Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II


 

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of his industry, thrift and enterprise. Our subject and his wife have five children namely: Emma, Edward, Karl, Elsie and Henry.

  The religious faith of the family is that of the German Lutheran church. In political views Mr. Imig is a republican and fraternally he is connected with Columbus Aerie, No. 1834, F. O. E., with the Modern Woodmen of America and with the Sons of Herman. He deserves much credit for what he has accomplished, having worked his way persistently upward since he started out to earn his living when a youth of fourteen years. Energy, persistency and reliability have been the crowning features in his business life and have brought him to a place among the successful men of his adopted city.


MICHAEL WHITMOYER.

  Michael Whitmoyer is a prominent and successful attorney of Columbus who has practiced his profession in that city for the past forty-two years and enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the leading members of the bar of Platte country. His birth occurred on a farm in Columbia county, Pennsylvania, on the 12th of February, 1836, his parents being Simon and Sarah (Kisner) Whitmoyer, who were likewise natives of the Keystone state, the former born in 1810. Conrad Whitmoyer, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was a native of Pennsylvania and followed agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career. The Whitmoyer family comes of German ancestry.

  Michael Whitmoyer began his education in the public schools and subsequently attended Greenwood Seminary at Millville, Pennsylvania, Dickinson Seminary at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and the First Pennsylvania State Normal School at Millersville. He next began reading law, being thus engaged at Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, when the Civil war broke out. On the 7th of August, 1862, he joined Company E, One Hundred and Thirty-second Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was at once elected captain of Company E, holding that rank during his term of service. He participated in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville and was mustered out at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on the 24th of May, 1863, at the expiration of his term of service. Mr. Whitmoyer then resumed the reading of law and in 1865 was admitted to the bar of Pennsylvania, locating in Bloomsburg, where he followed his profession until February, 1873. At that time he came to Columbus, Nebraska, which city has remained the scene of his professional labors continuously since and where he has been accorded an extensive and gratifying clientage. The zeal with which he has devoted his energies to his profession, the careful regard evinced for the interests of his clients and an assiduous and unrelaxing attention to all the details of his cases, have brought him a large business and made him very successful in its conduct.

  Mr. Whitmoyer has been married twice. In 1872, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania he wedded Miss Hannah E. Waller, who died the next year, leaving a daughter Laura; now the wife of Dr. J. C. Reifsnyder, of Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1877, near Troy, Pennsylvania, Mr. Whitmoyer married Emma A. Peckham, by whom he has three children, as follows: Florence, who is the wife of Dr. W. S. Evans, of Columbus, Nebraska; Gertrude, twin sister of Florence, who gave her
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hand in marriage to Howard F. Geer of Upland, California; and Maurice, who is now a resident of Upland, California.

  In politics Mr. Whitmoyer is a stanch republican, never wavering in his allegiance to the party which was the defense of the Union during the dark days of the Civil war. In 1872 he was elected a delegate to the national republican convention at Philadelphia, which nominated Grant for president, and was appointed colonel in the National Guards of Pennsylvania by Governor John W. Geary. In Columbus he has served for two terms as councilman, making a most creditable and commendable record in that connection. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and the Knights of Pythias, and his religious faith is that of the Congregational church. Past the seventy-ninth milestone on life's journey, he has long been numbered among the honored citizens and leading lawyers of Columbus.


JOSEPH SCHMIDT.

  Joseph Schmidt is a representative of the lumber trade, having for seventeen years been connected with the yard in which he is now occupying a position of responsibility. He was born in Austria on the 27th of May, 1858, a son of Florian and Mary (Hurneich) Schmidt, who were also natives of that country. The father was a farmer, following that occupation in the old country, where he continued to cultivate land until his death. His wife passed away in 1868.

  Joseph Schmidt was reared and educated in Austria, no event of special importance occurring to vary the routine of life for him until he reached the age of twenty years, when he left the parental roof and came to America, attracted by the favorable opportunities which he heard were offered in this country. He made his way across the country to Columbus and by team traveled to Humphrey, for there was then no railroad in the town. His financial condition rendered it imperative that he at once secure employment and for some time he worked out as a farm hand. In 1880 the work of building the Union Pacific Railroad was started and Mr. Schmidt became active in that connection, remaining as a representative of the company for eighteen years, acting as section foreman at different places. He finally tired of that and returned to Humphrey, where he entered the employ of H. Huneker & Brother, dealers in lumber. Since then the ownership of the yard has changed, the original firm having sold out to Weller Brothers. Mr. Schmidt has now been connected with this yard for seventeen years, a fact which indicates most clearly his fidelity, capability and trustworthiness.

  In November, 1881, occurred the marriage of Mr. Schmidt and Miss Julia Franchel, a daughter of John Franchel, a native of Austria, in which country he spent his entire life. The mother died when Mrs. Schmidt was fourteen years of age and the father when she had reached the age of twenty-eight. Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt have become the parents of ten children, Joseph, Carl, Frankie, Louis, Mary and Annie, all yet living; while Herman, John, Michael and Fred have passed away.

  The parents are communicants of the Catholic church and for twenty years Mr. Schmidt has been a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. He votes with the democratic party, believing its principles contain the best elements of

 

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good government. He has erected and now occupies a nice residence in Humphrey, where he is comfortably situated in life and where he maintains an unassailable reputation both as a business man and as a citizen.


LOUIS MAIER.

  Louis Maier, who since February, 1915, has been manager of the Weller Brothers' lumber business at Humphrey, is an enterprising young man who step by step has worked his way upward and through an orderly progression has reached an enviable place in business circles. He was born in April, 1882, in the town where he still makes his home, his parents being Frank and Mary (Hundsfeld) Maier, who were natives of Austria and came to America in 1880, at which time they took up their abode in Humphrey. The father was a shoemaker and worked at that trade in his native land and also after taking up his abode in Platte county, where his remaining days were passed. He died in May, 1908, having for thirteen years survived his wife, who passed away in 1895.

  In the period of his youth Louis Maier attended the public and parochial schools and in starting out upon his independent business career was employed as a farm hand for eight years. He then became engaged in the grain trade, with which he was connected until February, 1915, when he accepted the position of manager of the lumber yard of Weller Brothers at Humphrey. He is now capably controlling the interests of the firm and is popular with his employers and with the purchasing public, for he is thoroughly reliable and always courteous and obliging.

  On the 28th of June, 1911, Mr. Maier was married to Miss Josephine Eischen, a daughter of Peter and Mary (Backes) Eischen, who are now living retired in Oklahoma. In religious faith Mr. Maier is a Catholic and he belongs to the Knights of Columbus. In politics he is a democrat and has served as clerk of Burrows township for two years. The greater part of his time and attention, however, is given to his business interests and as the result of his personal activities he has worked his way steadily upward, prompted by a laudable ambition that has gained for him a creditable position.


LOUIS LIGHTNER.

  In a history of the bar of Columbus it is imperative that mention be made of Louis Lightner, who is the junior partner of the firm of Reeder & Lightner. In this connection he is practicing with excellent success, for his ability enables him to successfully handle intricate and involved legal problems. He is yet a young man and has therefore not reached the zenith of his powers, so that his course for many years to come will undoubtedly be one of continuous progression.

  Mr. Lightner was born in Nauvoo, Illinois, November 22, 1877, a son of William and Louisa (Brayshaw) Lightner. The father was born in Pennsylvania in 1842, while the mother was a native of Illinois. They were married in the latter state and Mr. Lightner still resides at Nauvoo, Illinois, having long survived his wife,

 

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who passed away in 1881. The family is of Holland origin, and the name was originally spelled Leichtner. Late in the seventeenth century representatives of the name crossed the Atlantic and the family was planted on American soil in Pennsylvania. At the time of the Civil war William Lightner responded to the country's call for troops, joining the Union army and rendering valiant aid in defense of the stars and stripes.

  Louis Lightner attended the country schools of Platte county, Nebraska, having come to this state in his infancy to live with his aunt, the wife of Hanson S. Elliott. In her home he spent the days of his boyhood and youth, and his education was acquired in the schools of the neighborhood. He was graduated in law, however, from the Nebraska State University at Lincoln as a member of the class of 1910 and immediately afterward removed to Columbus, where he at once entered upon the active practice of his profession, forming a partnership with the Hon. James G. Reeder in 1908. The following year John J. Sullivan, who was a member of the firm, withdrew and removed to Omaha, at which time the firm style of Reeder & Lightner was assumed and so continues. Mr. Lightner is an able lawyer, clear in his reasoning, concise in his appeals before the court and logical in his deductions. He prepares his cases with thoroughness, and his devotion to his clients' interests has become proverbial. He is a director of the Equitable Building, Loan & Savings Association but otherwise concentrates his energies upon his professional activities.

  On the 31st of July, 1907, in Liberty, Missouri, Mr. Lightner was married to Miss Margaret C. Griffith. He is well known in fraternal connections as a Master Mason, an Elk, a Modern Woodman of America, a Woodman of the World and as one of the Spanish War Veterans and also as a member of the Sons of Veterans. At the time of the war with Spain in 1898 he joined Company I of the Nebraska National Guard and went with his company into the First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was sent to the Philippines and Mr. Lightner accompanied it, the command sailing from San Francisco in June. He served until December 10, 1898, when he was mustered out. He was present at the capture of Manila on the 13th of August and was in the preceding battles on the 2d and 5th of August. He was a most loyal soldier, bravely defending the interests of his country, and thus his name has been placed on the honor roll along with those who have rendered military service to the United States in its most recent war. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party, and he was a delegate from the thirty-third Nebraska congressional district to the Baltimore convention in 1912. His interests are broad and varied and show a comprehensive understanding of life, upon which he places no fictitious values. He looks at all questions of public moment from a practical standpoint and seeks the good of the community in many ways.


WILLIAM A. ALDERSON.

  The home of William A. Alderson at Humphrey is the finest residence in the town and stands as a monument to the enterprise and business ability of the owner, who for many years was closely associated with agricultural interests and by the careful management and control of his affairs gained a substantial measure of

 

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success that now classes him with the men of affluence in Platte county. He is now living retired save for the supervision which he gives to his invested interests. He was born in Wisconsin, September 20, 1850, and is a son of Edmund and Sarah (Woodward) Alderson, who were natives of England. The mother came to the new world with her parents when a maiden of fourteen summers and the father crossed the Atlantic when a young man of twenty-three years. Making his way into the interior of the country, he settled in Wisconsin and was employed in the lead mines for a time and afterward became the owner of a mine, the shaft of which was eighty feet in depth, with a ladder reaching the entire length. One day while descending this ladder he accidentally slipped and was killed, being but thirty-five years of age when his death occurred on the 5th of March, 1856. His widow continued to live in Wisconsin throughout her remaining days, passing away in October, 1893, when she had reached the age of sixty-three years.

  William A. Alderson was reared and educated in the Badger state and remained with his mother to the age of nineteen, when he started out independently in the business world as a farm hand. He was employed in that manner until he attained his majority, when in April, 1872, he left Wisconsin and removed westward to Platte county, Nebraska, where he secured a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Humphrey township. Immediately he began to develop and improve that land, upon which, up to that time, not a furrow had been turned. The track of the plow was soon to be seen across the fields and as time went on the wild prairie was converted into rich and productive fields, which he carefully, systematically and profitably developed for thirty-nine years, or until 1911, when he retired and removed to Fremont, where he made his home for a year. He then returned to Humphrey and purchased a fine residence in the southwestern part of the town, standing on a hill which commands a splendid view of the surrounding country. He has since resided in Humphrey and his home is the most beautiful there. It is a large and commodious house of the modern style of architecture, surrounded by well kept grounds, covering twelve acres. He also owns the original homestead, to which he has added as his financial resources increased until his farm possessions now comprise four hundred and ninety-two acres.

  While he no longer tills the fields Mr. Alderson is still a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey, of which he was a director for four years. While living upon the farm he made a specialty of breeding and raising shorthorn cattle and Percheron horses and fed from fifty to one hundred head of cattle annually. He did much to improve the grade of stock raised and his example in that direction and in the work of the fields has constituted a standard which others have profitably followed.

  On the 27th of October, 1874, Mr. Alderson was united in marriage to Miss Elmira Slater, a daughter of James O. and Catherine (Goodser) Slater, who were natives of New York. The father was a farmer of the Empire state and during the latter part of his life operated a boat on the Hudson river. He died in 1903, while his wife has also passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Alderson became the parents of six children: Mabel F., at home; Oliver R., a resident farmer of Humphrey township; Rose H., who is teaching in the Humphrey high school; Delia M., the wife of Eugene Ainsworth, who is operating his father-in-law's farm; William A., who is married and is engaged in business as a ladies' tailor at Hastings, Nebraska; and Verne Ashland, who died in 1888 at the age of two years and twenty-eight days.

 

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  Mr. and Mrs. Alderson hold membership in the Methodist church and his political views are in accord with the principles of the republican party. His life record is one which should inspire and encourage others, showing what may be accomplished when one has the will to dare and to do. When he came to Nebraska he was sixteen dollars in debt and after paying his homestead fee he had but five dollars in his possession. The change in his financial condition has been reached by earnest, persistent labor, which has made him one of the substantial citizens of the county, owning one of the finest farms within its borders. In all that he has done he has been actuated by a laudable ambition and his record proves that success and an honorable name may be won simultaneously.


CLARA ROSA AERNI, D. C., PH. C.

  Dr. Clara Rosa Aerni, one of the most successful chiropractics of Nebraska, following her profession in Columbus, is a native daughter of Platte county, her birth having occurred at Neboville, December 30, 1889. Her parents were Frank and Rosina Aerni, natives of Switzerland. The father was born January 6, 1846, in Hersiwil, Canton Solothurn, while the mother was from Utzenstorf, in the canton of Bern, her birth having there occurred, December 23, 1862. They emigrated to America on the 19th of May, 1883, embarking on the steamer Helvetia as she made her last trip over the Atlantic. They came direct to Columbus, where Mr. Aerni still lives, being considered one of the successful farmers of this part of the state. His wife passed away June 23, 1912.

  Dr. Aerni acquired her early education in a little suburban school just three miles north of Columbus, and having completed the course of instruction there, decided to enter the Columbus high school but illness prevented the completion of her course. She afterward studied dressmaking, being graduated from the Women's College of Scientific Dressmaking at La Crosse, Wisconsin, on the 22d of May, 1909. Her next undertaking was music, which she studied in the American School of Music of Chicago, of which she is an alumnus. Later she entered upon a three years' course of chiropractic and was graduated on the 28th of August, 1914, from the Palmer School of Chiropractic at Davenport, Iowa. Chiropractic is a philosophy, a science and an art of things natural and a system of adjusting the articulations of the spine, by hand, for the elimination of the cause of disease (def. by B. J. Palmer, D. C., Ph. C., president of the Palmer School of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa). Chiropractic is unique, as well as universal in its application and by actual application and by actual proof of the fulfillment of its claims, although comparatively in its infancy, it has opened the door to success to over six thousand practitioners who enjoy the favor and good wishes of over one million intelligent people of the world. Yes, this great boon, as it is frequently called, has already before the age of twenty, been carried to many foreign lands, thirteen foreign countries being represented at one time in the Palmer School of Chiropractic (Chiropractic Fountain Head), located in Davenport, Iowa, at which place it was discovered by Dr. D. D. Palmer about twenty years ago. It was a very crude system until the son, Dr. B. J. Palmer, took it in hand and developed it, until today it is almost a painless method, and the only direct method of getting at the cause of the

  DR. CLARA R. AERNI

 

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great category of diseases found in the human body. It is a well known fact that therapeutic methods are based on the "treatment of effects of disease." Chiropractic takes the opposite basic principle, that of the "removal of the cause" (no cause, no effect). The fundamental idea is that the source by which nature reaches the various and minute parts of the body is through the brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves, knowing that the nerves pass through an opening in the spinal column formed by two movable vertebrae (segments) which are subject to all kinds of excessive forces in the shape of blows, strains, etc., and which, having gone beyond the limit of natural resistance, become subluxated (slightly misplaced) and thereby a pressure is brought to bear on these most delicate nerve fibers, thus destroying the life carrying capacity of these nerves, thus causing a lack or excess of function of that portion of the body supplied by such nerves. Taking this as a basis, naturally a new method for removal had to be invented, this is the adjustment of vertebrae or the scientific application of force in the opposite direction of the, by palpation determined, subluxation, thus removing the pressure on nerves, which permits the natural currents to flow freely through the once more normal nerves, and as a result you have normal functionation in your portion of body supplied, making "ease in disease."

  After completing her course in the Palmer School of Chiropractic, Dr. Aerni returned to Columbus, opening an office in the Telegram building, on the 3d of September, and since that time she has built up a good practice, her work proving most successful in coping with the intricate problems of health and disease.

  Dr. Aerni is an active member of the Universal Chiropractors Association as well as of the Nebraska Chiropractors Association. She expresses her political views as "peace above everything else." She has membership with the Swiss Society of Columbus, in W. C. lodge, and is secretary of the drill team. She is also an active member of the German Reformed church, doing everything in her power to advance its work and extend its influence. She is making her life count as a force for good both in professional and church circles.


WENSEL J. TROJAN.

  Wensel J. Trojan, living at Tarnov, has devoted his life to agricultural and banking interests and at the present time is the cashier of the Bank of Tarnov, his close application and indefatigable energy contributing to its growing success. He was born in Colfax county, Nebraska, in September, 1880, a son of Anton and Mary (Panek) Trojan, who were natives of Austria and in the year 1880 left that land to establish a home in the new world. Landing on the eastern coast, they crossed the country to Colfax county, Nebraska, and the father purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land which he cultivated and improved throughout his remaining days. He had learned and followed the blacksmith's trade in Austria but after coming to the new world gave his undivided attention to agricultural pursuits. His life's labors were ended in death April 15, 1905, while his wife passed away February 2, 1912.

  Wensel J. Trojan attended the district and public schools of Colfax county, and the Fremont Normal College at Fremont, Nebraska, after which he entered

 

76PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

upon his business career as bookkeeper in the First National Bank at Leigh, where he remained for nine months. He then opened a bank of his own at Royal, Nebraska, which he called the Royal State Bank and which he conducted for two years. He then sold out, returned home and operated a farm for two years but at the end of that time rented the land, although he still owns two hundred acres there, from which he obtains a good annual income. Removing to Tarnov, he became financially interested in the Bank of Tarnov, which is capitalized for fifteen thousand dollars and has sixty thousand dollars on deposit. The officers of the institution are: George P. Bissell, president; J. W. Hutchison, vice president; and Wensel J. Trojan, cashier; and these gentlemen, together with W. J. Panek, constitute the board of directors. Mr. Trojan's long experience in the banking business well qualifies him for the duties now devolving upon him and he is a popular cashier, always courteous to the patrons of the bank and at the same time carefully safeguarding the interests of depositors and of the institution.

  Mr. Trojan holds membership in the Catholic church. In politics he is a democrat and has served as overseer of streets, while at the present time he is a member of the town board. He takes an active interest in public affairs and does everything to promote the welfare and upbuilding of the community in which he lives.


HERMAN GEORGE PERSON.

  Herman George Person is actively and successfully engaged in business at Columbus as a dealer in agricultural implements and the proprietor of a blacksmith shop. His birth occurred in Leer, Ostfriesland, Germany, on the 9th of May, 1873, his parents being Henry and Marie (Kluever) Person, who were married in that country. The father, born in 1842, was a German soldier during the period of the Franco-Prussian war. In 1893 he emigrated with his family to the United States and took up his abode in Columbus, Nebraska, but at present resides with his wife at Niobrara, Knox county, this state. The ancestry of the family is traced back to Louis de Person, who was a native of France and had a coat of arms but who fled to Germany to escape the religious persecution suffered by the French Huguenots.

  Herman G. Person acquired his education in the schools of the fatherland and was a young man of twenty years when he accompanied his parents on their emigration to the new world. During the first two years of his residence in this country he worked on a farm in Platte county, Nebraska, and subsequently spent a year in a wagon shop at Concordia, Missouri. He then returned to this county and started out as an agriculturist on his own account, here carrying on farming for four years. On the expiration of that period he took up his abode in Columbus and opened a blacksmith shop which he has conducted continuously and successfully to the present time, while since 1904 he has also dealt in agricultural implements, finding this branch of his business a remunerative undertaking. In the conduct of his interests he displays excellent ability and sound judgment which insure his continued and growing prosperity.

  In November, 1896, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Person was united in marriage

 

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to Miss Sophie Kluever, a daughter of Henry Kluever. They have three sons: Henry George, Rudolph and Herbert. Mr. Person gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has fraternal relations with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of the Maccabees. His religious faith is that of the Baptist church. Both he and his wife are widely and favorably known in Columbus' having won the unqualified confidence and regard of all with whom they have come in contact during the period of their residence here.


WILLIAM FINLEY DODDS.

  William Finley Dodds, an honored veteran of the Civil war, is a well known and representative agriculturist residing on section 27, Shell Creek township, and has lived on his present farm for the past twenty years. His birth occurred in Butler county, Pennsylvania, on the 5th of March, 1840, his parents being Joseph and Sarah Ann (Lowry) Dodds, who spent their entire lives in that county. He was reared to manhood on the home farm and attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education, receiving his early instruction in a log schoolhouse. In 1861 he enlisted in defense of the Union as a member of Company D, Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserves, serving with that command for sixteen months. At the seven days' siege of Richmond he received a bullet wound in the knee and had a knuckle shot from his right hand while reaching to pick up the rebel flag. He was taken prisoner and was incarcerated in Libby prison for three months, at the end of which time he was sent home on account of disability. His brother Mathew died in the service of the Union and another brother, John R., also followed the stars and stripes on southern battlefields. The latter lived to come home.

  After returning from the war Mr. Dodds turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and successfully followed farming in Pennsylvania until 1880, when he came to Platte county, Nebraska, arriving here on the 18th day of March. Here he has been engaged in farming continuously to the present time, now owning a forty-acre tract of land near Columbus, while for the past twenty years he has lived on his present farm in Shell Creek township, which he operates as a renter in association with his sons. He carries on the work of the fields in accordance with the most modern and practical methods of agriculture and annually gathers rich harvests.

  On the 30th of January, 1865, Mr. Dodds was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Jane Shannon, who was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, March 23, 1842. To them have been born nine children, as follows: Olive, who is the wife of John Cooper, of Beaver county, Pennsylvania; Joseph, who wedded Miss Lena Phillips and lives in Cambridge, Nebraska; Roy, who married Miss Lillian Bartmess and makes his home in Portland, Oregon; John L.; William; Flora Birde, who is engaged in teaching; Anna Marie; Elizabeth May; and Grace Shannon, a trained nurse in Omaha.

  Mr. Dodds gives his political allegiance to the democracy and for nine years has served as assessor of Shell Creek township, making a most creditable record in that capacity. He and his wife were formerly members of the United Presbyterian church and now attend the Presbyterian church in their home locality.

 

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  They have lived in Platte county for thirty-five years and enjoy an extensive and favorable acquaintance within its borders. Mr. Dodds has now passed the seventy-fifth milestone on life's journey and his career has ever been such that he can look back over the past without regret and forward to the future without fear.


JAMES NOONAN.

  When death called James Noonan Platte county lost one of its representative citizens and largest landowners. His life record proved what can be accomplished by determination and intelligently directed energy and constituted an example well worthy of being followed. He worked hard, recognizing the fact that industry is the basis of all honorable success. Born in Ireland in April, 1854, he was a son of James and Bridget (Welch) Noonan, who were also natives of that country and there remained throughout life.

  The son spent his youthful days with his parents and the national schools of the country afforded him his educational opportunities. He was ambitious, however, to make the best use of his time and talents and, thinking that the new world offered superior advantages, he came to America in 1871, landing at New York where he worked for a time in a stone quarry. For four years he continued a resident of that state and then again started westward, making his way to this county, which was still a frontier district, much of the land being yet in possession of the government. He made claim to a homestead in Burrows township, proved up on and secured the title to the place and bent his energies to its development and cultivation. He and his brother Peter engaged in farming together for eighteen years and won recognition as leading agriculturists of the county. As he prospered in his undertakings James Noonan added to his possessions, purchasing more land from time to time until his holdings comprised eleven hundred acres, which his widow now owns. Carefully, systematically and persistently he carried on the farm work, his efforts bringing him substantial success. He was thus busily engaged up to the time of his demise, which occurred in July, 1912, after a short illness, when he was sixty-eight years of age. It seemed that he might yet have been spared for further activity and usefulness, for he had become one of the valued and representative farmers of Platte county. His home place was on section 6, Burrows township, and all of his land was in that township save one hundred and sixty acres lying in Joliet township. His son is now cultivating a tract of one hundred and eighty-five acres, while the remainder of the land is rented to others, bringing the family a good annual income.

  In July, 1876, Mr. Noonan was married to Miss Nellie Dixon, a daughter of William and Mary (Flynn) Dixon, both of whom were natives of Ireland, in which country Mrs. Noonan was born in April, 1852. Her father followed farming there and never sought a home in the new world, passing away on the Emerald isle in 1901. His wife had died long before. her death occurring in 1889. Mr. and Mrs. Noonan became the parents of a son, William James, now thirty-three years of age, who is operating the home place.

  Mr. Noonan was a Catholic in his church relations, and he was always an earnest democrat from the time that he became a naturalized American citizen. He

  JAMES NOONAN

 

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never regretted his determination to come to the new world, for here he found favorable business conditions and in their improvement worked his way steadily upward, winning a most creditable place among the prosperous farmers and highly respected residents of Platte county.


REV. ERNEST DENNINGER.

  Rev. Ernest Denninger, pastor of the German Lutheran church in Bismark township, his home being on section 11, was born in Berlin, Germany, on the 9th of October, 1849, and in the acquirement of an education there attended the common and high schools. He had reached the age of twenty-three years when, in 1872, he came to the United States. Later he pursued a course in Concordia College at St. Louis, Missouri, after which he took up the active work of the ministry, to which he has now devoted forty years of his life, his labors being attended with good results and constituting an important factor in the moral progress of the communities in which he has made his home. His first pastoral service was in Holmes county, Ohio, where he remained for eleven years. He afterward spent a year and a half in Clark county, Wisconsin, and eighteen years in Madison county, Nebraska. He was called to his present charge in Bismark township in 1906 and here has a congregation of sixty voting members. In the intervening period of nine years he has conscientiously and zealously carried on his work with good results, his labors constituting an effective force in shaping moral thought and interests in the community.

  In Ohio the Rev. Denninger was married to Miss Barbara Lehner, and they have become the parents of nine children: Theodore, who is living in Battle Creek, Nebraska; Lena, the wife of Frank Scheer, of Madison county, Nebraska; Celia, the wife of Oscar Goeriz, of Wurtemberg, Germany; Sybilla, who is a nurse in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Nellie, the wife of Paul Johannes, of Omaha, Nebraska; Robert, a parochial school teacher in Columbus, Indiana; Hulda, who is with her sister Nellie in Omaha; and Walter and Ella, at home. Rev. and Mrs. Denninger are widely known in Bismark township and their part of the county and the warmest regard is entertained for them by all with whom they have come in contact.


FERDINAND FUCHS.

  Ferdinand Fuchs is a prominent farmer and stockman, owner of the Humphrey View Farm on sections 29 and 30, Humphrey township. His carefully tilled fields respond readily to the care and labor which he bestows upon them and he is today ranked with the representative agriculturists of his community. He was born in Austria, October 14, 1857, a son of Matthew and Rosella (Steinbeck) Fuchs, both natives of Austria, where the father learned and followed the trade of cloth weaving. After coming to America, however, he turned his attention to farming, settling in 1867 in Dane county, Wisconsin, where for a time he worked at anything that he could get to do which would yield him an honest living. In 1873 he removed with

 

82PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

his family to Platte county, Nebraska, taking up his abode in Humphrey township, where he homesteaded on section 28. There he carried on general farming until 1884, when he retired from active business life and removed to Humphrey, enjoying well earned rest throughout his remaining days. He died in 1898, while his widow, now eighty-seven years of age, makes her home with her children.

  Ferdinand Fuchs acquired his education in the schools of Germany. He remained upon the home farm with his parents and assisted in the development of the fields until he reached the age of twenty-five years. He then married and began farming on his own account, at which time he located on his father's place on section 28, Humphrey township, devoting four and one-half years to the further development and improvement of that property. He then purchased one hundred and sixty acres where he now lives on section 29 and, removing thereto, has since made it his home. He has worked hard, industry and enterprise being numbered among his salient characteristics, and at various times he has added to his holdings until today he owns eleven hundred and twenty acres of well improved land. Some of this he rents, while his sons farm the remainder. Mr. Fuchs is one of the most prominent, progressive and successful farmers and stock-raisers of Humphrey township. He displays sound judgment in the management of all of his interests and his plans are at once practical and progressive. He was also one of the organizers of the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey and has continuously served on its board of directors. He assisted in drawing up the by-laws for the company and his sagacity and sound judgment have constituted strong elements in its success.

  On the 26th of June, 1883, Mr. Fuchs was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Brockhaus, whose birth occurred April 5, 1863, her parents being G. H. and Annie (Sommers) Brockhaus, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father emigrated to the United States in 1848, while the mother came later. G. H. Brockhaus located in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was employed as a sailor and fisherman for a time, while subsequently he made his way to Chicago, where he remained a short time, and there worked at the cooper's trade. Later he located on a farm in Wisconsin, but in 1876 came to Platte county, Nebraska, purchased land and located in Grand Prairie township, where he made his home for two years. On the expiration of that period he removed to Humphrey township and bought a farm on which he spent the remainder of his life, passing away on the 16th of January, 1912. He had long survived his wife, who died in 1879.

  To Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs have been born twelve children, as follows: John F., whose birth occurred October 20, 1884, and who is a farmer residing on section 27, Humphrey township; Mary, born December 3, 1886; Johanna, whose natal day was January 9, 1889; Joseph, born September 18, 1891; Elizabeth, born August 28, 1893; Rosa, born October 24, 1894; Frank, born December 3, 1896; Henry, born January 4, 1898; George, who was born in April, 1899, and passed away on the 23d of August following; Odelia, born August 24, 1900; Anton, born February 23, 1903; and Alice, born June 21, 1904.

  Mr. Fuchs and his family are all members of St. Francis Catholic church of Humphrey, in which he has served as a trustee, and he is also a member of the St. Joseph's Men's Society of that church. His political allegiance is given the democratic party where national issues are involved, but when occasion demands he votes for the candidate whom he regards as best qualified for office irrespective of party lines. His fellow townsmen, appreciative of his worth and ability, have

 

PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 83

frequently called him to office and he is now serving for the third year as assessor of Humphrey township, while for one term he was township treasurer and for six years was a member of the Humphrey school board, To become the owner of eleven hundred and twenty acres of land is a notable and creditable record and Mr. Fuchs deserves much credit for what he has accomplished. His activities have been carefully directed and his persistency of purpose, reliable methods and indefatigable enterprise have brought him to a creditable position among the business men of the county.


THEODORE K. MATZEN.

  Theodore K. Matzen is a retired farmer living in Columbus. For many years he was actively identified with the work of the fields and his industry and the intelligent direction of his labor brought to him a substantial measure of success that now permits him to enjoy the good things of life without further recourse to active work. He was born at Middelfart, Denmark, May 28, 1835, and is a son of Christian and Hannah (Lund) Matzen. The father devoted his early life to the drug business and afterward engaged in conducting a hotel.

  In the family were eleven children, of whom Theodore K. was the fourth in order of birth. He acquired a common-school education and entered the workaday world as cabin boy on a sailing vessel when but thirteen and one-half years of age. Later he was employed as cook and during the war of 1848-9, between Denmark and Germany, the vessel on which he worked carried the wounded. He afterward went to Apenrade Schleswig, Germany, where he spent three and one-half years in learning the shipbuilding trade, becoming quite expert as a ship carpenter. He then again sailed on the high seas, taking passage on a Danish vessel at Antwerp on which he went by way of Liverpool to South America, carrying a general cargo. From South America the ship sailed to Hongkong and at that place was chartered by a Chinese firm for a period of three years, after which the first trip made was to Rotterdam with a cargo of tea. On that trip the ship lost its chief mate and Mr. Matzen was advanced to the position of second mate, which rank he held until 1863. Through the succeeding two years he was employed in a shipyard in Australia and in 1865 he left Sydney for San Francisco. In that city he made his home for three years and for two years sailed on coast steamers plying between San Francisco and Panama and for one year between San Francisco and San Diego.

  In 1867 Mr. Matzen took out his first papers of citizenship. The following year was spent in the mines of Montana and in the fall of 1868 he returned to San Francisco, where for two years he was employed on the Central Pacific Railroad in the bridge department. In 1871 he went to Chicago, arriving in that city soon after the great fire in October. He continued to reside there for two years and was employed by the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company in the car shops as a carpenter.

  It was while residing in that city that he met Miss Bertha Marie Iveson, a native of Denmark, who had been a resident of Chicago from 1869. They were married in June, 1872, and in April the next year removed to Platte county, Nebraska, taking up a homestead of eighty acres. Later Mr. Matzen secured

 

84PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY

several additional eighty-acre tracts of railroad land until his holdings comprised a half section. He passed through the grasshopper plague and through the drought, the crops being an entire failure for several years, but with unfaltering courage he persevered in his course and his labors were at length rewarded. In addition to tilling the soil in the cultivation of various cereals he engaged in raising Shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs and made of his farm a valuable and productive property. As the years passed on he gained a very substantial measure of success and with a handsome competence was able to retire.

  Mr. and Mrs. Matzen are the parents of nine children, as follows: Niels, who wedded Miss Carrie Friend and is engaged in the practice of dentistry in California; Chris, who married Miss Laura Carstenson and is a farmer residing at St. Edward, Nebraska; Mamie, a nurse of Columbus who obtained her professional training in Omaha; Emma, who is a graduate of the Illinois Training School and is now a trained nurse living in Chicago; Estelle, a trained nurse of Columbus who prepared for her work in Omaha; Walter M., who follows farming in Columbus township; Elise, at home; and two who are deceased.

  In politics Mr. Matzen has always been independent, yet has not been remiss in the duties of citizenship and has been active in furthering many movements for the general good. For many years he served on the school board and in 1899 helped to build the Danish Lutheran church in his township. In the fall of 1908 he removed to Columbus, where he is now residing, spending his days in the enjoyment of well earned rest. In 1913, when seventy-eight years of age, he returned on a trip to his old home in Denmark, spending three months in visiting the friends and scenes of his youth and early manhood. He greatly enjoys fishing and now has leisure to indulge his liking for that sport. He has passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey and is one of the venerable citizens of Columbus, but in spirit and interests seems much younger, and young people as well as those of more mature years find him most companionable.


GLENN H. FRITZ, D. D. S.

  Dr. Glenn H. Fritz, engaged in the practice of dental surgery in Humphrey, in which connection his conscientious and efficient work is winning him a well established and enviable reputation, was born in Garnavillo, Iowa, on the 3d of August, 1891, a son of H. W. and Matilda (Maurer) Fritz. The father was a native of Mercer county, Ohio, and was of German descent. When a boy, in 1860, he accompanied his parents to Iowa. the family home being established upon a farm in that state. His father, Daniel Fritz, was a bricklayer by trade, but at the time of the Civil war business interests were put aside and he responded to the country's call for troops, serving with distinction throughout the period of hostilities. At the close of the war he returned home and resumed work at his trade. In his youthful days H. W. Fritz learned the brick and stone mason's trade with his father and followed that pursuit until he reached the age of twenty-eight years, when he turned his attention to farming, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land which he capably and successfully cultivated until 1900. He then abandoned the work of the fields and devoted his entire time to the practice of veterinary

 

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surgery, which he is now following in Garnavillo, Iowa. His wife is also a native of Mercer county, Ohio, and in the town where they reside they are widely and favorably known.

  At the usual age Dr. Fritz became a pupil in the public schools of Garnavillo and passed through consecutive grades until graduated from the high school with the class of 1908. He then entered the dental department of Creighton University at Omaha in the fall of 1910 and was graduated with honors in the class of 1913, at which time the D. D. S. degree was conferred upon him. In June of that year he came to Humphrey, where he opened an office and began practice. He has since followed his profession and a liberal patronage has been accorded him, for the public recognized that he was acquainted with the most modern scientific methods of dental work, that his office is well equipped and that he is capable of doing the most delicate duties of dental surgery.

  Dr. Fritz became a member of the Masonic lodge of Garnavillo and is a worthy exemplar of the craft. In politics he is a democrat where national issues are involved but casts an independent local ballot, regarding the capability of a candidate rather than his party affiliation. The Doctor is a young man possessed of laudable ambition and firm purpose and his friends feel no hesitancy in predicting for him a successful future.


JOHN C. BYRNES.

  John C. Byrnes is active in the field of real estate in Columbus. He is engaged in business as partner in the firm of Regan & Byrnes, a firm which has enjoyed continuous and prosperous existence for six years. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, January 16, 1867. His father, Laurence Byrnes, was a native of County Wicklow, Ireland, and in the year 1831 came to the United States with his parents, being then twelve years of age. In St. Louis he was married to Miss Bridget O'Connor, who now resides in Columbus, Nebraska. Mr. Byrnes still makes his home in St. Louis.

  John C. Byrnes was but two years of age when brought to Platte county, Nebraska, in 1869 and his education was acquired in the country schools, which he attended until he reached the age of eighteen years. He worked on the home farm during the periods of vacation and after his textbooks were put aside, and in 1897, when thirty years of age, he was elected sheriff of Platte county, taking the office in 1898, He was prompt and fearless in the discharge of his duties and his capability and loyalty led to his reelection until he had served for three terms. He retired from the position as he had entered it, with the confidence and goodwill of all concerned and since that date -- 1905 -- he has been engaged in the real-estate business in Columbus. In 1909 the firm of Ryan & Byrnes was organized and has since been active in the real-estate field. They handle much property, negotiating many important realty transfers and Mr. Byrnes is thoroughly informed concerning realty values and knows what is upon the market, so that he is able to make judicious investments for his clients.

  In 1898, in Columbus, Mr. Byrnes was married to Miss Magdalena Gietzen, who died in 1902, leaving a daughter, Mary. Four years later, or in 1906, in

 

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