Omaha and the son was sent to school at Elk City until he reached the age of thirteen years. On the 26th of November, 1871, he arrived in Columbus and began learning the cutter's and fitter's trade with M. T. Kenny, working along that line for his board, clothing and twenty-five dollars per year, together with the privilege of three months' schooling annually. He spent three years in that manner, after which he engaged in the shoe business, both selling and manufacturing shoes until 1883. In the autumn of that year he became an employe in the county clerk's office under John Stauffer and after eighteen months was appointed deputy county clerk, which position he filled until the fall of 1889, when he was elected county clerk on the democratic ticket and entered upon the discharge of the duties of that position, which he filled through reelection for six years. In 1896-7 he was postmaster of Columbus and in the fall of the latter year was again elected county clerk, serving for six years more. He next organized the German National Bank, erected a building and opened the doors of the bank for business in September, 1906, since which time he has

 GW PHILLIPS

 

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served as president of the institution. In 1909 he was associated with others in organizing the Home Savings Bank, of which he has served continually as cashier, thus being closely identified with the financial interests of the county. He is likewise interested in the Columbus Gas Company, of which he is now the secretary, and is connected with the Platte County Independent Telephone Company and the Evans Hotel Company, being a director of the latter.

  On the 26th of June, 1883, in Columbus, Mr. Phillips was united in marriage to Miss Louisa E. Hudson, daughter of Henry J. Hudson, of Columbus. To them were born three children, as follows: Myrtle, who died at the age of five; Milton H., born October 4, 1890, who is employed as bookkeeper by the Leesburg Mining Company of Salmon, Idaho, and who wedded Miss Frances Schroeder of Columbus, by whom he has two children, Milton, Jr., and Louisa; and Albert ;J., born August 22, 1896, who graduated from the Columbus high school in 1915 and is now employed as bookkeeper by the Columbus Gas Company. The wife and mother was called to her final rest on the 7th day of April, 1897.

  Mr. Phillips attends the Methodist Episcopal church and fraternally is connected with the Masons, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America, Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He likewise belongs to the Commercial Club of Columbus and during the eight years of its existence has served as its treasurer. In polities he is a democrat and for four different terms has been mayor of Columbus, his reelection being proof of his businesslike and public-spirited administration of municipal affairs. He has also served as councilman for three terms and in 1903 was secretary of the democratic state central committee. His influence and activities have thus extended beyond his immediate locality to the benefit of the general public, while in the city and county of his residence his labors and interests have been most effective in advancing the general welfare.


SIEGFRIED C. B. NISSEN.

  Platte Center lost a representative business man and worthy citizen when Siegfried C. B. Nissen was called to his final rest in 1911. He was the proprietor of the Fairmont Creamery and as such was conducting a substantial business. He was of Danish nativity, his birth having occurred in Odense, Denmark, on the 23d of January, 1847, a son of Siegfried and Antonia Nissen, who were born respectively in Bogense and in Copenhagen, Denmark. After completing his education in the schools of his native land he engaged in the mercantile business at Bogense, where he remained for a number of years. On selling out he came to the United States about 1886 and settled in Merrick county, Nebraska, where he purchased a tract of land and turned his attention to farming. Later, however, he removed to Chapman, Nebraska, and again engaged in commercial pursuits, owning and conducting a store and also a cream station for ten years.

  On selling his business at Chapman, Mr. Nissen removed to Platte Center on the 6th of April, 1908, and here began dealing in cream and eggs, opening what was known as the Fairmont Creamery. From that time until his demise he continued to actively engage in business and controlled a large and gratifying trade. His

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 611

business was of value to the community, as it furnished a market for the farmers and supplied the town with thoroughly fresh and desirable products.

  On the 31st of October, 1877, Mr. Nissen was united in marriage to Miss Anna Marie Allfrieda, a daughter of Jorgen and Dorothea Knudsen, also natives of Denmark. Her father was an officer in the Danish army. To Mr. and Mrs. Nissen were born three children, namely: Sarah, Antonia and Hugo. The first two are natives of Odense, Denmark. Sarah is now the wife of John Horstman, of St. Libory, Nebraska, where they own a farm, and they have five children. Antonia is the wife of Gregor Brunt, a farmer living near Columbus, and they have three children. Hugo, who was born in Merrick county, Nebraska, married Frieda Berchtold and is now engaged in farming near Columbus. Mr. and Mrs. Nissen also reared an adopted daughter, Christina.

  The family circle was broken by the hand of death when on the 29th of July, 1911, Mr. Nissen passed away. He was an Odd Fellow in his fraternal relations and a Lutheran in his religious faith and both organizations now miss a valued member. He was ever loyal to any cause he espoused, was devoted to his family and faithful in friendship, and all who knew him spoke of him in terms of the warmest friendship and highest regard.


HENRY ALPERS.

  Henry Alpers is conducting a growing and profitable business as a painter and decorator at Columbus, the excellence of his work insuring him a liberal patronage. Laudable ambition has prompted him to put forth earnest and persistent effort, while a courageous spirit has enabled him to overcome all difficulties and obstacles in his path.

  Mr. Alpers is a native of Hanover, Germany. He was born February 3, 1878, and is the fourth in order of birth in a family of five children, whose parents were Henry and Rebecca (Pape) Alpers. Ere leaving his native country he learned the cabinetmaker's trade and in 1901, attracted by the business opportunities of the new world, he came to the United States, making his way at once to Nebraska, where he worked as a carpenter near Columbus. He was then about twenty-three years of age. Subsequently he was employed as a carpenter on a hospital at Columbus, while for nine months he worked in the Columbus Planing Mill. He afterward spent five and a half years in a furniture store as salesman and repair man and on the expiration of that period turned his attention to the painting and decorating business, in which he has since been engaged. At first his patronage came largely from the surrounding country but as the years have gone by he has developed a large city business which has been steadily increasing and is now one of very gratifying and desirable proportions. Most of his previous experience constituted the preparation for his work in these lines and that the results of his labors are highly satisfactory to his patrons is shown in his constantly increasing trade.

  In 1901 Mr. Alpers was married in Germany to Miss Emma Albers, a daughter of Henry Albers, and they have become parents of three children, Hugo, Werner and Arthur, The religions faith of the family is that of the German Lutheran church, while in political belief Mr. Alpers is independent, voting according to the dictates

 

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of his judgment, based upon the demand of the time. The family occupy a large and attractive modern residence and in addition Mr. Alpers owns a well equipped shop. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to come to the new world, for here he has found the opportunities which he sought. He brought with him no false idea that success was to be had for the asking, but he recognized the fact that in this country industry and diligence are not hampered by caste or class and that the road to advancement is open to all. Accordingly, he put forth earnest, persistent effort and has won for himself a creditable position in business circles of Columbus.


CURTIS W. HOLLINGSHEAD.

  An excellent farm of two hundred and seventy acres situated in Oconee township is the property of Curtis W. Hollingshead and pays substantial annual tribute to him for the care and labor which he bestows upon it. He also has other important business connections and at all times is regarded as one of the progressive citizens of his part of the county. He was born in Sauk county, Wisconsin, March 19, 1858, a son of William and Lauzna J. (Dennis) Hollingshead. The father was born near Greensborough, in Knox county, Tennessee, and with his parents removed north to Indiana, where he lived for several years. In 1884* he married Lauzna J. Dennis, who was born in Delaware, North Carolina. With ox teams they removed westward to Clarke county, Iowa, where they remained until 1851, when they became residents of Sauk county, Wisconsin, casting in their lot with its pioneer settlers, for it was then a new and undeveloped country. At the time of the Civil war Mr. Hollingshead joined the army as a private of Company I, Third Wisconsin Infantry, and saw active duty at the front. He was with Sherman on his march to the sea. Following the close of hostilities he continued his residence in Wisconsin until 1876, when he removed to Platte county and engaged in farming near the present site of Monroe for a number of years. For five or six years prior to his death he conducted a general mercantile store in Monroe, where he passed away in 1910, at the advanced age of eighty years. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and was accounted one of the valued and worthy citizens of this county. His widow survives and is now living in Monroe at the age of eighty-six years.

  Curtis W. Hollingshead began his education sitting on a slab bench in a little log schoolhouse in Wisconsin, for his boyhood days were there passed amid pioneer conditions. He accompanied his parents to Nebraska, remaining at home until he reached the age of twenty-two years, when he began farming on his own account in Monroe township, devoting his energies to general agricultural pursuits until 1891, when he engaged in the grain business in Monroe. He became associated in the undertaking with C. H. Sheldon under the firm style of Sheldon & Hollingshead, a partnership that was continued for fifteen years, or until 1906, when Mr. Hollingshead again took up farming, to which he is now devoting his energies, being busily employed in the cultivation of his two hundred and seventy acres of rich and arable land. He also raises Percheron horses, having full blooded stock. He makes his home in Monroe, from which point he directs his farming interests driving back and forth to his place. He has ever been greatly interested in the development

* Should be 1848 according to researcher working on this family.

 

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of the entire county and is a stockholder and director of the Platte County Fair Association, while his wife is a member of the Monroe Farmers Association. She, too, has valuable property holdings in the county, their combined possessions aggregating four hundred and seventy acres of excellent land.

  It was on the 20th of November, 1883, that Mr. Hollingshead wedded Miss Matilda N. Dack, and they have become the parents of four children. Neal, the eldest, now operating the home farm, is married and has one child, Corinne. He attended the Lincoln Business College for two years and spent one year as a student in the Wesleyan University. Arthur, born January 23, 1894, was graduated from the Wesleyan University at University Place and is now principal of the high school at Monroe. He served as president of the Young Men's Christian Association of his college and also became a member of Phi Kappa Phi. Corrie H., who was born January 15, 1897, was graduated from the Monroe high school in June, 1915. Delbert J., born October 11, 1899, is attending school.

  Mr. Hollingshead has always been very active in the affairs of his town and, in fact, aided in its organization. Several times he has been a member of the city council and he has served in township and school offices. His political allegiance has always been given to the democratic party. He has been quite active in support of religious work and aided in organizing the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he and his wife are active and earnest members. Mr. Hollingshead has served as trustee and steward of the church, while his wife has also been most prominent in church work, in the Woman s Christian Temperance Union and in the social life of the community. They occupy a beautiful residence in Monroe, justly celebrated for its warm-hearted hospitality, and the best homes of the city and surrounding country are readily opened for their welcome.


HARRY T. SWANSON.

  The attractiveness of Platte county as a place of residence and the excellence of the opportunities which it offers to a man of energy and ambition are indicated by the fact that many of its native sons have elected to remain residents of it after reaching manhood's estate. Among this number is Harry T. Swanson, who is successfully farming on section 15, Walker township. He was born upon that farm on the 8th of February, 1878, of the marriage of Peter and Nellie (Anderson) Swanson, both natives of Sweden, the former born in 1844 and the latter in 1847. On removing to this country they resided in Illinois, but in the early '70s came to Platte county, being numbered among its first settlers. Both are still living and make their home in St. Edward, enjoying a period of rest and leisure which is well deserved. A sketch of their lives appears elsewhere in this work.

  Harry T. Swanson was reared upon the farm where he still lives and through assisting his father gained valuable knowledge of agricultural methods. During his boyhood and youth he also devoted considerable time to attending the public schools, thus gaining a common-school education. He now owns one hundred and sixty acres of well improved land and devotes his attention almost entirely to its cultivation and improvement. He does general farming and as he plans his work well and uses up-to-date methods, his labor yields him a good income.

 

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  Mr. Swanson was united in marriage to Miss Anna Jensen, a native of Sweden and a daughter of Nels Jensen. The wife and mother died in 1911, leaving a daughter, Edna.

  Mr. Swanson is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, the work of which he furthers in every way possible and the teachings of which guide his life. In carefully managing his private interests and in continuing the development of his farm he is not only gaining individual success, but is contributing to the agricultural development of his county. He is widely known and the genuine worth of his character is indicated by the fact that those who have been most intimately associated with him are his staunchest friends.


JOHN GIBBON.

  John Gibbon is mayor of Monroe, serving for the fourth year in that office of honor and responsibility. He is also well known as a capable business man, having had charge of the business of the Hord Grain Company since 1901. He is a native of Pembrokeshire, Wales, born February 12, 1856, and is a son of Benjamin and Mary (Evans) Gibbon. The father was born in Wales about 1828 and, leaving that little rock-ribbed country in 1857, sailed for the new world, making his way to Iowa county, Wisconsin, where he entered two hundred and forty acres of land from the government. He there engaged in farming throughout the remainder of his days, his death occurring in 1906, while his wife survived until 1909. They were consistent Christian people, holding membership in the Congregational church, and Mr. Gibbon served as deacon in the local church organization with which he was connected. In politics he was an ardent republican, giving stalwart support to the party and its principles. In fact, he displayed many sterling traits of character which made him valuable as a man and a citizen.

  John Gibbon acquired a good English education in the public schools of Wisconsin and in his youth began working on the home farm, so that he early became familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. Taking up the profession of teaching, he devoted twenty-two years to that work in Wisconsin and in Platte county, Nebraska, proving an able educator by reason of his ability to impart clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he had acquired. In 1901 he took charge of the business of the Hord Grain Company. This has changed hands three times in the intervening period of fourteen years, but through all of the changes Mr. Gibbon has remained with the company, carefully directing the interests of the business at this place, his labors being attended with a substantial measure of success. He closely studies the market, knows the conditions of the trade and is therefore able to so direct his efforts as to make the business at Monroe a profitable one.

  On the 15th of February, 1888, Mr. Gibbon was united in marriage to Miss Ella Miller, of Monroe, Wisconsin, and they have become the parents of eight children: Raymond, who resides in South Dakota; Mary, a graduate of the State Normal School and now a teacher at Creston, Nebraska; Leslie, at home; Gladys, who is also a graduate of the State Normal School and resides with her parents; Audrey, a graduate of the local high school; and Laura, Hazel and Marie. all at home.

 MR. AND MRS. JOHN GIBBON

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 617

  Fraternally Mr. Gibbon is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and politically is a democrat. He has served as central committeeman for Oconee township and has been clerk of the township board. He is now serving as mayor of Monroe and for three years previously filled the office. His record discloses a public-spirited administration characterized by needed reforms and improvements He has also been the secretary of the Monroe school board for the past eleven years and the cause of education finds in him a stalwart champion. His entire life has been characterized by a spirit of progress and improvement, and strong purpose, commendable determination and laudable ambition have carried him into important business relations.


JOSEPH M. BROCKHAUS.

  Joseph M. Brockhaus, a partner in the firm of Braun & Brockhaus, general merchants of Humphrey, was born in the town where he still makes his home and where he has won for himself a creditable position in commercial circles. His natal day was August 2, 1884, his parents being Frank and Johanna (Fuchs) Brockhaus. The mother was born in Austria, but was only two years of age when brought by her parents to the new world. The father, who was a native of Wisconsin, became a carpenter, learning his trade in the Badger state, after which he worked at carpentering there until eighteen years of age. In 1876 he came to Nebraska with his parents, who took up a homestead in Platte county, but Frank Brockhaus continued to follow carpentering until 1893, when his father gave him two hundred and forty acres of land, one hundred and sixty acres in Granville township and eighty acres in Grand Prairie township. He then began to develop and improve the property, which he converted into fine farms. He erected the buildings upon his place in Granville township and he has continuously operated his land, proving as capable in the occupation of agriculture as he was in building. He has purchased more land and is now the owner of an entire section. To him and his wife were born ten children: Joseph M.; Henry; two daughters who were named Mary and are now deceased; Rose; Bernard; Mathew; Anna; John; and Cecelia.

  Joseph M. Brockhaus was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in the district schools and a parochial school at Humphrey. During the periods of vacation he became familiar with the work of the farm and remained with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-five years, when he went to Oklahoma and purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land, which he operated for a year. He then rented that property and returned to Humphrey, where he secured a clerkship in the store of Diers Brothers, remaining with the house for two years. On the expiration of that period he joined William P. Braun in organizing the firm of Braun & Brockhaus for the conduct of a general mercantile business. They now carry a large stock and enjoy a very gratifying patronage. They put forth earnest efforts to please their customers and their reasonable prices and honorable dealings also constitute features of their growing success. The firm now operates a cream station in Humphrey, buying and selling cream, butter and eggs.

  On the 26th of June, 1913, Mr. Brockhaus was married to Miss Rose Eisenmenger a daughter of Anton and Elizabeth (Schelkopf) Eisenmenger, natives of

 

618PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

Illinois, in which state the father carried on farming until 1894, when he removed with his family to Platte county and purchased two hundred and forty acres of land in Burrows township. His attention has since been given to its further cultivation and the result of his labor is seen in well tilled fields, which annually bring forth golden harvests. Mr. and Mrs. Brockhaus have become the parents of a son, Gerard, who was born April 22, 1914.

  In religious faith the parents are Catholics and Mr. Brockhaus belongs also to the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters. He votes with the democratic party and is loyal in support of its principles. Official preferment has no attraction for him as he desires rather to concentrate his energies upon the management of a growing business, and already he has attained a reputation as one of the leading merchants of his town.


ALBERT KURTH.

  Albert Kurth is one of the representative young business men of Duncan, where he is connected with commercial pursuits as a member of the Duncan Mercantile Company. He was born March 18, 1883, in Duncan, a son of Adolph and Mary Kurth, natives of Switzerland. The father was a tinner by trade and after crossing the Atlantic to America made his way to Nebraska in 1876. He found only a few settlers in Butler township, Platte county, and became identified with the pioneer development of the district. He assisted in building the branch railroad which was extended to this county and took part in promoting other pioneer projects. He settled first on the Loup, where he secured a homestead claim and began farming, but the drouth and the grasshoppers took all of his crops in the early years. The first winter all that the family had to eat was corn and they used roasted wheat as a substitute for coffee. The father followed his trade in Duncan for a time in order to provide funds to meet the wants of his family. In his later years he was in ill health and he passed away in Duncan in 1890, when but forty-five years of age. He was a member of the German Reformed church and his life measured up to high standards. His widow survives and is living in Duncan at the age of sixty-five years.

  Albert Kurth acquired his education in the public schools of Platte county. At ten years of age he began herding cattle for Lewis Jones, of Butler township, for which he received one dollar per week. The next year he acted as cook for his brothers, going to Scribner, Nebraska, and for two years he worked as a farm hand at six dollars per month. He then returned to Duncan and for four years was in the employ of Herman Ernst. In the meantime his mother had removed to Columbus, where he joined her, and in that city secured employment in a brick yard. He also drove a dairy wagon in Portland, Oregon, for six months, but after a brief period spent in the northwest returned to Nebraska, where he became connected with farming interests. He also worked in a livery barn at Columbus for three years, was employed to drive a delivery wagon and also worked in stores at Columbus for five years. In the meantime he had carefully saved his earnings until his industry and economy brought him sufficient capital to enable him to engage in business on his own account. He then removed to Duncan and organized the Duncan Mercantile Company in April, 1910. He now has a very complete stock of general merchandise

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 619

and is at the head of a growing business, which was originally conducted as a partnership under the style of Schram & Kurth, but after a year he purchased his partner's interest and the business is now incorporated under the name of the Duncan Mercantile Company with Mr. Kurth as general manager, secretary and treasurer. He has built up a large trade and his success is well merited, for in his business career he has ever been industrious, energetic and honest.

  On the 1st of June, 1910, Mr. Kurth was united in marriage to Miss Estella Welch, a daughter of Henry Welch, and they have two children, Mary and Leonard. Mr. Kurth holds membership with the Modern Woodmen of America at Columbus, with the Sons of Herman and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. While in Columbus he served for seven years as a member of the fire department and was foreman of Hose Company No. 2. He was active in organizing the town of Duncan and has served as a member of its council. He is always interested in everything pertaining, to the general welfare and as a member of the German Reformed church contributes to the moral progress of the community. In fact, he cooperates in all measures relative to the public good and his influence is always on the side of right and progress. At a time when most boys were having the privilege of attending school he was earning his own living and his entire life has been one of unfaltering industry, his persistent, earnest labor bringing the success which is now his.


A. O. PEARSON.

  Farming interests of Oconee township find a worthy representative in A. O. Pearson, who is devoting his time and energies to the further development and improvement of his farm of two hundred and eleven acres situated on section 17. He is a representative of that substantial class of citizens that Sweden has furnished to this county, for he was born in the northern part of Sweden, July 29, 1867, and in that country remained until he reached his fifteenth year, coming with his parents to the United States in 1882. He had acquired a common-school education in his native land and experience has since brought to him broad knowledge, particularly along the line which he has chosen as a life work. For some time after coming to America he aided his father in farming, but, desirous of starting in business for himself, he purchased his present place and has since bent his energies to its cultivation and improvement. The farm presents an attractive appearance, for upon it is a nice residence and large and substantial barns and outbuildings. He has prospered in his undertakings, for his work is carefully managed and directed and unfaltering industry actuates him in all of his business pursuits. He raises fine Hereford cattle in addition to general farming and his fields bring forth rich crops because of the care and cultivation which he bestows upon them. His work is conducted according to modern scientific methods and his place is thoroughly pleasing and attractive in appearance.

  On the 24th of December, 1903, Mr. Pearson was married to Miss Florence Mitchell, a daughter of Lee Mitchell, of North Carolina, and to them have been born the following named: Edward, Anton, Sarah, Ura, Lee, George, Homer, Leonard and Oakley, all of whom are at home.

 

620PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

  Mr. Pearson exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the democratic party and has filled the office of road supervisor. He has also been a school director and the cause of education finds in him an earnest champion In fact, he stands for advancement and improvement along all lines relating to the general welfare and his cooperation can be counted upon to further any plan or measure for the public good.


LYTTON FRANKLIN.

  Lytton Franklin is the proprietor of a general mercantile store at Monroe, and this long experience makes it possible for him to know the wishes and desires of the public. his business measures up to high standards of commercial ethics, and his success is the merited reward of close application and honorable dealing. Iowa claims Mr. Franklin as a native son, his birth having occurred in Adams county, September 30, 1876, his parents being Levi W. and Elizabeth Franklin. The father, a native of Ohio, was born in Ashtabula county in 1831. His father, Harry Franklin, being a shoemaker, he learned and followed this trade, working at it most of the time. When a young man he went with his parents to Crawford county, Indiana, and was married to Elizabeth Hardin in 1858. He enlisted in the army August 14, 1862, with Company G, Sixty-sixth Indiana Regiment. He was taken prisoner at Lexington, Kentucky. He participated in battles at Columbus, South Carolina, at Corinth, at Rome, Georgia, and marched with Sherman to the sea. He was discharged from service June 3, 1865, at Washington, D. C. In 1873 he and his wife removed to Carbon, Iowa, traveling in wagons drawn by ox teams, and there began farming. He also worked in the coal mines at that place. Mrs. Franklin was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Meridith Hardin, natives of Virginia and Tennessee, who came to Indiana and were engaged in farming. She was born in Crawford county, Indiana, September 12, 1843, and was one of a family of five. Mr. and .Mrs. Franklin were the parents of three sons and two daughters, Alonzo, Clinton, Lytton, Alice and Zella. Death called Mr. Franklin in 1912, when he had reached the venerable age of almost eighty years. He belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic and was a very active champion of the republican party but had no political aspirations. He lived a Christian life, was a total abstainer, never used an oath, and because of his many sterling traits of heart and mind enjoyed in full measure the respect of his friends and neighbors. His widow survives and is now living in Carbon.

  Lytton Franklin, the fourth in order of birth, attended the Carbon schools, also the Corning Academy, and in 1898 graduated from the Western Normal College at Shenandoah, Iowa. He made a start in the workaday world by securing employment in a store in Carbon, at ten dollars per month. It was by means of his labors that he was enabled to make his way through the advanced schools which he attended. After his graduation he again worked in a general store, and after a few years bought a small establishment, consisting of groceries and meats, in the town where he was raised, and received the appointment as postmaster there. Later he went to Corning, Iowa, and was employed as shoe salesman in A. B. Turner's store. The year 1906 witnessed his arrival in Monroe, Nebraska, where he became one of the

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 621

successors to the business of J. E. Dack & Company, under the firm name of Coulter & Franklin. A year later they dissolved partnership and he conducted the business under the style of L. Franklin. He has a good clean stock of general merchandise, and the appointments of his store are attractive. He makes it his purpose to please his patrons in every possible way and in his dealing never deviates from high standards of business integrity.

  In 1906 Mr. Franklin was united in marriage to Miss Jessie Stokes, of Corning, Iowa, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Stokes. Mr. Stokes was born in Putnam county, Indiana, in 1852, and came to Iowa in 1880. In 1881 he was united in marriage to Miss Luella V. Morris, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Morris, of Brooks, Iowa, who were among the early settlers of Adams county. Before her marriage she was engaged in teaching school. Mr. and Mrs. Stokes owned land and were engaged in farming in Adams county until 1906, when they moved to Corning to secure better school advantages. After moving to Corning he worked at the carpenter trade until 1909, since which time he has been employed as rural mail. carrier. He is still active in public affairs and is now one of the well known and highly respected residents of Corning. He has been identified with the Masonic lodge since 1874. He also belongs to the Methodist church, which indicates the high principles that govern him in his relations of life. Mrs. Franklin, the first child, was born in 1883, near Brooks, Iowa. She attended the country school and at the age of seventeen began teaching. She later attended the Corning Academy. Mr. and Mrs. Franklin have become the parents of two children, Elizabeth Lovella and Thomas Lytton.

  In his fraternal relations Mr. Franklin is an Odd Fellow, holding membership with Mystic Lodge, No. 821, and also with the canton and the Rebekah degrees. He aided in organizing Mystic Lodge, No. 321, of which he became a charter member, was the first secretary, and has held all of the other offices. He also belongs to the Masonic lodge of Corning. In politics he is a standpat republican, believing firmly in the principles and policy of the party, from which he has never deviated. For eight years he filled the office of village clerk, and at all times he has been regarded as one of the progressive and valuable residents of Monroe. Of the Methodist church Mr. and Mrs. Franklin are active members, and he is one of its trustees. While he has made steady advancement in business, he has never allowed material things to so monopolize his time that it would be impossible for him to participate in public affairs or in church work. In a word, he has recognized his duties and obligations in every relation and has done much to advance the best interests of his community.


DENIS REGAN.

  Denis Regan, a well known and highly respected farmer of Shell Creek township, living on section 4, was born in County Kerry, Ireland, on the 8th of September, 1836. He has therefore passed the seventy-ninth milestone on life's journey, being one of the venerable residents of his district. His parents, Richard and Nora (Conland) Regan, were farming people of Ireland and there Denis Regan was reared, acquiring a good education in the public schools. The school session continued

 

622PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

through the summer as well as the winter months, with a half-day holiday on Saturday. Mr. Regan continued his residence in his native country until he reached the age of twenty years, when in 1856, attracted by the business opportunities which he heard existed in the new world, he came to the United States and made his way to Bureau county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming for fourteen years. In 1871 he arrived in Nebraska and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres on section 4, Shell Creek township, which he still owns, the place being called the Bushmount Farm. He has devoted his attention to the further development and improvement of the property as the years have gone by and has raised stock for the market, thereby adding materially to his annual income. He has fenced and cross fenced his place, thus dividing it into fields of convenient size, and there are good buildings upon his land. In fact, all the equipments and accessories of the model farm are there to be found and the owner has ever been regarded as a man of energy and enterprise.

  Mr. Regan married Miss Margaret Halland, whose birth occurred in County Cork, Ireland, March 3, 1839, and who passed away on the 3d of March, 1911. To them were born nine children, eight of whom survive, as follows: Richard, who has represented his county in the state legislature during three terms; Daniel, at home; Thomas, living in Joliet township; John, who is a resident of Adel, Iowa; Mary, who makes her home in St. Edward, Nebraska; Margaret; Patrick; and Jessie, at home.

  In his political views Mr. Regan has always been a democrat since becoming a naturalized American citizen, but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. However, he was one of the first directors in his school district and filled that position for twenty-four years. In religious faith he is a Catholic, holding membership in the church at Platte Center. His life has been one of industry and perseverance and his diligence and determination have enabled him to work his way steadily upward, bringing to him a substantial competence that supplies him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.


RICHARD S. DICKINSON.

  Richard S. Dickinson, who has been a resident of Platte county for nearly a third of a century, is widely recognized as one of its leading and influential citizens and has twice served as mayor of Columbus. He is the vice president of the Journal Company, but now devotes his attention merely to the supervision of his investments. His birth occurred in St. Louis, Missouri, on the 2d of June, 1859, his parents being Ebenezer D. and Helen (Heffernan) Dickinson, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Ireland. Their marriage was celebrated in St. Louis, Missouri. Ebenezer D. Dickinson passed away in Chicago in 1867, while the demise of his wife occurred in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1880. Richard S. Dickinson, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was a native of Massachusetts.

  Richard S. Dickinson was graduated from the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst in 1879 and four years later came to Platte county, Nebraska, here successfully carrying on farming for fifteen years. On the expiration of that period he took up his abode in Columbus, where he has remained continuously to the present time. He is no longer actively identified with business interests, however, giving his

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 623

attention only to the supervision of his investments, which include farm property and other holdings.

  On the 25th of February, 1885, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Dickinson was united in marriage to Miss Leona M. Holden, her father being Oscar Holden, a native of Vermont. Their children are three in number, namely: Oscar Dwight, Robert Smith and Elton Gilbert.

Mr. Dickinson is a republican in politics and has twice served as mayor of Columbus, giving to the city most beneficial, businesslike and progressive administrations. He likewise served as president of the Columbus Commercial Club for one term and in that capacity promoted the material interests of the city in marked degree. His religious faith is that of the Congregational church and he is a worthy exemplar of the Masonic fraternity. His public-spirited devotion to the general good is manifest in many ways, including a loyal support of all the projects and measures which are undertaken for the upbuilding and welfare of his city and county.


CHARLES POTTER.

  Charles Potter has spent practically his entire life in Platte county, although a native of Illinois, his birth having there occurred -- in Kane county -- on the 4th of July, 1870. He is a son of John Potter, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work, and he was only eight years of age when the family left Illinois and came to Nebraska, taking up their abode on section 29, Lost Creek township, Platte county. As his age and strength increased Charles Potter aided more and more largely in the work of the fields upon the home place and through the winter seasons he attended the public schools, thus acquiring a fair education. He continued to assist his father upon the home farm until 1892, when at the age of twenty-two years he started out in business on his own account, but made no change in his occupation, for he found farming congenial and hoped to make it a profitable pursuit for himself. He began on sections 32 and 33, Lost Creek township, where he has four hundred and eighty acres of rich and valuable land, his home being on section 33. He is today one of the most extensive agriculturists of his township and also one of the most progressive. In his farm work he uses all modern implements and machinery, including a tractor engine, and he employs the most advanced methods that science advocates in the care and cultivation of his land. He has erected new buildings upon his farm and everything is kept in excellent condition. There is no indication of slack methods in his work. Everything is done at the proper time and in the proper way and energy and determination have carried him far on the road to prosperity.

  Mr. Potter is now local agent for the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Lincoln and since accepting the position has largely increased the business of that concern. He is a man of marked ability, forceful and resourceful' and his efforts have won success along all the various lines to which he has turned his attention. He is now a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Monroe, of which he is serving as a director, is the vice president of the Monroe Coal Company and is also financially interested in the Monroe Independent Telephone Company.

  In 1895 Mr. Potter was united in marriage to Miss Lena Talbitzer, her father being Charles W. Talbitzer, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this

 

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