Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

624PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

work. She passed away in October, 1909, leaving four children, namely: Ralph, Paul, Edna and Harold. Several years later Mr. Potter wedded Margaret Dirsch, of Madison county, Nebraska.

  In his political views Mr. Potter is a democrat, but has never been an aspirant for office nor sought other reward for party fealty. He has, however, served as school director for four years and the cause of education finds in him a stalwart champion. Fraternally he is connected with the local organizations of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America at Monroe. He keeps thoroughly in touch with the topics of the times, is ever ready to support his position by intelligent argument and is always willing to forward movements for the interests of Platte county and especially to advance better farming conditions and qualifications. On his banner is emblazoned the word onward, and realizing that industry is the basis of all honorable success, he has made industry the beacon light of his life.


GEORGE BERNEY.

  One is apt to consider the pioneer period of Platte county as covering the decade between 1870 and 1880. Long years before that time, however, George Berney arrived in this county and through the intervening period until his death was closely associated with business affairs and public interests which have left their impress upon the material and political upbuilding of the county and its development in many ways. He arrived in Columbus in 1857, when the site of the now populous and prosperous city was marked by only a log cabin or two. His life was in many respects eventful and covered a wide range of experiences -- experiences from which he learned many valuable life lessons. A native of the land of the Alps, he was born in Volz, Canton Grisons, Switzerland, January 30, 1832, his parents being Anton and Ursula (Furger) Berney, and was but six years of age when his mother died. Three years later his father married again, and on that account he left home to provide for his own support, and for two years he was employed at herding cattle in Lindau, Germany. He then went to Milan, Italy, where he made his home with an uncle, who was proprietor of a hotel, assisting there in work connected with the hotel. He became actively interested in the revolution of 1848, was made a prisoner by the Austrians and nearly lost his life in the blowing up of an armory. Finally he escaped and eventually made his way to his old home in Switzerland, where he arrived in 1853.

  Mr. Berney had studied European conditions, and with his love of liberty, resolved to seek "the land of the free and the home of the brave." It was in the fall of 1854 that he consummated his plans for coming to the new world and in the spring of 1855, then twenty-three years of age, he was at work in the lumber woods of northern Wisconsin, meeting the hardships incident to cutting timber in that region. He afterward went to New Orleans, where he secured employment on a steamer plying between that city and Mobile. In 1856, at St. Louis, he learned that sixty men were wanted to drive cattle and teams to California from western Kansas and made inquiries concerning this, paying one dollar of his hard-earned money for the information. On reaching western Kansas he found that his informant had merely

 ROSA HENGELLER BERNEY    GEORGE BERNEY

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 629

swindled him out of his money and in May, 1856, he made his way northward to Omaha, from which date he was numbered among Nebraska's substantial residents.

  From his boyhood Mr. Berney had known nothing but hard work and his characteristic spirit of industry at once caused him to seek employment in Omaha, which he found with John H. Green, a stonemason. In the fall of that year his employer sent him, in company with Fred Gottschalk and Fred Becker, to Columbus with two yoke of oxen to cut logs for a new sawmill which had just been started, but when within three miles of Fremont the oxen became stuck in the snow. Mr. Berney volunteered to remain with the teams while the other two men should proceed to Fremont, then a hamlet of three log huts, and secure aid. The storm became a blinding blizzard and Mr. Berney nearly perished before rescue reached him. The next day the little party had to return to Omaha, unable to continue on their westward way through the snow.

  In March, 1857, Mr. Berney traveled on foot from Omaha to Columbus, carrying all of his provisions in his camp kit. When he reached Shell creek he suffered from snow blindness but continued along, walking waist-deep in snow, attempting to reach the cabins of his friends, Charles Reinke and Henry Lusche, who had preempted claims along the creek a few months before. Because of the condition of his eyes he passed their shanties and would have been lost had not Reinke seen him and gone after him. Mr. Berney secured a squatter's claim about two miles from the home of his friend and eight miles northeast of Columbus and walked back and forth to Bellevue for supplies. His life continued to be one of indefatigable and unfaltering industry and during the pioneer period he suffered great hardships, at times amounting to extreme privations. In the early days he took a contract to dig a deep ditch two miles long to serve in lieu of a fence for the cattle. He was busy at the work for a year and during that period lived almost entirely upon crude cornmeal and water. In 1860 he sold his claim for one hundred and fifty dollars, bought an ox team and started for Colorado. About thirty-five miles from Denver on the Platte river he engaged in raising hay, which he hauled to Denver, selling it to the government for the cavalry horses at the post, receiving as high as two hundred dollars per ton. He thus gained a good profit, but hauling hay at that time was a most difficult undertaking, for he had to ford streams, sleep under the wagon in the snow and eat frozen bread. Again disaster overtook him, for a flood swept down the Platte valley, burying his hay lands in two feet of sand and thus terminating the business which had been yielding him a good financial reward.

  Mr. Berney then turned to freighting between Omaha and Denver, engaging in that business for a year. On one of his trips from Omaha, reaching Fort Kearney he was stopped by the soldiers on account of the Indians, as they had destroyed and killed everything for about two hundred miles west of them. He was obliged to stay there about seven days; by this time about five hundred teams had gathered. They then made their way though in trains, camping at night about fifty teams together. When reaching Denver he got twenty dollars a sack for his flour, which cost him three dollars and fifty cents in Omaha -- a very handsome profit, but freighting on the frontier among bands of hostile Indians is certainly an experience that the young man of today would think he could not endure. Pioneers were born not made.

  After this he again came to Nebraska, traveling by stage in the spring of 1865. Making his way to Columbus, he married and then took up his abode on a homestead five miles southwest of Columbus, turning his attention to the raising of cattle and hogs, which business he conducted on an extensive scale. He was the first man in
Vol. II-30

 

630PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

Platte county to ship corn-fed cattle to the Chicago market. Some time afterward he sold his original farm and purchased a larger tract of land near the Platte, residing thereon until 1892, when he removed to Columbus to spend his declining days.

  Mr. Berney spoke four languages, German, English, French and Italian. In 1881 he made a trip to his native country, visiting France, Switzerland, Italy and the principal towns in those countries. In 1889 he again made a trip to those countries seeing the World's Fair at Paris, in company with Robert Kummer and John Gisin. In 1908 he made the third trip to Switzerland, remaining one year.

  Mr. Berney was married February 27, 1865, to Miss Rosa Hengeller who was born October 13, 1847, in Unter-Egeri, Canton Zug, Switzerland. She was brought to America by her parents, Franz and Magdalena Hengeller, in 1854, and in 1858 the family came to Platte county and settled nine miles northeast of Columbus, where seven years later she became the wife of George Berney. Her children, with the exception of Joseph Berney, now county assessor of Platte county, preceded her to the great beyond. In 1881 Mrs. Berney was married to Leo Merz in the state of Washington, who died about twenty years ago, after which Mrs. Merz returned to Nebraska and passed away at her home in David City, February 10, 1913, and was laid to rest in the Berney family lot in the Catholic cemetery of Columbus.

  The death of George Berney occurred February 13, 1915, at which time he was the oldest pioneer of Columbus. He was a member of the Catholic church and was laid to rest in the parish cemetery. His was indeed an active and useful life and' as an agriculturist he contributed largely to the development and progress of Platte county, where he had a circle of friends who esteemed him highly for his many sterling traits of character and his genuine worth. No history of the county would be complete without extended reference to him and it is with pleasure that we present his history to the readers of this volume.


JOSEPH F. BERNEY.

  There is no gainsaying that Joseph F. Berney is one of the most popular, respected and honored citizens of Platte county, for this fact was evidenced in his election to the office of county assessor, on which occasion he was nominated by the democrats and indorsed by the progressives and the republicans. This feeling of uniform regard entertained for him is the result of a well spent life in which the principal features have been enterprise and integrity in business, loyalty in citizenship and consideration for the rights and privileges of others at all times.

  Mr. Berney was born June 7, 1867, on a farm five miles southwest of Columbus his parents being George and Rosa Berney, who were among the oldest of the pioneer settlers of Platte county and of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work. He attended St. Francis Academy in the years 1879 and 1880 and in the fall of the latter year, when a youth of thirteen, he went to the state of Washington, where he was employed for six months on a hop farm six miles from Tacoma. He later spent a year working on a pack-train, packing provisions on mules and horses into the coal prospect camps in the Cascade mountains from Newcastle, Washington Subsequently he spent a year in working in sawmills and logging camps and later he spent four years as a coal miner in the Black Diamond, Franklin and Newcastle

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 631

mines of Washington. It will thus be seen that from early boyhood his life has been one of untiring industry and he early learned the value of persistent, earnest and honorable work. On leaving Washington he removed to California and spent four months in the gold mines at Forest Hill. After about five months on a farm near Antioch, California, during which period he attained his majority, he returned to Nebraska to see his father.

  His educational privileges up to this time had been very limited, owing to the fact that he started out so early to earn his living, and upon his return to this state his father sent him to the Omaha Business College in 1889. After a year's attendance he was graduated and secured a position in the First National Bank of Columbus in 1890. He resigned as assistant cashier of that institution in 1901. In 1894, while in the service of the bank, he was elected city treasurer, in which connection he made so creditable a record that he was reelected and continued for two terms, retiring from the position as he had entered it -- with the confidence and good will of all concerned. In 1901 he bought out the agricultural implement business of C. S. Easton on Eleventh street and continued actively in trade there for four and one-half years, at the end of which time he sold out. He afterward went upon the road as traveling salesman for the Acme Harvester Company, spending one year as representative of that corporation in the south half of the state. His next business move was in the lumber trade at Columbus in partnership with G. W. Viergutz. After a year, however, he disposed of his half interest in that undertaking and bought out the agricultural implement business of Mrs. K. A. Kehoe at Platte Center, Nebraska, conducting the store for two years, at the end of which time he sold out.

  On the 6th of September, 1892, Mr. Berney was united in marriage to Miss Eva Schilz, whose birth occurred in Columbus, Nebraska, October 28, 1874, her parents being William and Elizabeth Schilz, of Columbus, who are natives of Germany. She is a graduate of St. Francis Academy of Columbus, Nebraska, and by her marriage has become the mother of six children, namely: Etheline Margaret, who was born April 3, 1894, and passed away on the 24th of November, 1896; Lillian Catherine, who was born January 22, 1896, was educated in St. Francis Academy of Columbus and is a school teacher by profession; Joseph George, whose birth occurred September 8, 1898, and who is now attending the Catholic College for Boys at Spalding, Nebraska; Paul William, who was born May 3, 1901, and is a student in the Columbus high school; George Anthony, who was born January 3, 1904, and is attending St. Francis Academy; and Edmond Godfrey, who was born November 18, 1906, and is now attending the Nebraska School for the Deaf at Omaha, Nebraska.

  Mr. Berney has always been a stalwart supporter of the democratic party and his fitness for office is widely recognized, for he regards a public office as a public trust and moreover has ability to discharge the duties connected therewith. In 1912 he was nominated by the democrats for county assessor, and as the nomination was indorsed by both the republican and progressive parties, he was elected without opposition to the office, which he is now acceptably filling. In business he has been generally successful and as an employe was never discharged. He is now in comfortable circumstances, having a good income which enables him to enjoy not only the necessities, but some of the luxuries of life. In the summer of 1915, in company with his wife, their daughter Lillian and son Edmond, he visited the San Francisco

 

632PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

and San Diego expositions and other points of interest on the Pacific coast. He has a wide acquaintance in Platte county, where the greater part of his life has been passed, and that he is most popular and highly esteemed is indicated in his election without opposition to the office which he is now so creditably and acceptably filling.


THOMAS H. JOHNSON.

  Thomas H. Johnson was a well known representative of agricultural interests in Platte county, where he lived for over thirty years, winning the respect, confidence and good will of all with whom he was associated. His entire life was passed in the middle west, his birth having occurred in Bureau county, Illinois, on the 19th of May, 1858, his parents being Hugh and Mary (McNannie) Johnson. In attending the public schools he obtained a fair education and through vacation periods and after his school days were over worked upon the home farm, early becoming familiar with all the labor incident to the development of the fields. He remained a resident of his native state until he reached the age of twenty-four years, when in 1882 he came to Nebraska, making Platte county his destination. He settled in Columbus township, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land on which he engaged in farming. He bent his energies to the cultivation of the fields and the rich soil readily responded to the care and labor which he bestowed upon it. As the years passed he gained a fair measure of success and was thus able to purchase eighty acres more, owning his original farm until 1898, when he sold that property and removed to Columbus township, where he purchased two hundred acres of land, which he cultivated until his death. He worked hard and his industry, indefatigable determination and unfaltering perseverance won him success.

  On the 31st of January, 1883, Mr. Johnson was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary B. Fleming, a native of Lyndon, Whiteside county, Illinois. To them were born thirteen children, namely: John, Arthur, Nellie, Hugh, Michael, Phillip, Edward, Joseph, Agnes, Lillian, Grace, Frank and one who died in infancy.

  Mr. Johnson was a Catholic in religious faith and a democrat in his political belief. He died September 21, 1913, and his death was the occasion of deep regret to many friends as well as to his immediate family. He was faithful in his friendships and in his own household was a devoted husband and father, putting forth earnest effort in order to provide a good living for his wife and children.


JULIUS S. NICHOLS.

  Julius S. Nichols is actively and prominently identified with industrial interests as the owner of the Columbus Brick Works, which he established in February, 1903, and has since successfully conducted. He was born in Livingston county, Michigan, April 22, 1872, a son of H. W. and Ellen Delight (Boyden) Nichols. The father was born at Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 22, 1838, and was a representative of one of the early families of that state. At the outbreak of the Civil war his patriotic spirit was aroused and he enlisted for service with the Union army, becoming a

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 633

lieutenant of Company A, Tenth Michigan Infantry, which was assigned to the Second Division of the Fourteenth Army Corps. His valor and loyalty won him promotion to the rank of captain. After the war he returned to his native state, where he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, on which he still resides, having throughout the entire period given his attention to general agricultural pursuits.

  Throughout the period of his boyhood Julius S. Nichols worked upon his father's farm, alternating his labors in the fields with attendance at the district schools. He remained at home until twenty-five years of age and then came to the west, settling in Omaha, Nebraska, where he filled various positions. After five years he removed to Platte county, establishing his home in Columbus in February, 1913. Soon afterward he began business as a brick manufacturer, building a plant, which he has since successfully operated. He manufactures a fine grade of brick and the output finds a ready sale on the market, the business having now grown to gratifying proportions. Mr. Nichols has recently purchased a half interest in a section of land in Keith county, Nebraska, for which he paid fifteen dollars per acre. This is partially improved and it is his intention to use it as a stock farm, raising high grade cattle there.

  On the 26th of April, 1905, Mr. Nichols was united in marriage to Lottie Metz, a daughter of H. F. Hockenberger, of Columbus, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have become the parents of a daughter, Ellen Delight. In politics Mr. Nichols is a republican and has served as a member of the city council of Columbus. He belongs to Columbus Lodge, No. 58, F. & A. M., and to the Elks lodge, No. 1195, of which he is a past exalted ruler. Sterling qualities have gained him high regard. He is enterprising and reliable in business, progressive in citizenship and loyal to all the duties that devolve upon him in every connection.


THEODORE E. SALESTROM.

  Theodore E. Salestrom, who carries on general farming on section 17, Walker township, his place being known as Sunny Slope Farm, was born in Sweden on the 26th of June, 1878, a son of Andrew and Anna (Anderson) Salestrom. The father is still living at the age of seventy-five years, but the mother, who was born in 1836, passed away in 1911. He had followed the occupation of farming in Sweden, where he remained until 1881, when he crossed the Atlantic and made his way to Chicago, where he worked as a laborer. In 1883 he came to Platte county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of raw prairie land on section 17, Walker township, for which he paid six dollars per acre. Pioneer conditions confronted him here. His farm was largely undeveloped and unimproved and he set himself resolutely to the task of converting the wild prairie into highly cultivated fields. He there made a good home for his family and in addition to farming he has served for the past twenty years as janitor of the Swedish Lutheran church.

  Theodore E. Salestrom acquired his early education in school district No. 65 and his boyhood days were spent upon the home farm. His father retiring from the active work of the fields, Theodore E. Salestrom took up the work of the home place when twenty-two years of age and has since been busily engaged in farming and stock-raising. He has purchased one hundred and sixty acres, which he cultivates in addition to the home farm, and he is a very active, energetic young man,

 

634PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

losing no opportunity to advance his interests along legitimate lines and winning his success by indefatigable effort and perseverance. He both raises and feeds cattle and that branch of his business is proving a source of gratifying profit.

  On the 25th of October, 1899, Mr. Salestrom was united in marriage to Miss Alvida Nelson, a native of Manistee, Michigan, and a daughter of Swan P. and Marion Nelson, both of whom were born in Sweden. Emigrating to the United States, the father lived in the city of Manistee, Michigan, where he worked in the sawmill until 1889, when he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and took up his abode on section 17, Walker township, where he acquired one hundred and sixty acres of land which he eventually brought to a high state of cultivation and improvement. Mr. and Mrs. Salestrom are the parents of four children, namely: Marie, Rudolph, Theodore, Jr., and Arline.

  Mr. Salestrom is a member of the Modern Woodmen camp at St. Edward and he belongs to the Swedish Lutheran church--associations which indicate much of the nature of his interests and the rules which govern his conduct. He now has a nice home in Walker township and Sunny Slope Farm is one of the valuable and desirable properties of that part of the county, its neat and thrifty appearance indicating the careful supervision which characterizes his efforts.


JOHN N. UMLAND.

  John N. Umland is the owner of a well equipped machine shop and garage at Columbus and is meeting with gratifying financial success. He was born in Germany, February 18, 1866, a son of Peter and Elizabeth (Schroeder) Umland, who were likewise natives of the same country, whence they came to America in 1869, making their way to Wheatland, Clinton county, Iowa. There the father resided until 1879, when he removed with his family to Grundy Center, Iowa, where he remained for two years. On the expiration of that period he went to Tama county, Iowa, and in 1896 removed to Fort Dodge, that state, where he passed away in the year 1915, being still survived by his widow. In the family were fourteen children; of whom ten are yet living, five sons and five daughters.

  John N. Umland was brought by his parents to the United States and spent his youthful days under the parental roof in the various districts in Iowa in which the family lived. In the fall of 1901 he removed to Columbus and here entered the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company as a machinist, continuing in that position until April, 1909, when he embarked in business for himself in the conduct of a well equipped machine shop and garage. He is both a machinist and blacksmith by trade and does general machine and repair work and also general blacksmithing. He possesses expert skill along these lines and will employ none but able workmen, with the result that every piece of work done in his shop is well done. He has just erected a fireproof garage, one of the best in the city, and in addition to doing repair work on automobiles he handles tires, gas, oil and, in fact, accessories and supplies of all kinds.

  On the 14th of December, 1887, Mr. Umland was married to Miss Anna Welken, a daughter of Chris and Christina Welken, both natives of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in which country they spent their entire lives, the father having followed

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 637

the occupation of farming there. Mr. and Mrs. Umland have become the parents of two children: Clarence, who was born September 14, 1891, and is now associated with his father in business; and Welken J., who was born June 80, 1902, and is attending the public schools.

  The parents and children attend the Baptist church and in his fraternal relations Mr. Umland is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and with the Masonic lodge of Columbus, while both he and his wife hold membership in the local chapter of the Eastern Star. Their elder son is likewise identified with the Masonic fraternity. In politics Mr. Umland is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment and never seeking office, for he prefers to give his undivided attention to his business interests, which are of growing importance. He is recognized as a worthy representative of industrial activity in Columbus and through his enterprise and sound judgment has accumulated a competence, while his recognized business integrity has gained him the respect and confidence of all who have had dealings with him.


ERNEST PARSONS DUSSELL.

  For the past twenty-three years Ernest Parsons Dussell has been engaged in the plumbing and heating business at Columbus, in partnership with his father, under the firm style of A. Dussell & Son. His birth occurred on a farm in Cedar county, Iowa, on the 9th of February, 1872, his parents being Andrew and Anna (Parsons) Dussell. The father, born in Switzerland in 1848, was brought to the United States by his parents in 1851, the family home being established in Davenport, Iowa, where the grandparents of our subject both died during the cholera epidemic. Their two children, Andrew and his sister, were thus left orphans and were adopted by different families. Andrew Dussell was reared in Iowa and in that state wedded Miss Anna Parsons, a native of Pennsylvania. In 1883 they came to Platte county, Nebraska, locating in Columbus, where Mr. Dussell still resides as one of the representative and substantial business men of the city. During the period of the Civil war he loyally defended the interests of the Union as a member of the Ninth Iowa Cavalry. To him and his wife were born three sons and three daughters, of whom one son and one daughter died in infancy. The surviving members of the family are as follows: Ernest P., of this review; Birdie, the wife of John B. Tschudy, of Columbus, Nebraska; Harley LeRoy, who wedded Miss Olivia Amanda Nelson; and Jessie Carrie, who is the wife of John Dow, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

  Ernest P. Dussell, who was a lad of eleven when he came to this county with his parents, attended high school in Columbus until seventeen or eighteen years of age and subsequently learned the plumber's trade, working first with his father in Columbus and later in Lincoln, this state, for two years. On the expiration of that period he returned to Columbus and in 1892 went into partnership with his father as a member of the firm of A. Dussell & Son, which has since conducted an extensive and profitable enterprise, doing all kinds of plumbing and heating. Both are capable and energetic business men and the success which has attended the undertaking is well merited.

 

638PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

  On the 23d of August, 1893, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Dussell was united in marriage to Miss Maude Mae McCray, a daughter of Robert McCray. They have one son, Francis Carrol, who was born March 26, 1895. Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Dussell has supported the men and measures of the republican party and for one term he served as a member of the Columbus council. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights Templar Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen and his worth is widely acknowledged.


CONRAD FUCHS.

  Farming interests of Humphrey township find a worthy representative in Conrad Fuchs, who is living on section 28 and is the owner of four hundred acres of arable and productive land, from which he annually gathers good crops. He was born in Austria, November 25, 1859, and is a son of Matthew and Rosalia (Steinbeck) Fuchs, who are mentioned in connection with the sketch of Ferdinand Fuchs on another page of this work. He spent his youthful days in his native country to the age of seven years, when he accompanied his parents on the voyage across the Atlantic to the new world in 1866, the family home being established in Wisconsin. It was in 1873 that they came to Platte county, Nebraska.

  Conrad Fuchs remained with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-four years, when he left home and began learning the carpenter's trade, at which he worked at intervals for three years. His father then gave him one hundred and twenty acres of land on section 28, Humphrey township, this county, and he resolutely set to work to develop and improve the property, which he has converted into one of the fine farms of the county. His success, however, has not been continuous. He suffered a heavy loss when he had a large barn, thirty-two by eighty feet, destroyed by fire, but he is now rebuilding. He has purchased more land from time to time until he is now the owner of four hundred acres, including two hundred and forty acres of the old home place on section 28, and one hundred and sixty acres on section 33, Humphrey township. He has operated this farm continuously for forty-two years with good results, and his place indicates his careful supervision. He keeps in touch with the improvements that are being continuously made in farm methods, practices rotation of crops and studies the nature of the soil in order to know what sections of his farm will produce certain kinds of grain to the best advantage. He likewise raises high grade stock and derives from that branch of his business a gratifying income. He is also a stockholder in the First National Bank and in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey.

  On the 24th of June, 1884, Mr. Fuchs was united in marriage to Miss Cecelia Froemel, a daughter of Joseph and Cecelia (Schiebel) Froemel, both of whom were natives of Austria. They came to America in 1879, making their way to Platte county, and the father, who had previously followed farming in his native country, here purchased land, which he developed and improved until 1900, when he put aside the active work of the fields, but he still continued to make his home upon the farm until 1914, when he removed to Humphrey, where he has since resided. His wife also survives. Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs have become parents of

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 639

eleven children: Cecelia, who was born June 29, 1885, and is the wife of L. J. Veik, a farmer living in Grand Prairie township; Joseph 31., who was born March 31, 1887, and died November 12, 1902; Mary, who was born March 7, 1889; Clara, who was born August 11, 1891, and is now a Sister in a convent at Lafayette, Indiana; John, born July 23, 1893; Emil, born September 15, 1895; Magdalena, born May 26, 1898; Veronica, July 10, 1900; Matthew, who was born November 17, 1902, and died February 23, 1906; Regina, born May 16, 1905; and one child who died in infancy.

  The family adhere to the faith of the Catholic church, and Mr. Fuchs gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. He has served as township clerk of Humphrey township and also as justice of the peace, and in the latter office his decisions were strictly fair and impartial, his course winning him the commendation of all those citizens who hold themselves amenable to law. Through the greater part of his life he has lived in this county and has long been connected with its farming interests, being now known as a representative agriculturist. His business affairs have always been wisely conducted, and in his dealings he is straightforward and reliable.


FRANK BROCKHAUS.

  Frank Brockhaus is one of the extensive landowners of Platte county, having six hundred and forty acres of rich and valuable land returning to him a gratifying annual income. His home is on section 36, Granville township, and the property is well improved, all the accessories and conveniences of a model farm being there found. Mr. Brockhaus is a native of Wisconsin, born March 15, 1858, and is a son of G. H. and Anna (Summers) Brockhaus, who were natives of Germany. the father came to America in 1848, making his way to Baltimore, after which he drifted around the country for seven years, finally becoming a resident of Wisconsin, where he purchased and improved land. There he carried on farming for twenty years and on the expiration of that period came to Platte county, purchasing land in Grand Prairie and Humphrey townships. His remaining days were devoted to the further development and improvement of the property until three years prior to his demise, when he put aside the active work of the fields. However, he continued to live on his farm in Humphrey township and at the time of his death was the owner of a section of land, which he divided among his children. He passed away January 16, 1913, having long survived his wife, who died in 1879.

  Frank Brockhaus was reared and educated in Wisconsin, no event of special importance occurring to vary the routine of farm life for him in his boyhood days He remained with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-five years and then, thinking to find another pursuit more congenial, he began work at the carpenter's trade, which he learned in Wisconsin, following that business for ten years. He next became a hardware merchant of Humphrey, conducting his store for two years as a member of the firm of Brockhaus & Gilsdorf. Finally, however, he sold out and removed onto a farm of one hundred and sixty acres given him by his father, his land constituting a quarter of section 36, Granville township. He then energetically began the work of improving the place and, being a carpenter by trade,

 

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he has erected all of the buildings himself. He now has a well improved property on which is found a comfortable residence, substantial barns, well kept fences and carefully cultivated fields. He has also purchased more land until he now owns an entire section, of which four hundred acres is in Granville township, one hundred and sixty acres in Humphrey township and eighty acres in Grand Prairie township. He now farms three hundred and twenty acres and rents the remainder. He is also a stockholder and director of the Farmers Elevator Company.

  On the 26th of June, 1883, Mr. Brockhaus was united in marriage to Miss Johanna Fuchs, a daughter of Matthew and Rosalia (Steinbeck) Fuchs, both of whom were natives of Austria. They emigrated to the United States in 1867, locating in Wisconsin, where Mr. Fuchs worked as a farm hand until May, 1878, when he came to Platte county, Nebraska. He took up a homestead and timber claim in Humphrey township and began clearing and improving the property, operating the same successfully until 1884, when he put aside the active work of the fields and took up his abode in the town of Humphrey. The remainder of his life was there spent in honorable retirement, his demise occurring on the 16th of January, 1898, when he had attained the age of eighty-five years, five months and two days. His widow is now eighty-seven years of age and makes her home with Mr. Brockhaus. To our subject and his wife have been born ten children, as follows: Joseph M., who was formerly a merchant of Humphrey and now follows farming in Granville township; Henry, Roselia, Bernard, Mathew, Anna, John and Cecelia, all at home; Mary, who died in 1891; and Mary, who passed away in 1901.

  On election days Mr. Brockhaus is found at the polls depositing a ballot for the candidates of the democratic party, and on Sundays he is found among the attendants at the services of the Catholic church. His interests outside of business are thus indicated and he is found as a worthy citizen and reliable man who adheres to a most commendable course in life. His extensive possessions are the merited reward of his labor, for his time has been well spent and in all of his dealings he has been found just and trustworthy.


CHRIST WUNDERLICH.

  Christ Wunderlich has been a resident of Columbus since 1908 and is proprietor of the Park Buffet. He is also active in fraternal circles, being now president of the Sons of Herman. A native of Bavaria, Germany, he was born September 2, 1879, and is a son of William and Lissette (Thirm) Wunderlich, who are still residents of Germany, as is the grandmother in the maternal line.

  Christ Wunderlich acquired a fair education in the schools of his native country and there learned the trades of a brewer and cooper. He also served for two years in the German army as a Sharpshooter before coming to the new world. Crossing the Atlantic in 1902, when twenty-three years of age, he made his way to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he worked at his trade for four months and was afterward employed in similar manner in Chicago for a year and a half. On the expiration of that period he removed to Westpoint, Nebraska, where he was engaged in the saloon business for four years, and in 1908 he came to Columbus,

 CHRIST WUNDERLICH

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 643

where he purchased the Park Buffet which he has since conducted. A liberal patronage is bringing him substantial success.

  On the 16th of May, 1904, Mr. Wunderlich was united in marriage to Miss Rosa Long, of Chicago, by whom he has four children, namely: William, Rosa, Louisa and Christopher, Jr. In politics Mr. Wunderlich is independent. His religious belief is that of the German Lutheran church, in which he holds membership, and his name is also on the membership rolls of Columbus Lodge, No. 1119, B. P. O. E., the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Sons of Herman. Of the last named he is now serving as president and is proving a popular and capable official. He has wide and favorable acquaintance among the German-American residents of Columbus and has gained many friends during the seven years in which he has made this city his home.


STEPHEN L. GERMAN.

  Stephen L. German is a representative farmer and stockraiser of Granville township, living on section 22, and the excellent and well kept appearance of his place indicates his careful supervision and practical, progressive methods. He was born in Stark county, Illinois, December 14, 1860, and is a son of Basilius and Gertrude (Saeger) German, both of whom were natives of Baden, Germany, where the father followed the occupation of farming. In the year 1848 he left his native country and came to the United States, settling at Buffalo, New York, where he lived for a short time. He then continued his journey westward, settling in Stark county, Illinois, upon the farm of one hundred and sixty acres that is still in possession of his children. He also had an eighty-acre tract in Peoria county but made his home upon his Stark county property, where he followed farming until he retired about twenty years ago, removing to Princeville, Illinois, where both he and his wife passed away. In their family were eleven children, eight of whom still survive, namely: Frank, who is a resident of Saint Mary, Nebraska; Rickey, living in Kickapoo, Illinois; Joe, who makes his home in Princeville, Illinois; Maggie, also living in Princeville; Stephen L., of this review; Gertie, who gave her hand in marriage to Henry Foltz, of Granville township; Tina, who is the wife of Nick Fehringer, of Humphrey township; and Max, a farmer living in Humphrey township.

  The youthful days of Stephen L. German were spent in the usual manner of farm lads of that age and locality. He attended the public schools of Illinois and remained at home until he reached the age of twenty-five years. When not occupied with his lessons he was learning the practical work of the farm and in the school of experience gained much valuable knowledge. In 1886 he came to Nebraska, settling first in Burrows township, Platte county, where he cultivated rented land for four years, but during that time he carefully saved his earnings, being anxious to purchase property. He made his first investment in one hundred and sixty acres on section 22, Granville township, where he now resides, but he has since extended the boundaries of his place by the additional purchase of three hundred and twenty acres, so that he now owns four hundred and eighty acres of valuable land. All of this he has placed under cultivation and he has put all of

 

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