Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II



Columbus, he wedded Miss Anna M. Gietzen, a sister of his first wife, and they have three children, Louise, Katherine and Ellen.

  The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church. In his political views Mr. Byrnes has long been an earnest democrat and is one of the leaders of his party in Platte county. He has given earnest support to the party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and he has not only held the office of sheriff for three terms but has also been a member of the state legislature for the term covering the years 1907-8. Mr. Byrnes belongs to the Catholic Order of Foresters and to the Modern Woodmen of America. He is also connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Knights of Columbus, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Catholic Knights of America, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Woodmen of the World and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. In these associations he is widely known and his popularity is well established.


  Hon. George H. Thomas, a leading and distinguished citizen of Columbus, is now serving for the second term as judge of the sixth judicial district, being reelected to that office without opposition in 1911. His birth occurred in Lexington, New York, on the 13th of August, 1857, his parents being Ezekiel and Sarah Maria (Thompson) Thomas, the former a native of Bolton. New York, and the latter of Lexington, that state. They were married in Lexington, New York, and there continued to reside until their demise, Mrs. Thomas passing away in the year 1890. Ezekiel Thomas carried on merchandising throughout his active business career.

  George H. Thomas acquired his education in the rural schools of Greene county, New York, and also attended the Catskill Academy of Catskill, New York, for one term. Leaving that institution at the age of sixteen years, he followed the profession of teaching for one term and then made his way to Warrensburg, New York where he spent a year reading law in the office of Thomas Cunningham. Subsequently he went to Acra, New York, where he spent the summer of 1876 working on a farm, and afterward taught one term of school in Lexington. In April, 1877, he resumed his reading in the law office of Addison C. Griswold, at Catskill, New York, there remaining until October 10, 1877, when he entered another law office and continued therein until July 26, 1878.

  Mr. Thomas then came west to Schuyler, Colfax county, Nebraska, arriving on the 31st of the same month. Soon afterward he was admitted to the bar and formed a law partnership with Charles J. Phelps, under the firm style of Phelps & Thomas, practicing in Schuyler. In October, 1884, the partnership was discontinued and Mr. Thomas subsequently practiced alone in Schuyler until 1906, being accorded a liberal and lucrative clientage. In the spring of 1907 he came to Columbus Nebraska, and in the following fall was elected district judge of the sixth judicial district for a four-year term, making such a commendable record during that time that he was reelected without opposition in 1911. His decisions indicate strong mentality, careful analysis, a thorough knowledge of the law and an unbiased judgment. The judge on the bench fails more frequently, perhaps, from a deficiency in that broadmindedness which not only comprehends the details of a situation




quickly and that insures a complete self-control under even the most exasperating conditions than from any other cause; and the judge who makes a success in the discharge of his multitudinous delicate duties is a man of well-rounded character, finely balanced mind and of splendid intellectual attainments. That Judge Thomas is regarded as such a jurist is a uniformly accepted fact.

  On the 28th of September, 1884, in Schuyler, Nebraska, Judge Thomas was united in marriage to Miss Ella M. Conant, her father being Elisha Conant, a native of Maine. The political views of Judge Thomas are in accord with the principles of the democracy. In 1884 he was elected to the lower house of the Nebraska legislature, serving therein for one term, while in 1887 he was chosen county judge of Colfax county and also remained in that office for one term. He acted as county attorney of Colfax county for two terms and for a similar period served as a member of the board of education at Schuyler, Nebraska. In 1894 he was nominated for congress from the third district but declined to accept the candidacy. His military record covers a year's service (1886) as lieutenant of Company K, Second Regiment of the Nebraska National Guard. Fraternally he is known as a Master Mason and an Elk, while his religious faith is that of the Episcopal Church. Ever a man of honorable purpose, he possesses, too, a kindly spirit and an affable disposition that make him popular with his friends, whom he judges not by their material wealth but by their worth of character.


  Charles Gertsch is a representative farmer of Bismark township, living on section 13, where he has one of the most beautiful places of the county, his landed possessions aggregating four hundred and fifty-five acres. Mr. Gertsch is a native of Switzerland, his birth having occurred at Bern on the 4th of March, 1855. He was a youth of eighteen years when he bade adieu to friends and native country and sailed for the United States in company with his parents, Christ and Paulina Gertsch, and his three brothers, Paul, Samuel and Albert, the first named also a resident of Platte county. Making his way from the coast into the interior, arriving in Platte county May 11, 1873, the father established the family home here, taking up a homestead of eighty acres and afterward adding to his land by purchasing property at ten dollars per acre.

  Charles Gertsch was largely educated in the schools of Switzerland, although he attended school to some extent in the Bismark township district school No. 2. Through the period of his later youth he aided in the work of the farm and has always continued to engage in agricultural pursuits, carrying on general farming and cattle raising. He has worked diligently and persistently and through wise investment has become the owner of four hundred and fifty-five acres of rich and arable land, pleasantly situated in Bismark township. This is a most attractive place. In its midst stands a commodious residence, and there are also good barns and outbuildings adequate for the shelter of all his grain and his stock. He raises the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and he also gives considerable attention to the raising of cattle. In business affairs his judgment is sound and his enter-
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prise unfaltering, and he carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes.

  On the 16th of October, 1896, Mr. Gertsch was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Person, a daughter of Henry and Mary Person, of Knox county, Nebraska, and they have become the parents of ten children: Paul, Mary Elizabeth, Carl Christian, Henry Walter, John Ernst, Martha Christina, Theodore Emanuel, Albert Werner, Lydia and Samuel Herbert, all yet under the parental roof. Theirs is a notable record in that the family circle yet remains unbroken.

  In his political views Mr. Gertsch is a republican and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day so that he is able to support his position by intelligent argument, but he does not seek nor desire office, having never been an aspirant for political honors. He and his wife hold membership in the German Lutheran church, are interested in its work, contribute generously to its support and exemplify its teachings in their lives. For forty-two years Mr. Gertsch has been a resident of Platte county and has therefore witnessed much of its growth and development, while his interest in its welfare and upbuilding has been manifest in many tangible and helpful ways.


  A prominent representative of commercial interests of Platte county is Albert James Galley, of Columbus, who is the secretary and treasurer of the Galley Dry Goods Company and who has throughout his entire business career been identified with that enterprise. He was born January 5, 1872, a son of James Henry and Helen Galley. The father has resided in Columbus since 1859, while the mother has made her home in Platte county since 1857, being the daughter of H. J. Hudson, one of the well known pioneers of the county. At the time of the Civil war James H. Galley put aside all business and personal considerations to join the army, becoming a member of Company K, Second Nebraska Cavalry, with which he served at the front until honorably discharged. He is now a member of Baker Post, No. 9, G. A. R.

  Passing through consecutive grades in the public schools of Columbus, Albert James Galley eventually came to his graduation from the high school with the class of 1888. He attended the Omaha Commercial College in 1889 and 1890 and was thus qualified for a commercial career. He made his initial step in business life as clerk and bookkeeper for his father, J. H. Galley, who was engaged in dealing in dry goods and clothing, having a large and well appointed store and handling a good stock. From 1890 until 1912 Albert J. Galley was an employe in the store, but with the reorganization of the business he became secretary and treasurer of the Galley Dry Goods Company and is now bending his efforts to administrative direction and executive control. He studies closely every phase of the trade and in the conduct of the business never deviates from the high standards which were set up at the beginning. In addition to his other interests he was at one time president of the Columbus Land, Loan & Building Association but has now retired from that connection. He is also secretary and manager of the Columbus City Band.

  On the 23d of February, 1909, at Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Galley was united



in marriage to Miss Grace Maude Woods, daughter of Henry and Susan A. Woods. Her father resided in Columbus from 1878 until the time of his death, which occurred in 1887. When the Civil war occurred he went to the front, becoming a member of Company C, Fifteenth Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry, having enlisted as a drummer in 1861 and serving until the end of the war. He was a member of Baker Post, No. 9, G. A. R., and also of Wildly Lodge, No. 44, I. O. O. F. On the 9th of March, 1879, he was united in marriage to Miss Susan A. Clark, whose family came to Nebraska in the year 1877. To them were born two children, namely: Grace Maude, whose natal day was February 26, 1881; and Charles Henry, whose birth occurred July 8, 1883, and who died in February, 1903. The wife and mother was called to her final rest on the 13th of October, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Galley have two children, as follows: Albert Charles, born February 26, 1910, and James Henry, born in February, 1912.

  In politics Mr. Galley is a republican and for five years, beginning in 1900, he filled the office of treasurer of the city of Columbus, making a most creditable record in that position. He was a most faithful custodian of the public funds and in other relations of citizenship has been equally loyal. He stands at all times for progress and improvement in community affairs and since 1891 has been an active member of the Columbus volunteer fire department, of which he has acted as chief since 1906. He is now a past president of the Nebraska State Volunteer Firemen's Association and at present is chairman of the board of control of the Nebraska State Volunteer Firemen's Association. He belongs to Wildly Lodge, No. 44, I. O. O. F., of which he is treasurer, and to the Sons of Veterans at Columbus, of which he was division commander from 1905 until 1909 inclusive. He attends the Episcopal church, to which his wife belongs, and is a man of genuine personal worth, his sterling characteristics establishing him in the high regard of his fellow townsmen as a citizen whom to know is to respect and honor.


  There is no name in Platte county more familiar than that of Carrig, and Jerry F. Carrig, who claims the distinction of being the first man to fill the office of register of deeds in this county, is a worthy representative of one of the prominent and well known pioneer families of Shell Creek township. He was born on a farm in that township, December 27, 1869. His father, James Carrig, who was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1831, came to the United States in 1848, when but seventeen years of age. He was married in 1857, in Montreal, Canada, to Miss Ellen Langan, and in 1859 he and his two brothers, David and Henry Carrig, located in Shell Creek township, Platte county, Nebraska, only two years subsequent to the first settlements in this district. James Carrig settled on land on section 22 and for many years was actively identified with the agricultural interests of the county. He also took a prominent part in many of the events which shaped the early history of this section. He assisted in organizing the first school district in his locality and he was also one of the charter members of St. Patrick's Catholic church, which was the first religious organization established in Shell Creek township. He is now the only survivor of the three brothers and although he has reached the very



advanced age of eighty-four years he is well preserved, both physically and mentally, and since 1905 has made his home with his son, Charles C. Carrig, in Kearney, Nebraska. The wife and mother, however, passed away in Platte county in 1897.

  Jerry F. Carrig spent the period of his boyhood and youth in much the usual manner of farm lads, working on the farm through the spring and summer months, while in the winter seasons he pursued his studies in school district No. 12 of Shell Creek township. He later completed the high-school course in Platte Center, graduating in 1887. Subsequently he took a business course in the Lincoln (Neb.) Business College, graduating from that institution in 1890. He then returned to his work on the farm, remaining there five or six years. He next spent five years as clerk in a store at Platte Center and subsequently spent four years in the capacity of bookkeeper in the employ of a mercantile concern at Beaver Crossing, Seward county, this state. In 1899 he came to Columbus and became an assistant to G. W. Phillips, who was then serving as clerk of Platte county. Mr. Phillips was succeeded in the office by John Graf in the year 1904 and Mr. Carrig was then appointed the latter's deputy, in which capacity he served six years, or until 1909, when the duties of the office were divided and the office of register of deeds was created. Mr. Carrig was then elected to office, becoming the first register of deeds in Platte county, and he is now serving his second term, having been reelected in 1914 on the democratic ticket. His entire political service has been in the interest of the people. He has served them faithfully in the past in every capacity, which is the best recommendation any man can have for future claims.

  On the 30th of November, 1900, in Platte Center, Mr. Carrig was united in marriage to Miss Kittie Estella Hayes, a daughter of Patrick Hayes. As above indicated Mr. Carrig is firm in his support of the democratic party and has been secretary of the Platte county democratic central committee, and he is likewise serving as secretary of the Platte County Agricultural Society. He is a communicant of the Catholic church and is prominent in fraternal circles, holding membership with the Elks, Eagles, Modern Woodmen of America, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Business Men's Fraternity. He has a pleasing personality, is most courteous and obliging, and both he and his estimable wife have a host of warm friends and are prominent and popular in the social circles of Columbus.


  Henry Gietzen, a well known resident of Humphrey, is now living retired, although for a number of years he was prominently identified with commercial interests as a hardware merchant and with public affairs of the community as postmaster through several presidential administrations. He has now passed the seventy-third milestone on life's journey and deserves the rest which has come to him, as it is the fitting reward of years of earnest, persistent labor along the lines of private business and of public service.

  Mr. Gietzen was born in Germany, July 12, 1842, and is a son of Mathias and Catharine Gietzen, also natives of the fatherland. The former in early life learned the trade of dyeing cloth but after coming to America in 1846 established



his home at Fort Washington, Wisconsin, where he owned and conducted a tavern and grocery store. There he resided until 1860, when he removed to the upper peninsula of Michigan, which was his place of residence until 1868, when he came to Nebraska, settling in Dodge county. There he engaged in farming and in the later years of his life lived retired at the home of his son Henry, passing away in 1899. He was then far separated from the place of his birth, which occurred in Rauhn, in the kingdom of Prussia, while his wife was a native of Greifswald, Prussia.

  Henry Gietzen was but four years of age when the family left the fatherland, and came to the United States. He remained at home until he reached the age of seventeen and then began doing general work in the mines of Michigan. He afterward removed with his parents to Dodge county, settling in Fremont, where he was employed at the tinner's trade, spending fourteen years with one firm in that place. No higher testimonial could be given of his faithfulness and capability than the fact that he remained so long with one house. After living for a time at Wayne and at Norfolk he came to Humphrey in the spring of 1883 and here established a hardware business, in which he continued for ten years, conducting trade for a time under the firm name of Gietzen & Eshelbacher and later as a partner of Henry J. Bruenig. He afterward again worked at his trade until he was appointed to the position of postmaster under President McKinley. He served for twelve consecutive years in that position, being reappointed by President Roosevelt. and by President Taft, serving until March, 1914, when under democratic administration he retired and is now enjoying a well earned rest.

  On the 27th of October, 1867, at Hancock, Michigan, Mr. Gietzen was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Voight, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. F. E. Wubben, a minister of the German Lutheran church. She was born on the 18th of May, 1849, and was but five years of age when she lost her parents, who died during the cholera epidemic in Chicago. She was then adopted by John and Mary Voight, who were natives of Germany and on emigrating to the United States took up their abode in Chicago, Illinois. Subsequently they removed to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where Mr. Voight worked at the mason's trade. To Mr. and Mrs. Gietzen have been born eight children. Adalfena, whose birth occurred on the 12th of September, 1868, is the widow of Sherman Coockingham and now lives with her parents. Jennie, who was born June 23, 1871, gave her hand in marriage to Erastus Leach, who is engaged in the real-estate business in Omaha and by whom she has one child, Vern.  A. Louis, born March 10, 1874, wedded Miss Blanche Rawley, who passed away in Omaha, leaving two children, Gerald and May. Charlie H., born August 2, 1876, is a practicing dentist of Omaha and married Miss Emma McDonald, by whom he has one child, Carroll. Mary E., whose birth occurred June 16, 1879, served as deputy under her father for four years. She gave her hand in marriage to the Rev. William Fowler, a Methodist Episcopal clergyman, who is now a ranchman residing in Porcupine, Montana, and by whom she has a son, Ernest. John B., who was born November 7, 1883, and is a painter and decorator of Humphrey, wedded Miss Grace Walker. William D., born June 28, 1887, married Miss Lola Bates, of Humphrey, by whom he has one child, Harriett. With his brother John he served as deputy postmaster under his father. Ralph L., whose birth occurred on the 6th of May, 1895, died when five years of age.



  Mr. Gietzen has always voted with the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and is a firm believer in its principles and in their efficiency as factors in good government. He belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and his wife to the Degree of Honor, while Mrs. Gietzen is also a member of the Congregational church of Fremont, Nebraska. Theirs is a hospitable home, justly celebrated for its good cheer, and they have a large circle of warm friends who delight to gather at their fireside. Mr. Gietzen's public service has made him widely known and he has ever enjoyed the goodwill and confidence of those with whom he has been brought in contact.


  Gottfried Marty was brought to Platte county by his parents forty-six years ago, when a little child of but two years. General agricultural pursuits have claimed his attention throughout his entire business career and in association with his sons he now owns six hundred and forty acres of valuable land, his home being on section 23, Sherman township. His birth occurred in Canton Bern, Switzerland, on the 13th of January, 1867, his parents being Benedict and Anna Marie (Simmons) Marty, both of whom were natives of Germany. In 1869 they crossed the Atlantic to the United States and came direct to Platte county, Nebraska, living for a short time in Columbus, where the father passed away. The widowed mother then removed with her family to a farm in Colfax county but subsequently became the wife of Henry Miller and settled on a farm in Sherman township, Platte county, where the remainder of her life was spent. To Mr. and Mrs. Benedict Marty were born three children, as follows: Gottfried, of this review; Adolph, of Sherman township; and Mrs. Melchior Jenny, who also lives in Sherman township.

  Gottfried Marty was reared to manhood on the farm, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist as he assisted in the cultivation of the home place. The work of the fields has claimed his attention throughout his entire business career and his efforts have been rewarded with well merited success, so that he now owns six hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land in association with his sons. The property lies in Sherman township and is improved with a commodious residence and excellent buildings for the shelter of grain and stock. Mr. Marty has won prosperity as the logical result of untiring industry and perseverance and has long been numbered among the substantial and representative agriculturists of the county.

  On June 7, 1889, Mr. Marty was joined in wedlock to Miss Marie Brock, who was born in Sherman township, this county, on the 14th of November, 1870, her parents being John and Anna Elizabeth (Schueller) Brock, natives of Germany. They came to Platte county, Nebraska, in 1866 and became early settlers of Sherman township, where both passed away. To Mr. and Mrs. Marty have been born twelve children, namely: Gottfried Ernst, at home; Clara, who is the wife of William Johannes, of Creston township; Walter F. and Marie, both at home; Matilda, who died at the age of seven months; Emil Adolf, at home; Anna M.; Arthur H.; Otto J.; Rosa M.; Ernst H.; and Irma E.

  Politically Mr. Marty is a democrat and at one time served as justice of the



peace, making a most commendable and satisfactory record in that connection. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. Both he and his wife enjoy an extensive and favorable acquaintance in their home community and are widely recognized as people of genuine personal worth and upright, honorable lives.


  Industrial activity and enterprise in Platte county find a worthy representative in Fred Baumgart of Humphrey, who is extensively and successfully engaged in the manufacture of brick, owning and operating a large plant which is thoroughly equipped according to the latest improved processes. Advancement has been his watchword in business and because of his ability and energy he has won substantial success. He was born in Prussia in August, 1868, and is a son of Gottfried and Augusta (Wittrune) Baumgart, who were also natives of that country. The father there followed the occupation of farming and in 1878 removed to Russia, where he again engaged in agricultural pursuits. He still owns and operates land in that country and has now reached the age of eighty-four years. His wife, however, has passed away, her death having occurred in 1901.

  Fred Baumgart was reared in Prussia and remained with his father on the farm until he reached the age of nineteen years, when he left home and began learning the blacksmith's trade, at which he worked for two years. He heard and heeded the call of the west in 1889 and, crossing the Atlantic to America, made his way into the interior of the country, settling at Humphrey, where he worked as a common laborer and also as a farm hand for four years. On the expiration of that period he began farming on his own account by renting land, which he cultivated for fourteen years. He then came to Humphrey and purchased a brick manufacturing plant and yard covering fifteen acres. Later he bought a farm of one hundred and ten acres adjoining, which he is also cultivating, and he likewise farms one hundred acres of rented land, having both of these tracts under a high state of cultivation. He carefully tills his fields according to modern scientific methods and his practical and progressive spirit is manifest in the success which is crowning his labors. His brick manufacturing plant is also thoroughly equipped, for he has remodeled and improved it and is well qualified to carry on business of that character. He turns out twenty-five thousand brick per day and employs on an average of twelve men throughout the year. His plant contains three large kilns with a capacity of one hundred and sixty thousand bricks each. This has become one of the important industries of the county and the volume of business is an indication of the success of the undertaking and the careful management of the owner. He ships his output as far as Colorado and the excellence of the product insures a ready sale on the market. In addition to his other interests he is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey.

  On the 15th of August, 1888, Mr. Baumgart was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Kehn, a daughter of Gottfried and Louisa (Rappuhn) Kehn, both of whom are natives of Prussia. The father was a blacksmith by trade and it was under his direction that Mr. Baumgart of this review became familiar with that occupation. Mr. Kehn worked as a blacksmith in Prussia for many years and also in



Russia, being actively identified with that trade from the time he was sixteen years of age until 1893. In 1891 he crossed the Atlantic to the United States, locating in Brooklyn, New York, where he remained until 1893. In the latter year he came to Humphrey, Nebraska, and during most of the time since has made his home with our subject. He is now eighty-four years old, while his wife has attained the age of eighty-five. To Mr. and Mrs. Baumgart have been born seven children, as follows: Fred, a young man of twenty-four years; Edward, who is twenty-two years old; Benjamin, Harry and Emma, who are twenty, sixteen and thirteen years of age respectively; Robert, who was accidentally drowned on the 19th of June, 1908, when twenty-two years of age at Madison, Nebraska, where he was employed as engineer in the electric light plant; and Anna, who died in 1897 at the age of nine years. The surviving members of the family are still under the parental roof.

  Mr. Baumgart holds membership with the Modern Woodmen of America and he gives his political support to the republican party, which finds in him an earnest advocate. His religious belief is that of the German Baptist church and he loyally lives up to its teachings, guiding his life according to its precepts and thus furthering the moral progress of the community.


  Mark Burke, who since the spring of 1915 has filled the office of sheriff, is demonstrating his fitness for this position by the able manner in which he is handling the work connected therewith. He was born in Lisbon, Linn county, Iowa, October 16, 1869, a son of John C. Burke, who was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, May 12, 1837, and died in Seward county, Nebraska, November 22, 1908. In 1864 he came as a young man to America and located in Iowa. He was there married four years later, or in 1868, to Miss Margaret Gallagher, who was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, in 1852. She, too, is deceased, her death occurring October 16, 1893. In their family were five sons and two daughters, of whom three sons and one daughter survive. John C. Burke enlisted for service in the Civil war, becoming a member of the Twenty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry in 1864, with which he served until the close of hostilities. He and his brother, Mark Burke, were boilermakers and worked on the Confederate ship Alabama in the English navy yard.

  Mark Burke, whose name introduces this record, was reared in his native state, and his early education was pursued in a parochial school in Carroll county, while in 1888 he completed the high-school course at Glidden, Iowa. He then became a brakeman in the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company, so continuing for four years, while subsequently he entered the employ of the Northwestern Railroad Company as conductor. He was thus engaged until April, 1898, when he enlisted for service in the Spanish-American war, enrolling his name at Chadron, Nebraska. He became a member of Company H, Second Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, enlisting as quartermaster, and with his regiment went to Chickamauga Park, Georgia. He was mustered out with his command at Fort Omaha, after which he came to Columbus and resumed work as brakeman, this time in the employ of the Union Pacific line, working with that company for seven




years, the last four being spent in the capacity of conductor. He then made a complete change in his vocation, opening a restaurant in Columbus, which he conducted for two and a half years. In 1910 he was appointed deputy sheriff of Platte county to serve under Henry C. Lachnit. On April 1, 1915, the latter resigned and Mr. Burke was then appointed to fill out the unexpired term as sheriff, his duties as deputy well fitting him for his present office.

  On the 21st of January, 1902, in this city, Mr. Burke was married to Miss Nellie J. Dineen, a daughter of Michael Dineen, and of this union there is one son, Mark Jr., born November 22, 1904. The wife and mother passed away January 24, 1913, at the early age of thirty-two years.

  In his political views Mr. Burke is a democrat, while in religious faith he is a Catholic. He is also identified with the Knights of Columbus and with the Modern Woodmen of America, and he likewise holds membership with the Order of Railway Conductors. and with the United Spanish War Veterans Association, Department of Nebraska. He is a man of high ideals and is popular among a host of friends.


  Among the retired farmers living in Humphrey is William Weber, who was born on the Rhine in Germany, a son of Frank Weber, a cooper by trade. The parents spent their entire lives in the town in which their son William was born on the 8th of March, 1840. In his boyhood days he began earning his living and when old enough was drafted into the German army and served for three years.

  Attracted by the opportunities and business conditions of the new world, Mr. Weber came to America in 1870, settling first at Sterling, Illinois, where he was employed as a farm hand. There he was married and afterward rented land which he continued to cultivate until 1885. Wishing to have a home of his own, he resolved to move west where land could be purchased at a lower figure and came to Platte county, where he invested in two hundred and forty acres one mile east of Humphrey, on sections 19 and 20, Humphrey township. He at once took up his abode upon that place and there he lived until 1907, carrying on general farming and stock-raising. His fields were carefully tilled and every branch of the farm work intelligently prosecuted, his energy and careful management bringing to him well merited success. After living upon his farm for twenty-two years he removed to Humphrey, where he purchased a pleasant residence property that he and his wife now occupy.

  In 1873 Mr. Weber was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Pott, a daughter of Jacob and Catharine Pott, both of whom were natives of Germany. They emigrated to the United States in 1853 and it was during the ocean voyage that their daughter Mary was born, her natal day being June 28th. They took up their abode in Sterling, Illinois, and there spent the remainder of their lives, the father being first employed as a laborer and subsequently turning his attention to general agricultural pursuits. To Mr. and Mrs. Weber have been born twelve children, as follows: Catharine, who is at home with her parents; Elizabeth, a nurse in the Weise Memorial Hospital of Omaha, Nebraska; Henry, who died at the age of eighteen years; Jacob, who lives in Illinois, is employed as foreman in the Keystone machin-



ery shops and wedded Miss Hazel La Fever, by whom he has two children, Limon and Isabelle; Emma, the wife of Frank Whitler, a carpenter of Columbus, Nebraska, by whom she has five children -- Gertrude, Agnes, Clarence, Genevieve and Helen; Joseph, who resides on a claim in Arthur county, Nebraska; William, who is a carpenter living in Humphrey and married Miss Delia Bedtsheder, by whom he has three children -- Dorothy, Gerald and Marvin; Edward, at home; Mamie, the wife of Louis Schraeder, who is a house moving contractor of Columbus, Nebraska, and by whom she has two children, Jerome and Henrietta; Nellie, who is living with her sister in Columbus; Lena, the wife of John Teisen, druggist of Humphrey, by whom she has two children, Bernice and La Verna; Frank, who lives in Omaha and is an employe of the Omaha Electric Light & Power Company; and Angela, who lives at home and is an employe of the Humphrey Telephone Company.

  Mr. Weber and his family are members of the St. Francis Catholic church of Humphrey and he became a charter member of St. Joseph's Men's Society of that church. He contributes liberally to the support of the church and is active and interested in its work. His political indorsement is given to the democratic party but he has never been an active politician, preferring ever to give his close attention to his business affairs, and by reason of his unfaltering application and energy he has won the place that he now occupies among the substantial residents of Humphrey.


  Since 1908 Max Bruckner has been at the head of the Bruckner Mercantile Company, which is one of the foremost business enterprises of Platte Center. His birth occurred at Gemuenden, in the kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, October 11, 1862, his parents being Michael and Barbara Bruckner, the father conducting business as the proprietor of a hotel until 1899. The son pursued his early education in the schools of Wurzburg, Germany, and was graduated on the 1st of August, 1875, from a commercial college. He afterward engaged in clerking for five years in a wholesale house in Frankfort-on-the-Main, but heard and heeded the call of the new world and in 1883 crossed the Atlantic to America, making his way to Monmouth, Illinois, where for one year he was employed in a butcher shop. In the year 1884 he came to Columbus, Nebraska, where he worked as a farm hand for a year and a half. At the end of that time he secured a clerkship with I. C. Niemoller in Platte Center, Nebraska, with whom he continued for a year, but, ambitious to engage in business on his own account, he established a general store in Platte Center on the 1st of January, 1887, with Hilger Greisen as a partner. The relation between them was continued for fifteen years, or until 1902, when Mr. Bruckner took over the business under his own name and in 1908 organized the Bruckner Mercantile Company. He now has a large modern store, carries an extensive stock of merchandise and in the conduct of his business conforms his activities to the highest commercial ethics. He has been engaged in merchandising at Platte Center for twenty-eight years and, moreover, he is one of the stockholders of the Platte Center Milling Company, was a director of the Platte County Bank from 1896 until 1899 and is the owner of farm property in this county.



  On the 17th of June, 1890. Mr. Bruckner was married in Platte Center to Miss Theresa Gruenther, a daughter of Henry Gruenther, a niece of the Greisen Brothers and a sister of C. M. Gruenther, the present clerk of the district court. Their children are: Agnes, Frank, Louis, Felix, Ralph and Paul, all at home.

  Mr. and Mrs. Bruckner hold membership in the Catholic church at Platte Center and he has taken the third degree in the Knights of Columbus, his membership being in Columbus council. In polities he is a democrat where national issues are involved. but at local elections casts an independent ballot. That his fellow townsmen are appreciative of his worth and ability is indicated in the fact that by popular election he was called to the office of councilman of Platte Center for ten terms and was also mayor of the city for one term. He is president of the Farmers and Merchants Club of Platte Center and, in fact, his position is one of leadership in every connection, for he possesses initiative, determination and keen sagacity.


  Harry B. Reed, occupying a clerical position in the postoffice at Columbus, was born February 17, 1862, in Manchester, New Hampshire, a son of Alexander and Eliza Brown. The father enlisted for service in the Civil war in 1862 as a member of Company E, Fourth New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, and was killed in battle on the 3d of July, 1863.

  His son, early left an orphan, was taken from the Howard mission on the Bowery of New York city by John H. and Catherine Reed during his infancy and later was legally adopted by them, receiving the name of Harry B. Reed. He resided with them at Mansfield, Ohio, to the age of fifteen years, at the end of which time the family removed to a farm three miles north of Columbus, Nebraska, now known as the Carl Rohde farm. Subsequently a removal was made to Riverside, California, but Harry B. Reed decided to remain in Nebraska and continue farming. There were two other members in the Reed family, Mrs. A. C. Pickett and Fred M. Reed, now of Riverside, California. While in Ohio, J. H. Reed and his family lived upon the farm of the late Senator John Sherman, which adjoined the corporation limits of Mansfield. Before removing to Nebraska he and his brother H. L. Reed, were engaged in the wholesale dry goods and notion business. He now holds the position of tree and park commissioner, a place of much importance at Riverside, California.

  Harry B. Reed attended the public schools of Mansfield, Ohio, and of Columbus, Nebraska, and in early life gave his attention to farming and dairying. For two years he was secretary of the Bismark Creamery, a farmers' cooperative association, and for nine months he was connected with the car shops and roundhouse department of the Union Pacific Railroad. He afterward engaged in farming on a small scale and later became rural mail carrier on route No. 3, so continuing from the 1st of July, 1902, until December 1, 1912. At the latter date he was appointed to a position as clerk in the Columbus postoffice and is now acting in that capacity.

  On the 18th of March, 1886, near Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Reed was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Erb, the ceremony taking place at the bride's home.



  Her parents, Michael and Elizabeth Erb, were among the very earliest settlers of that county. Mr. and Mrs. Reed have two daughters, May E. and Catherine E. The former gave her hand in marriage to Ervin F. Wilson on the 28th of August, 1913, and resides in Chicago, Illinois.

  In his religious faith Mr. Reed is a Presbyterian and fraternally is connected with the Owls Club. He belongs also to the Modern Woodmen of America and was clerk of the local camp in 1914 and 1915. He is a past noble grand of the local lodge of Odd Fellows and was division commander of the Sons of Veterans for Nebraska in 1910 and 1911, while in 1915 he is serving as the secretary of that organization. There is an interesting military chapter in his life record, covering service with the Nebraska National Guard from 1881 until 1886, during which time he went with his command to Omaha, Nebraska, at the time of the graders' strike in the early '80s. In politics he is an active republican and for one year served as clerk of Columbus township. He has made an excellent record in government service, as indicated by his long connection therewith, now covering thirteen years.


  John Heinen is now living retired in Humphrey but for many years was an active factor in agricultural circles in Platte county. He was born in Germany, July 26, 1852, and is a son of Anton and Susan Heinen, who were also natives of that country. The father was a farmer by occupation and thus provided for the support of his family.

  John Heinen attended school in Germany for eight years and in 1872, when a young man of twenty years, came to the new world. He did not tarry in the east but at once made his way to the middle west. settling in Warren county, Iowa. In his native land he had worked as a farm hand, tended cattle and done everything else that he could find to do. After reaching Iowa he was employed in the lumber woods, on farms and at odd jobs, scorning no employment that would yield him an honest living. In May, 1882, he came to Nebraska, establishing his home in Humphrey township, Platte county, where he invested the money that he had previously saved from his earnings in a farm of two hundred and forty acres on sections 29 and 32, Humphrey township. There were few improvements upon it at that time and he at once began to make the changes that transformed it into one of the valuable farm properties of the county. In 1888 he erected a new residence and from time to time added sheds, barns, new machinery and other equipments. In 1911 his barn was destroyed by fire and he at once rebuilt. He planted his orchards and made all the improvements himself and today his place is one of the fine farm properties of Humphrey township, situated two and one-half miles southeast of the town. In 1892 Mr. Heinen bought eighty acres on section 30, Humphrey township, and also owned one hundred and sixty acres on section 31, that township, and one hundred and sixty acres on section 5, Grand Prairie township, besides his original tract. Mr. Heinen resided upon his farm continuously until November, 1914, when he retired and rented his home place to his son Anton, taking up his abode in a new residence which he had purchased in Humphrey. For many years he had



been actively engaged in general farming and stock-raising, and his enterprise and diligence had brought to him well merited and substantial success.

  On the 14th of November, 1882, in Platte county, Mr. Heinen was united in marriage to Miss Phillipina Osterhoff, a daughter of Anton and Theresa (Sundrup) Osterhoff, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father, a cloth weaver by trade, emigrated to the United States in 1852, locating first in Cincinnati Ohio, where he worked on the river and in the packing houses. In 1879 he came to Nebraska and purchased a farm in Thayer county but the following year came to Humphrey township, Platte county, here buying a tract of land which he cultivated successfully until 1891. The remainder of his life was spent in honorable retirement at Humphrey, where he passed away on the 26th of July, 1895. The death of his wife occurred at our subject's home in Humphrey on the 11th of April, 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Heinen have nine children, as follows: Susan, who was born August 21, 1883 and gave her hand in marriage to Otto Schumacher, an agriculturist of Petersburg, Nebraska, by whom she has six children -- Alphonse, Camilla, Bernadine, Germaine, Margaret and Raymond; Helena, who was born March 16, 1885, and is the wife of Andrew Magsaman, of Humphrey, by whom she has six children -- Mark, Corbenia, Wilbur, Bernida, Renella and Carroll; Annie, who was born November 30, 1886, and is the wife of Barney Wemhoff, of Humphrey; Ludwina, who was born October 19, 1888, and is the wife of Fred Mueting, of Humphrey, by whom she has two children, Eddie Marie and Maynard; Ida, who was born January 1, 1890, and is the wife of Alois Wemhoff, a farmer of Idaho, by whom she has three children -- Marcella, Verena and Sylvester; Anton, who was born November 11, 1892, lives on the old home farm and wedded Miss Josephine Wemhoff, by whom he has one child, Norbet; Margaret, who was born December 16, 1895, and is employed as a clerk in the store of Braun & Brockhaus; Theckla, whose birth occurred November 7, 1897; and Marie, whose natal day was August 29, 1902. The three last named are still under the parental roof.

  The parents and children are all communicants of St. Francis Catholic church, and Mr. Heinen is a member of St. Joseph's Society of that church. Politically he is a democrat, never swerving in his allegiance to the party but giving to it his earnest and unfaltering support. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to come to the new world, for here he found the opportunities which he sought and in their employment has worked his way steadily upward, occupying a creditable position among the successful and self-made business men.


  On the roster of county officials in Platte county appears the name of Otto E. Heuer, of Columbus, who is now serving in the capacity of treasurer for the second term. His birth occurred in Germany on the 29th of June, 1856, his parents being August H. C. and Lisette (Determan) Heuer, who were married in that country and there passed away. The father was professor of languages in a school which he conducted at Bremen, Germany.

  Otto E. Heuer attended school in his native land until seventeen years of age and in 1873 crossed the Atlantic to the United States, while nine years later he


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