Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

644PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

the improvements upon his farm, having erected a large barn in 1904, while in 1908 he erected a commodious residence. He has also built other buildings for the shelter of grain and stock and he has an excellent farm property. He cultivates the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and then feeds what he raises to his stock. He keeps on hand only high grades of cattle, horses and hogs and he ships a large number of hogs annually. In addition to his other interests he has become a stockholder in the Farmers State Bank of Humphrey, and he bought and owns the old home in Humphrey where Peter Bender and his wife lived.

  On the 6th of November, 1888, Mr. German was united in marriage to Miss Annie Bender, whose birth occurred in Marshall county, Illinois, July 11, 1863, her parents being Peter and Catharine (Mallmann) Bender. of whom more extended mention is made on another page of this work in connection with the sketch of Joseph Bender, a brother of Mrs. German. To our subject and his wife have been born eleven children, nine of whom still survive, as follows: Ida, who is the wife of Nick Van Dyke; Nellie, who was born November 8, 1890, and died on the 21st of January, 1893; Katie, the wife of Albert Boesch, living near St. Bernard; John, who is at home; Charles, who was born February 16, 1895, and died on the 6th of March following; Rosie, who attends St. Francis school; Cecilia, who is also a student in St. Francis school; Eddie, who is at home; Albert, Victor and Jerome, who are also attending St. Francis school.

  The family are members of St. Francis Catholic church of Humphrey, and Mr. German belongs to St. Joseph's Society. His political indorsement is given the democratic party and for four years he served as road boss in Granville township. His has been a busy and active life and success has rewarded his resolute, persistent efforts, so that he is now one of the prosperous farmers of his community.


C. VAUGHN CAMPBELL, D. D. S.

  Dentistry may be said to be almost unique among other occupations, as it is at once a profession, a trade and a business. Such being the case, it follows that in order to attain the highest success in it one must be thoroughly conversant with the theory of the art, must be expert with the many tools and appliances incidental to the practice of modern dentistry and must possess business qualifications adequate to dealing with the financial side of the profession. In all of these particulars, Dr. C. Vaughn Campbell is well qualified and therefore has attained prestige among the able representatives of dentistry in Columbus. His birth occurred at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, on the 22d of July, 1875, his parents being Philip F. and Mary M. (Montgomery) Campbell, both of whom are natives of Perry county, Ohio, and who were married at Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The father was born in 1847 and married in the year 1873. He is now living retired with his wife at Ashland, Saunders county, Nebraska. Daniel Campbell, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was also a native of Ohio.

  C. Vaughn Campbell acquired his more advanced education in a four years' course of study at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and received his professional training in the Omaha Dental College, from which he was graduated in 1895.

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 645

In that year he opened an office in Columbus and has here since remained, enjoying an extensive and gratifying practice that has come in recognition of his skill and ability.

  On the 9th of June, 1909, in Columbus, Nebraska, Dr. Campbell was united in marriage to Miss Lillian M. Saffran, a daughter of Frederick Saffran, who was born in Berlin, Germany, but emigrated to the United States. The Doctor s military record covers five years' service as a member of Company F, Second Regiment Nebraska National Guard, while fraternally he is known as a Master Mason, being now junior warden of Lodge No. 58, A. F. & A. M., and also belonging to the royal arch chapter. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, and he has a host of friends who have been attracted to him on account of his manly qualities.


FRED C. HILL.

  The attractiveness of Platte county as a place of residence is indicated by the fact that many of her native sons have remained within her borders, not trying to seek homes elsewhere, feeling sure that the opportunities here offered are equal to those to be found in other sections of the country. Among this number is Fred C. Hill, who was born on section 24, Monroe township, May 11, 1884, and still makes his home there. He is a son of Hugh Hill, mentioned elsewhere in this volume. His boyhood days were passed in the usual manner of farm lads and his education was acquired in district school No. 39. During the periods of vacation he was trained in the work of the fields and when he had attained the age of twenty-one years began farming the homestead, his father retiring from the active management of the place. He now cultivates two hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land and is one of the leading and progressive farmers of the community. He is also widely known as a prominent horseman and has bought and sold many fine horses, always handling good stock. He took the first prize and sweepstakes on a Percheron horse at the Platte County Fair in 1915 and he is an excellent judge of horses.

  In 1905 Mr. Hill was united in marriage to Miss Ella Gates, a lady of superior accomplishments, especially in the art of music. They have one daughter, Carol Edna. In religious faith Mrs. Hill is a Presbyterian. Fraternally Mr. Hill is an Odd Fellow and his political allegiance is given to the democratic party. He is interested in all that pertains to the welfare of the community and cooperates in many movements that have been factors' in general progress and improvement. In a word he is an alert, energetic business man and a public-spirited citizen, whose efforts have been effective forces in promoting individual success and public progress.


FRED A. WEBER.

  Fred A. Weber, conducting a profitable business at Monroe under the name of the Monroe Mercantile Company, of which he has been sole proprietor since July, 1915, belongs to that class of representative business men who readily recognize opportunities and use every legitimate chance for advancement, while at the same

 

646PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

time their labors are an element in promoting public prosperity. Mr. Weber is a native of Illinois, his birth having occurred at Frankfort on the 21st of December, 1878, his parents being Peter and Mary Weber, who are now residents of Columbus. They came to Platte county during the boyhood days of their son Fred, who pursued his education in the public schools of Columbus until he reached the age of fifteen years when his textbooks were put aside and he started out in the business world on his own account. He earned his first money by selling newspapers and afterward engaged in clerking for several years. In 1912 he came to Monroe to take charge of the business of the Monroe Mercantile Company, in which he owned a half interest. His careful management resulted in the growth of the trade and on the 19th of July, 1915, he purchased the interest of his partner and is now sole proprietor. He has a well appointed store, splendidly equipped, carries a large and attractive line of goods and makes it his first object at all times to please his patrons, knowing that satisfied customers are the best advertisement.

  On the 12th of September, 1906, Mr. Weber was united in marriage to Miss Anna Boyd, of Columbus, and they have become the parents of a daughter and a son, Lucille and Russell, both now in school. In his political views Mr. Weber is independent, supporting men and measures rather than party, but he is not remiss in the duties of citizenship and at all times gives active support and cooperation to plans and measures for the public good. At the present writing he is serving as village treasurer. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is a past grand, his life being guided by its teachings. He ever endeavors to follow the golden rule, doing unto others as he would have them do unto him, and his many sterling traits of character have established him firmly in the regard of those with whom he has come in contact. Moreover, he is accounted one of the representative business men of the community and is contributing to the commercial development of his town.


DAVID HEFTI.

  David Hefti, who owns and operates one hundred and sixty acres of good land on section 6, Joliet township' its a native son of the county. His birth occurred June 13, 1874, and his parents were Henry and Barbara (Hefti) Hefti. The father, who was born in Switzerland, April 21, 1844, was left an orphan when but two years of age and was reared by his maternal grandmother. In 1866 he emigrated to the United States and made his way to St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained until 1869, when he came to Columbus, Nebraska. He homesteaded eighty acres of land near Duncan but ten years later removed to Colfax county, where he owned three quarter sections. In 1873 he was married to Miss Barbara Hefti, who was born in Switzerland, March 18, 1854, but, although of the same name, was not a relative. She emigrated to the United States in the year of her marriage. She is still living at Clarkson, Colfax county, but Mr. Hefti is deceased. To them were born seven children: David; Kate, the wife of William Kramer, of Boone county, Nebraska; Barbara, now Mrs. N. B. Balzer, of Stanton county; Sarah, a twin of Barbara, who died in infancy; Henry, who is living on the old home farm in Colfax

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 647

county; Fred, also a farmer in Colfax county; and Anna, now Mrs. Charles Schmadeka, of Boone county.

  David Hefti was five years of age when the family removed to Colfax county and there he grew to manhood. He received his education in the common schools and through assisting his father he gained a valuable knowledge of farming. On beginning his independent career he rented land from his father but it was his ambition to own land and he saved his money carefully to that end. In 1902 he purchased one hundred and twenty acres in Colfax county, which he cultivated until 1910, when he purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 6, Joliet township, Platte county, where he has since resided. He is practical and progressive and finds farming profitable as well as congenial.

  Mr. Hefti was married February 7, 1907, to Miss Anna Koch, a native of Germany and a daughter of Richard and Lena (Gross) Koch. Her father died in that country but her mother is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Hefti have two children, David, Jr., and Alfred.

  The religious faith of Mr. Hefti is that of the Lutheran church, to the support of which he contributes. He takes the interest of a good citizen in public affairs and is respected by all who know him.


CHARLES G. MOORE.

  Charles G. Moore is a retired farmer living at No. 122 West Seventeenth street, Columbus. He came to this county in 1880 and for a long period, covering more than a quarter of a century, was actively identified with agricultural interests, winning thereby the success which now enables him to rest from further labor and vet enjoy all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life. He was born in Leamington. England, March 6, 1833, and is a son of William and Ann (Black) Moore, who were also natives of that country, where they spent their entire lives.

  Charles G. Moore was a youth of fourteen years when in company with a brother he came to the United States. He soon returned to England, however, but after three years and when seventeen years of age he again crossed the Atlantic. Again, however, he became homesick and in a few months joined his family in England. But the lure of the west was upon him and a little later, accompanied by his parents, he once more came to America, the family home being established in Utica, New York. Mr. Moore has crossed the ocean five different times and tells most interesting incidents of these voyages. After living in the east for a time his parents removed to Illinois and passed away when residents of Ottawa, La Salle county.

  The year 1880 witnessed the arrival of Charles G. Moore in Nebraska. On the 8th of May he reached Columbus, where the family lived for a month, at the end of which time he purchased forty acres of land four miles north of the city and there began the manufacture of brick, in which business he continued for a year. At the end of that time he sold out and invested in eighty acres of land on section 31, Bismark township, after which he engaged in farming. Year after year he carefully tilled the soil and success attended his efforts, so that he added to his holdings until within the boundaries of his farm were comprised two hun-

 

648PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

dred and forty acres of land. The value of his farm methods was seen in the productiveness of his fields, which returned to him gratifying harvests annually. In 1908, being possessed of a comfortable competence, he retired, removing to Columbus, where he now occupies a pleasant home at No. 122 West Seventeenth street.

  In Ottawa, Illinois, Mr. Moore was united in marriage to Sarah E. Dickinson, whose birth occurred in New York on the 14th of June, 1843, her parents being Charles and Mary (Baker) Dickinson, who spent their entire lives in the Empire state. When a maiden of eleven years Mrs. Moore went to live with a sister in Scott county, Iowa. She first gave her hand in marriage to Isom Dickinson, who, though of the same name, was not a relative, and to them was born a daughter, Roseltha, now the wife of Edward Stickley, of Cushing, Nebraska. To Mr. and Mrs. Moore have been born the following children: William, living at Genoa, Nebraska, who wedded Miss Anna Sissle, by whom he has four children; James, who died when twenty years of age; Etta, who gave her hand in marriage to John Lotz, of Kansas City; Maud, who is the wife of Charles Rounds, of Norfolk, Nebraska, by whom she has one child, Lucile; Jessie, the wife of Otis Clark, of Columbus, Nebraska; and Charles C., who is married and lives on his father's farm in Bismark township.

  The history of Mr. Moore is that of one of the pioneer settlers of the county and he contributed in no small measure to its development along agricultural lines. There were no fences on the farm when he took possession of the place and the fence which he built was the first for miles around. An Indian trail crossed the land, showing that not long before the red men had lived in this part of the country. In many ways the work of development and improvement had advanced but little in the county, but the opportunities and possibilities were there and time and man have wrought many changes, for the spirit of progress now reigns supreme here and each year chronicles an advance in the work of civilization in Platte county.


PETER SCHMITT.

  Peter Schmitt, the proprietor of the Shell Creek Valley Roller Mills, is one of the leading citizens of his part of the county. A native of Germany, he was born in Bavaria, April 19, 1858, a son of Henry and Elizabeth (Tiehl) Schmitt. The father was a landowner and miller and was the heaviest taxpayer in his province. Both he and his wife died in Germany.

  Peter Schmitt was educated in his native land and served in the German army for two years, from 1878 to 1881, being called out again in 1882 for maneuvers. He became the owner of his father's milling business after the latter's death and conducted it for some time. In 1884 he emigrated to the United States and made his way to Columbus, Nebraska. Although he came to this country with considerable capital, he at length found himself without money and obtained work in the flouring mills in Lincoln, receiving a dollar and a half per day for his services, out of which he had to board himself. He knew the milling business thoroughly, as from his boyhood he had worked in his father's mill. He was subsequently employed in large mills at different places throughout Nebraska and Kansas and eventually became

 MR. AND MRS. PETER SCHMITT

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 651

head miller at a mill in Winfield, Kansas. In that capacity he had fifty-six men under him and his salary was one hundred and fifty dollars per month.

  In 1891 Mr. Schmitt returned to Platte county and purchased what is known as the Shell Creek Valley Roller Mills, which were erected by Joseph Bucher in 1878 and were in badly run-down condition when they came into the possession of Mr. Schmitt. He has since made many inprovements in the property, which is now in excellent condition, and has built four dams on Shell Creek, constructing the last in 1914 at a cost of over five thousand dollars. The mill is run by water power and is equipped with two McCormick wheels, one of forty-four horse power and the other of thirty-two horse power. A full roller plain sifter system is used and the capacity of the mills is from fifty to seventy-five barrels of flour per day. He also manufactures corn meal, Graham flour and grinds considerable feed for stock. Mr. Schmitt owns forty acres of land where his mill is located and is engaged in farming to some extent. He has his own irrigating plant, which is run by water power, the pumps forcing twenty-two hundred gallons of water per minute through six and four-inch pipes on his land. Residence and farm buildings are commodious and well designed and were erected by him. He also owns four hundred and eighty acres of land in Kansas and is now one of the substantial citizens of Platte county.

  On the 7th of September, 1886, Mr. Schmitt was married in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Miss Carrie Meyer, a native of Germany and a daughter of Henry and Louise (Hiemaear) Meyer, of Phillipsburg, Kansas. To this union have been born seven children, namely: Arnold; Hilda, now the wife of George Saalfeld; Edwin; Edna, the wife of Walter Loseke; Herman; Elsie; and Arthur.

  Mr. Schmitt has been president of the Soldiers Society of Columbus, a German organization, for seven years. His prosperity is due to his intimate knowledge of milling, to his foresight and sound judgment, to his energy and aggressiveness -- qualities which go far toward securing success in any line of business.


JOHN C. DAWSON.

  John C. Dawson, who follows farming on section 10, Oconee township, was born in Jones county, Iowa, near Monticello, on the 30th of March, 1860, his parents being Francis and Jane (Boyd) Dawson, the father a native of England, and the mother a native of Pennsylvania, born of Scotch parentage. In early life the father was employed as power loom boss in a factory and he also purchased furs for the American Fur Company of St. Louis, traveling all over the northwest for this purpose. He went up to the head of the Missouri river and sent the furs back to the St. Louis house by boat. He thus gained intimate knowledge of the country in the period of its pioneer settlement and development and in 1842 removed to Jones county, Iowa, which was a frontier region, the work of progress having scarcely been begun. The homes of the settlers were log cabins and there were long distances to be traversed to mill and to market. The Indians had not yet left that region and Mr. Dawson had his horse stolen by the red men soon after taking up his abode in Jones county. The pioneer condition of the district is shown by the fact that, while Dubuque had been laid out, it contained only two houses. Mr. Dawson assisted in organizing the first court in Jones county and was a true
Vol. II-31

 

652PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

pioneer, taking active and helpful interest in all of the early events which went to shape the policy and mold the annals of that district. He took a homestead by entering land from the government and in the course of years added to his property until he was the owner of about four hundred acres. So unsettled and undeveloped was the region that he had to go to Bellevue, Illinois, to get his wheat ground. He handled Polled Angus cattle which were shipped from England to Kansas and thence to him. He became the owner of very fine stock and was prominent as a cattle raiser of his locality, his efforts doing much to improve the grade of stock handled in Jones county. His political allegiance was given to the republican party and he was a most active and earnest worker in its ranks, doing all in his power to promote its growth and extend its influence. Both he and his wife were earnest, Christian people, and he was not only highly respected, but was honored wherever he was known because of his sterling worth and his upright character.

  John C. Dawson is the youngest son and the seventh in order of birth in a family of eight children. Reared upon the frontier in Jones county, Iowa, he there pursued his education in one of the old-time log schoolhouses until he reached the age of twelve years, when he was sent to St. Louis, where he attended school for three years, pursuing both a high-school and business course. He then returned home in 1875 and after working on the old homestead for several years began following the carpenter's trade. Later he removed to Colorado and for three years clerked in a hardware store at Colorado Springs. Later he engaged in the express business at Manitou, Colorado, for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and afterward was sent to various points on the system as relief agent. He left the Denver & Rio Grande to enter the employ of the Wells Fargo Express Company, with which he remained until April 5, 1890, when he came to Platte county, Nebraska, and purchased land in Columbus township. He began farming, living upon that place for three years, and in 1893 removed to section 10, township 17, range 2, west, where he now has two hundred and fifty-six acres of good land that readily responds to the care and cultivation which he bestows upon it. He raises a good grade of Duroc-Jersey hogs and Hereford cattle and of the latter has a large herd. Practically his entire time is devoted to his farm work and he has added many improvements to his place, including the introduction of electric lights into his home. The house is surrounded by flower beds filled with many kinds of blossoming plants and ornamental shrubs and the place is in every respect a home. He is a great reader and there are many books, papers and magazines which indicate his taste along that line.

  In 1893 Mr. Dawson was married to Miss Julia Murdock, a daughter of Daniel and Mary E. Murdock. Mr. Dawson is one of the best known men of Columbus township and has been active along many lines that contribute to public progress, to the uplift of the individual and to the advancement of community interests. He is a very enthusiastic Mason and was formerly active in lodge work. He has membership in Mount Nebo Lodge, No. 125, of Genoa, and he is also identified with the Eastern Star Chapter there. The cause of education finds in him a stalwart champion and he has put forth earnest effort in this behalf while serving as school director for six years. He has been very active in the ranks of the progressive party, is opposed to war and stands for advancement and improvement along. all lines leading to the material, intellectual, political, social and moral

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 653

progress of the community. The consensus of public opinion places him among the representative residents of his township and the rewards of his life have come in substantial success on the farm and in the goodwill and confidence of his fellowmen.


EDWIN HULL CHAMBERS.

  Edwin Hull Chambers, who has been successfully identified with the business interests of Columbus for more than a quarter of a century, is now a member of the Becher, Hockenberger & Chambers Company, a real-estate, loan and insurance firm. His birth occurred in Dakota City, Dakota county, Nebraska, on the 11th of January, 1863, his parents being Benjamin F. and Sarah A. (Hull) Chambers, who were born, reared and married in Pennsylvania. In 1856 the father made his way to Dakota City, Nebraska, and in 1879 took up his abode in Niobrara, Knox county, this state, where he spent the remainder of his life. His widow still makes her home in Niobrara. During the period of the Civil war Benjamin F. Chambers served as a member of a Nebraska cavalry regiment.

  Edwin H. Chambers acquired his education in the schools of Dakota and Niobrara, Nebraska, and when about seventeen years of age entered the office of his father in Niobrara, the latter having been appointed register of the United States land office by President Grant. He was thus employed until 1884 and during the following four years he and his father practiced before the land office, which was then under a new head. In 1888 Edwin H. Chambers went to the state of Washington, spending one summer at Spokane in practice before the land office. In the fall of 1888 he came to Columbus, Nebraska, and he became one of the real-estate, loan and insurance firm of Becher, Hockenberger & Chambers, which in 1913 was incorporated as the Becher, Hockenberger & Chambers Company. The concern conducts a large and profitable business and its success is promoted in no inconsiderable degree by the sound judgment and able direction of the gentleman whose name introduces this review. He also acts as treasurer of the Columbus Land, Loan & Building Association.

  On the 4th of January, 1888, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Chambers was united in marriage to Miss Stella Gertrude North, only daughter of Major Frank J. North, who is deceased.

  Frank North was born in Tompkins county, New York, on the 10th day of March, 1840, and while yet in his infancy his parents moved to Richland county, Ohio, where the family lived until 1856, when they removed to the then far distant city, looming like a star of unusual magnitude in the west--Omaha. All the educational advantages he had were in the Ohio public schools, and the intelligence which a bright, grasping mind obtains from contact with the world.

  In the spring of 1855, his father was frozen to death and he -- with his brother James -- was left to support their mother, two sisters and a younger brother. A year later he came to Columbus and took a preemption five miles west of the town and farmed for two years. In 1860 he abandoned the preemption and went to work for the agent at the Pawnee reservation. In a year's time he was so well posted in the Pawnee language that he was employed by the post trader as clerk and interpreter, in whose employ he remained until he went into the United States

 

654PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

service, the major part of which time he managed the entire business of the post trader, who remained at his home in the east. In 1864, his military career commenced and he was chosen first lieutenant of the famous Pawnee Scouts under the command of Major General Samuel Curtis. After the summer campaign was over, he was authorized to reorganize the Pawnee Scouts and on October 24th, he was commissioned captain of Company A by Governor Saunders and placed in command.

  In 1865 he went on the Powder river campaign with General Conner and in November of the same year, returned to the Pawnee reservation and took command of the post, remaining there until the following spring. In the fall of 1866 he was appointed post trader by President Johnson. The following spring he organized a battalion of four companies of Pawnee Scouts and continued in the service until 1871, and it was at this time that he and Cody (Buffalo Bill) had their many wondrous adventures. During 1871 and the succeeding four years, he was acting as guide and scout for troops in the north and west, but in 1876, he reorganized the Pawnee Scouts and went with General Crook on his perilous winter campaign in the Yellowstone mountains and when he returned the following spring, and the scouts were mustered out of service, appreciation of his valuable services was shown in the following letter:

"Headq'ters, Dep't of Platte.
  "In the field.
    "Camp Robinson, Neb.,
        April 19th, 1877.

"Capt. Frank North,
  "Com. Pawnee Scouts,
    "Sidney, Neb.

"Dear Sir: The muster out of the Pawnee Scouts was ordered by Lieut. Gen. Sheridan.

"There is no longer any necessity for the employment of scouts nor is there any appropriation on hand from which to pay them, for which reason I regret I shall not be able to retain you in service.

"I think it is just and appropriate to thank you for your excellent behavior during the time of your stay in the military service under my command, and to say that the soldierlike conduct and discipline of the Pawnee Scouts is the most eloquent testimony that could be adduced to prove your fitness for the position you have held as Commanding Officer.

"I remain very respectfully

"Your Obedient Servant,
   "GEORGE CROOK,
      "Brigadier General."


  The legislature of the state was also proud of Frank North's achievements and record, and in a joint resolution, passed and approved February 23d, 1870, is the following:

  "RESOLVED, That the thanks of this body and of the people of the State of Nebraska are hereby tendered to Maj. Frank J. North, and the officers and soldiers under his command, of the Service Scouts for the heroic manner in which they have assisted in driving hostile Indians from our frontier settlement."

  After Major North was mustered out of service, he engaged in the cattle business with Cody (Buffalo Bill) under the firm name Cody & North and from

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 655

that time until his death in 1885, he was closely associated with Mr. Cody, having assisted him in the organization of "The Wild West," traveling with said organization in charge of the Indians and their affairs.

   In 1882 the people of Platte county elected Major North to the Nebraska legislature. He died at Columbus, March 14, 1885, aged forty-five years, leaving a daughter -- his wife having died two years earlier. All the people of Nebraska mourned his loss, for he was not only a brave soldier, but kind and just and true in all his life.


CARL O. HART.

  Carl O. Hart is the manager of the Monroe Farmers Association, which position he has occupied since 1909, and he is also one of the stockholders and secretary of the company. He was born in Fremont county, Iowa, February 17, 1880, and is a son of Charles and Louise (Gustavson) Hart, who were natives of Sweden. The father, a farmer by occupation, came to the United States in the early '70s, settling in Fremont county, Iowa, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits for a number of years. Removing to Nebraska in March, 1880, he settled in Nance county, where he purchased land, there living for six years, or until 1886, when he came with his family to Platte county, establishing his home in Monroe township, where he owned one hundred and sixty acres. He devoted the greater part of his attention to stock-raising and in the later years of his life lived retired, making his home in Genoa at the time of his death, which occurred in 1907, when he was sixty-five years of age. He was very active in township affairs and was a worthy and respected citizen of his community. His wife passed away in 1902, at the age of fifty-two years.

  Carl O. Hart was only a month old when his parents came to Nebraska, so that he was here reared and is indebted to the public-school system for the educational privileges which he enjoyed. When twenty-two years of age he took charge of the home farm and there resided for five years. He afterward purchased land in Oconee township, near the town of Monroe, and is now part owner of a tract of seventy-one acres. On the home farm he engaged in raising Poland China hogs, keeping a large number. In 1907 he gave up farming and after spending a year in California and Washington, came back to Monroe, Nebraska, and in July, 1909, became manager of the Monroe Farmers' Association, of which he is one of the stockholders and secretary. He is now devoting his energies largely to this business, in which connection he carefully directs the interests of the farmers, making the business one of profit for them.

  Mr. Hart was united in marriage to Miss Dora McWilliams, a native of Dunbar, Nebraska, and a daughter of W. A. and Mary (Moran) McWilliams. The father was a farmer and real-estate dealer who in 1895 became a resident of Platte county, settling near Monroe, where he followed general agricultural pursuits. Later he removed to the town, where he engaged in the hardware business and in real-estate dealing, making his home there to the time of his death. He was an active, progressive business man and citizen and was a faithful member of the Presbyterian church.

 

656PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

  Mr. and Mrs. Hart are loyal members of the Presbyterian church, in which he is serving as a trustee. Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has filled all of the chairs. He has ever been found worthy of the trust that has been reposed in him in every connection and is recognized as a man who can be depended upon on all occasions and in any emergency.


CHARLEY LEWIS DICKEY.

  Charley Lewis Dickey, who is a well known real-estate and insurance agent of Columbus, was born in South Whitley, Indiana, July 11, 1869. His father, William B. Dickey, was a son of William Dickey, who fought in the Indian wars under General W. H. Harrison. He in turn was a son of John Dickey, who took part in the Revolutionary war as a member of the Eighth Battalion, Cumberland (Md.) Militia, and who was with Washington's army during the terrible winter at Valley Forge. William B. Dickey was born in Ohio, and during the Civil war served as captain of the Home Guards near Steubenville, that state. He married Miss Frances Ann Stone, who was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, in 1829. The history of the Stone family has been traced back to Thomas A. Stone, who was the fifth son of Lord Dunlane, of Sussex, England. His second son, William Stone, became colonial governor of Maryland and his third son was David Stone, father of Thomas A. Stone, who was born in 1743 and was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The great-grandfather of Mrs. Dickey was Rev. Benjamin Stone, who served in a Virginia regiment commanded by Colonel Buford and who endured the hardships of the winter at Valley Forge. He also served for two years as a private in Colonel Roebuck's Second South Carolina Regiment and was for some time a sergeant in the regiment commanded by Colonel Francis Marion. William B. Dickey died in Oklahoma and his wife has also passed away.

  Charley L. Dickey received his education in the public schools of South Whitley, Indiana, but when thirteen years of age put aside his textbooks and went to western Kansas, where he remained for a year and a half, being employed as clerk in a grocery store. At the end of that time he returned home and learned blacksmithing, after which he was operator for the Wabash at Montpelier, Ohio, and later at Detroit, Michigan. He then returned to Kansas and worked as a telegraph operator in that state for several years, after which he was stationed at Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he remained for two years as operator in the transfer office of the Union Pacific Railroad. At the end of that time he was given a place as operator in the train dispatcher's office at Grand Island, Nebraska, where he remained for two and a half years. Being threatened with pulmonary trouble, he was sent to Lexington, Nebraska, in 1895 and remained there for about three years. In June, 1899, he was stationed at Wood River, Nebraska, and after leaving there was agent for the Union Pacific at Valley, Nebraska. In 1904 he came to Columbus and for four years after arriving here filled the position of traveling freight agent for the Chicago Great Western Railroad. At the end of that time he resigned to become district manager for a Canadian land company, with which he was connected until 1911. In that year he went into the real-estate and insurance business for himself and has so continued until the present time. He is well informed as to realty values in this

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 657

section of the country and has handled much valuable property and negotiated many important transfers of real estate. In the insurance field he represents a number of reliable companies and is an enterprising and efficient agent, having written many policies since entering the insurance business.

  On the 27th of December, 1898, Mr. Dickey was married, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Miss Charlotte E. Pile, a daughter of the late David Pile. Her father, who was born in Tennessee in 1882, served for four years during the Civil war in the Confederate army. To this union have been born the following children: Frank Paul, Charley Lewis, Davida Elizabeth, Frances, Thomas Pile and Virginia.

  Mr. Dickey is a republican but has never been able to spare the time from his business interests to take an active part in politics. Fraternally he belongs to the Masonic order, having passed through the various degrees of the York Rite and being a member of the Mystic Shrine. He is also affiliated with the Elks and is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He is identified with the Methodist Episcopal church and no worthy cause seeks his aid in vain. He has at all times done his share toward promoting the commercial expansion of the city, and in April, 1915, was made secretary of the Columbus Commercial Club. He is a man of determination and resolution and has carried to successful completion every project which he has undertaken. Since removing to Columbus he has gained recognition as a man of unswerving integrity and as a citizen of marked public spirit.


PAUL GERTSCH.

  Paul Gertsch is the owner of the Willow Grove Farm, a tract of six hundred acres, situated on section 1, Monroe township, and he has other important business connections, being, in fact, regarded as one of the most progressive and enterprising business men of his part of the county. He was born at Glarus, Switzerland, October 12, 1852; his parents being Christ and Pauline (Melmig) Gertsch. The father, a native of Bern, was a farmer of that country, where he owned and cultivated land. On coming to the United States he made his way into the interior of the country, settling in Bismark township, Platte county, in 1873, securing a farm on Shell creek. The settlements were few and far between and pioneer conditions everywhere existed. Mr. Gertsch occupied his original homestead until 1879, when death ended his labors at the age of seventy-nine years. His place comprised one hundred and sixty acres of land, on which he made many improvements. He belonged to the Reformed church and guided his life according to its teachings, ever endeavoring to follow the golden rule.

  Paul Gertsch was the eldest of the four sons of the family and acquired a common-school education. He dates his residence in Platte county from 1871, at which time he began working as a farm hand for Jacob Louis, being employed in a similar manner by other early settlers of the county. He was ambitious, however, to own a farm and in 1877 bought land in Monroe township, investing the money which had come to him through persistent industry and close economy. That constituted a nucleus of his present possessions, for as opportunity has offered he has added to his holdings until he is now the owner of a fine farm of six hundred acres. The summer brings forth fields of waving grain, which in the autumn

 

658PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

yield large harvests, and in addition to the cultivation of the cereals best adapted to the soil and climate Mr. Gertsch is engaged in the raising of a good grade of stock. He bought his land on time and has dug what he has out of the ground. In other words, his life has been one of earnest, persistent labor and, depending entirely upon his own resources, he has worked his way upward to his present success. In addition to his agricultural interests he is a director of the Monroe State Bank and is a stockholder in the Monroe Farmers Association and the Monroe Coal Company.

  In January, 1878, Mr. Gertsch was married to Miss Elizabeth Von Bergen, who was born in Bern, Switzerland, and died February 15, 1913, at the age of fifty-five years. She was a daughter of Ulrich and Katherine (Naegly) Von Bergen. Her father was a cooper in Switzerland and in 1873 became a resident of Grand Prairie township, Platte county, where he secured a homestead claim and began life in true pioneer style. Mrs. Gertsch was thus a representative of one of the old families of the county and was very popular in the community in which she made her home because of her attractive social qualities and her gracious hospitality. To Mr. and Mrs. Gertsch were born eleven children: Lydia, the wife of H. Fennimore; Alma; Carl, who was born September 13, 1882, and is a farmer of Joliet; Ottylia, the wife of J. Brandt; Walter, who was born March 6, 1886; Martha, the wife of H. Weber; Paul, who was born November 1, 1890; Elinor; Verna; Helmuth, who was born November 6, 1897, and is in a bank at Monroe; and Esther.

  In his political views Mr. Gertsch is a republican, active in the work of the party, his labors contributing to its success. He has served as township trustee and has filled various other local offices, the duties of which he has discharged with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He assisted in organizing the church in Lost Creek township, and takes a great interest in its work. He places a correct value upon the important things of life and he has wisely used his time, talents and opportunities not only for the attainment of individual success, but also for the benefit of the community in which he makes his home.


CHARLES FREDERICK ELIAS.

  Since 1879 Charles Frederick Elias has made his home in Platte county and is now an esteemed and worthy citizen of Columbus, where he has a wide acquaintance and many friends. He was born in Dresden, Saxony, on the 15th of March, 1845, a son of Wilhelm and Wilhelmina (Silverman) Elias. The father, who was born in the year 1811, passed away in 1874 at the age of sixty-three years, while the mother died in 1854 at the age of forty-one years. For seventeen years Wilhelm Elias was a soldier of the German army, being drafted in 1831 and serving with the artillery. He acted as first duty sergeant and had charge of the battery. In 1845 he was accorded a medal for saving a civilian from drowning during the high water of that year. He also received a medal for valiant and meritorious service displayed during the charges of the barricades of revolutionists in the rebellion of 1848 and still another for his length of service, this being given him just prior to his death. He passed the required examination and was in the revenue service as a government

 CHARLES F. ELIAS AND FAMILY

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 661

employe from 1847 until 1874, holding different positions. This made his service in behalf of his government cover a period of forty-three years. He never came to the United States but always remained a resident of his native land and in the district in which he lived enjoyed the high regard, confidence and good will of all with whom he had been associated as well as the trust of his superior officers. He was an active member of the German Lutheran church.

  Charles Frederick Elias is the youngest in a family of nine children and is the only one now living. His mother died in 1854 when he was but nine years of age, after which he was placed in a government military academy, in which he remained until he reached the age of fifteen years. At that time he began to learn the butcher's trade and in 1869, when a young man of twenty-four years, he came to the United States, settling first in Delaware county, New York, where he worked for a brief period as a farm hand. He then went to Indianapolis, Indiana, and enlisted in the Twenty-second United States Infantry, serving for five years. He was with that regiment when it acted as guard for the surveyors and builders of the Northern Pacific Railroad between Bismarck, North Dakota and Boise, Idaho. In December, 1874, he returned to Dresden, Saxony, on a visit: He again came to the United States and once more joined the army as a butcher with the First United States Infantry. While acting in that capacity and also as clerk in the commissary department he also had to do soldiers duty and participated with his command in many skirmishes with the Indians. In 1879 he was honorably discharged from the United States army and now draws a pension from the government.

  After leaving the army Mr. Elias made his way to Columbus, Nebraska, which was then a town of about two thousand inhabitants. All of the town lay south of the Union Pacific Railroad. With the interests of the little city he became identified, building a packing house, since which time he has engaged in packing smoked and cured meats, doing a considerable business for farmers of the surrounding country.

  On the 8th of April, 1875, Mr. Elias was married to Miss Paulina Hansch, who was born at Gross Schoenau, Germany, and was married at Sioux City, Iowa. She is a daughter of John Gottlieb and Johanna Maria (Strobach) Hansch. Her father was a cabinet maker and a very fine workman. He was, however, retiring in disposition and modest and unassuming in manner. He belonged to the German Lutheran church. Mr. and Mrs. Elias have become the parents of eleven children, seven of whom are still living: Alice, the widow of Bond Speice, of Columbus, and the mother of three children; Max, who is acting as baggagemaster for the Union Pacific Railroad Company at Columbus, and who is married and has two children; Hedewig, the wife of William Moran, who is stationary engineer, making his home in Omaha, and by whom she has one daughter; Pearl, the wife of August Wagner, an attorney of Columbus, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work; Fred, who is in the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company at Omaha; Gertrude, the wife of Dr. A. G. Lueschen, of Columbus, who is also mentioned elsewhere in this volume; and Paulina, the wife of W. Clayborn, a lawyer of San Francisco, California.

  In his fraternal relations Mr. Elias is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Woodmen of the World and has held offices in both local lodges. In politics he is independent. He has served as a member of the council since 1908 and is still the incumbent in office, in which he exercises his official prerogatives in support of many progressive projects for the benefit of the city. He stands

 

662PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

at all times for those interests which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride and is regarded as one of the valued residents of Platte county. He is widely known as a man of sterling worth, active in all affairs of the community. The same loyalty which characterized his military service is manifest in his devotion to the interests of civic life, and there is no more loyal adherent of American interests in Columbus than C. F. Elias.


JOHN ADOLF GROTELUSCHEN.

  John Adolf Groteluschen is one of the most prominent farmers and stockraisers in Sherman township, his home being on section 34. His place is notable in many respects and is the visible evidence of a life of well directed thrift, enterprise, determination and business sagacity. He represents one of the old pioneer families of the county and was born December 29, 1871, in Bismark township, on the old homestead farm of his parents, John and Anna (Loseke) Groteluschen. The father was a native of Oldenburg, Germany, and became one of the early residents of Platte county, arriving a year later than the Loseke family, who were among the first to penetrate into this region and plant the seeds of civilization on Platte county's soil. His experiences covered all that is implied in the term pioneer life. Around him stretched broad, unbroken prairies. Few roads had been laid out and the work of development seemed scarcely begun. He entered one hundred and sixty acres o£ land from the government and on his land, like other tracts, there had been no furrow turned nor an improvement made. He broke the sod, harrowed the fields, planted the seed and in due time gathered substantial harvests, and as his financial resources increased he added to his holdings until at his death he was the owner of an excellent farm of six hundred and forty acres in Colfax county. He had long been a resident of Nebraska when in 1907 he passed away.

  John Adolf Groteluschen was educated in German Lutheran schools, spending his youthful days upon the home farm of his father, where he was instructed not only in the work of the fields but in life values, being taught industry, honesty and those things which are most worth while. That his lessons have borne fruit in the years which have since come and gone is manifest in the high regard which is entertained for him and the success which he has achieved. He is now the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of rich land on section 34, Sherman township, the half section being a valuable tract, fertile and productive. One of the notable features of his place is a flowing well sunk to a depth of eighty feet. The water gushes forth in an eight-inch stream. It has mineral properties that make it of value medicinally and there is a seemingly inexhaustible supply of the water. Mr. Groteluschen maintains important stock-raising interests, handling shorthorn cattle, Percheron horses and Poland China hogs, and this branch of his business is proving very profitable. On his home place he has eighty acres of timber and ten acres are covered by the creek.

  In 1891 Mr. Groteluschen was united in marriage to Miss Matilda Wilkie, who passed away on the 11th of April, 1909, leaving five children, namely: Arthur, a youth of seventeen years; Ernst, who is fifteen years old; and Paul, Clara and

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 663

Elmer, who are thirteen, eleven and nine years of age respectively. In 1911 Mr. Groteluschen was again married, his second union being with Katrina Finke, by whom he has a son, Harold, who is three years old.

  Mr. Groteluschen is a democrat in his political views, having supported the party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He has filled the offices of township clerk and justice of the peace and has made an excellent record as a public official, discharging his duties with promptness and fidelity. In matters of citizenship he manifests the same progressive spirit and labors for the advancement and welfare of the community just as earnestly and just as effectively as he does for his individual success. His worth is widely acknowledged wherever he is known and he has a very wide acquaintance in the county.


JOHN DAYTON STIRES.

  For twenty-five years John Dayton Stires has been a representative of the bar at Columbus, and his ability has gained him distinction in his chosen field. He does not fear that laborious preparation which must always precede the strong presentation of a case in the courts and his clear reasoning, his logic and his correct citation of principle and precedent are salient features in his success.

  Mr. Stires is a native of Hunterdon county, New Jersey, which was also the birthplace of his parents, John Taylor and Eleanora (Krymer) Stires. The father became a farmer and followed that occupation throughout his entire active life. He was a son of Jacob Stires, who was of Scotch-Irish descent. John Taylor Stires continued to engage in general farming for many years and passed away in his native county in 1912, after having survived his wife for four years, her death occurring in 1908.

  Upon the old homestead farm in Hunterdon county, New Jersey, John Dayton Stires spent his boyhood and youth and the country schools afforded him his educational privileges. After a year spent at Pennington Seminary near Trenton he attended a preparatory school for Princeton University. On the expiration of that period he went to Iowa City, Iowa, and was there graduated on the completion of a law course in the State University with the class of 1882. Following his graduation he went to Red Oak, Iowa, where he opened an office and engaged in practice for two years. He next removed to Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, where he practiced law and organized the Cedar Rapids Bank, a private banking institution, if which he was the president. He continued at that place until 1890, when he disposed of his interests and came to Columbus, Nebraska, where he has. since followed his profession. Along with those qualities indispensable to the lawyer--a keen, rapid, logical mind, plus the business sense and a ready capacity for hard work -- he brought to the starting point of his legal career certain rare gifts, including eloquence of language and a strong personality, marked strength of character, a thorough grasp of the law and the ability to accurately apply its principles, all of which are factors in his effectiveness as an advocate.

  On the 10th of March, 1880, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. Stires was married to Miss Helen H. Lamb, a daughter of Charles Carswell Lamb. To Mr. and Mrs. Stires have been born two sons. The elder, Ferdinand Taylor, was born

 

664PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

in Red Oak, Iowa, in 1882. He is a graduate of the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania and is now engaged in practice in Philadelphia that state. The younger son, Harrison LeRoy, was born in Philadelphia, in 1885. He is now chief clerk in the claim department of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company at Baltimore, Maryland. He wedded Miss Bertha Chapin, a daughter of Charles Chapin, of Platte county, Nebraska, and they have one son, Charles Chapin.

  The religious faith of the family is that of the Episcopal church and in his political belief Mr. Stires is a republican, but while he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day he does not seek nor desire public office. He is prominent in Masonry, having taken the degrees of the York Rite and of the Mystic Shrine and his life measures up to the standards of the church and of the fraternity. In a word his salient characteristics are such as command respect and confidence everywhere and during the period of his residence in Columbus he has won the high regard and friendship of the majority of those with whom he has been brought in contact.

 

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