William  Abbott

Has followed the "star of empire" in its course toward the west. He was born in Alberg, Vt., in 1844. When but a baby his parents moved to ClintonCounty, New York, and it was from here that Mr. Abbott moved to New Jersey in 1866 and began to work his way westward. After a short stay in New Jersey he moved to Pawpaw, Ill. In 1869 he came to Iowa and after living there for nine years moved to this valley and settled near Burwell. He farms a piece of land in Jones' Canyon.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


James Barr

Comes of good Scotch parentage, having been born at Glasgow, in April, 1845. The Barrs left old Scotland in 1850 and immediately came to Chicago. His father was a stone-mason and contractor as well as bridge builder. The elder Barr thus had charge of constructing all the masonry on the old Galena and Chicago Union Railroad and put in the masonry on one of the first bridges to span the Mississippi. After attending school at Belvidere, Illinois, "Jim" entered the army at the early age of sixteen. He became a member of the famous Scotch regiment under Colonel Stewart, which marched more miles, fought in more battles and suffered greater losses than almost any other regiment east or west. Mr. Barr's army history reads like a romance and would fill books to narrate. How he surrendered to "Stonewall" Jackson at Harper's Perry, scouted in eastern Kentucky or saved the life of the rebel colonel, or how he severely wounded was brought in contact with the young woman—Esther Ann Tilden—whom be later married, cannot unfortunately be told in this brief sketch. In the early seventies O. S. Haskell arrived with his family in Valley county. Mrs. Haskell being a first cousin of Mrs. Barr had perhaps something to do with inducing the latter and husband to come west. At any rate the Barrs arrived in the Valley in 1874. For a year or so Mr. Barr worked for the government at Fort Hartsuff. Now and later he was one of the chief government freighters between Fort Hartsuff and Fort Niobrara. In 1875 he filed on a pre-emption three miles southeast from Burwell, first held by George McAnulty of Scotia. This together with some additional land comprises the comfortable Barr farm of today. The author has had the privilege to read some of the numerous letters which have passed between Mr. Barr and men high in army and governmental affairs, and from it he feels free to state that had Mr. Barr been so inclined he might today have been in high office. But he was content to be a plain Scotchman. He has always taken active part in politics and could have held important offices had he wished. Thus he refused the nomination of representative from his district. As commissioner of Wheeler county just before its division, he drafted the petition for the organization of Garfield County and suggested the name which it came to bear.


The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


F. A. Barker


Was born in Alleghany County, N. Y., in April, 1848. When but a boy of five years of age he moved with his parents to Wisconsin. Here he received his early education and grew to manhood. In July, 1873, he came to Nebraska and homesteaded in Valley county. In 1891 he moved to Louisiana where he lived till 1897. He then returned to Nebraska and settled in Burwell. At present Mr. Barker is engaged in the bakery business.


The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


J. A. Deafenbaugh



First saw the light of day in Tuscaroras County, Ohio, on July 4, 1846. Evidently he was pleased with the celebration for here he spent the first 29 years of his life. However, in 1875 he decided to cast his lot in Illinois, only to move again April, 1878, to Garfield County, Nebraska. Here he took a homestead in the Loup Valley about three miles from where Burwell now is. In the winter of the following year he took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Rose M. Schreier of Illinois. In 1903 they sold their old homestead and moved to their present farm. Mr. Deafenbaugh is an energetic farmer and has a beautiful place.


The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


William Draver


Comes from a country from which we receive many of our most reliable citizens. He was born April 13, 1840, on the Isle of Westray off the coast of Scotland. Here he received his education and remained till the age of twenty-eight. In 1861 he was married to Miss Ann Randal. His parents coming to the United States, he came with them and they all located in West county, Iowa, remaining there five years. Mr. Braver is one of the earliest settlers of Garfield County, coming here in 1873. He still lives on the old homestead. When one learns that he and his children now own about twenty-six hundred acres of land, they are tempted to forget the early privations endured by Mr. Draver's family— poverty, drought, and sickness—all met with true Scotch fortitude which must characterize one who overcomes.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


Truman Freeland

"Was born in Rock Island County, Illinois, on February 22, 1852. His parents were among the pioneers of northern Illinois. Mr. Freeland assisted in the construction of the first bridge thrown over the waters of the Platte in the state of Nebraska. He acted as lead chairman in the original survey of what is now Custer and Loup Counties. He built the first actual settler's residence (a dugout) constructed in the valley of the North Loup river above Haskell Creek; and his nearest neighbor on the river valley was then twenty miles away. He was the second settler of what is now Garfield County (Mr. C. H. Jones having preceded him a few days.) He carried the first United States mail brought into what is now Garfield County. He cut and hewed the logs for the first school house built in the county, and on his pre-emption was broken the first sod turned in Garfield County. He built the first frame residence in the county constructed of lumber shipped from the East, and hauled the lumber from Grand Island, a distance of nearly eighty miles. Mr. Freeland is an author of no mean ability, his writings having appeared in some of the leading publications of Nebraska and other states. He is also the author of a volume of poems soon to appear in print. He is decidedly a man of peace and never took any prominent part in the various conflicts with Indians in the early settlement of his neighborhood nor did he ever lose anything by them, except once when they stole his coat while he was felling a tree a few rods away. Mr. Freeland was married in 1874 to Miss Jane Russell of Rock Island County, Illinois. Mrs. Freeland taught the first school held in what is now Garfield and Wheeler counties. Mr. and Mrs. Freeland are the oldest residents now residing within the boundaries of Garfield county and have witnessed all the changing conditions from the days when the buffalo, elk, deer and antelope roamed over the prairies and woodlands to the time when all these have passed away and given place to modern civilization."



The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


Alexander Gross

Is a native of Poland in which state he .was born in 1855. He lived here 18 years and then sailed to New York. He went from one place to another for the first three years after coming to this country. In 1875 he arrived in Hall county and the next year moved up the valley to Valley County. He lived here till 1901 when he bought a farm in Garfield County only a short distance from Burwell. Mr. Gross is a successful farmer.


The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


Tom Hemmett

Was born in Niagara County, New York, March 9, 1850. While yet a lad of five years he removed with his parents to Pelican County, Michigan, where he grew to manhood. In the early 70's a number of neighbors had moved out west and several had reached the Loup. The western fever seized young Hemmett and we soon find him making his way thither too. Early in 1875 he arrived on the North Loup and tiled a pre-emption in the timber on Jones' Canyon, just above the claim of his old Michigan neighbor, C. H. Jones. He later took a homestead in the valley, a place which has developed into one of the most productive and beautiful farms in this part of the state. Mr. Hemmett early became identitied with Loup history. He played his part in the early Indian skirmishes and took quite a part in the county seat drama. He has for years been actively engaged in politics. When Wheeler County was divided in 1884 he was clerk of the county, but as his interests were in the newGarfield County he resigned his office. In 1904 he was elected clerk of Garfield County, serving three consecutive terms. After a brief interregnum he was again elected to the office, this time as a Populist. Mr. Hemmett has lived through more actual history than most men in his county.


The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


W. C. Johns

One of the citizens to whom we point with pride is a native of Green County, Wisconsin, born there forty-two years ago. In 1878, he came with his parents to what is now Garfield County. His early manhood was uneventful, being spent chiefly in receiving a good education in the public schools of Wisconsin and Nebraska. In 1878 Mr. Johns was married to Miss Anna Beauchamp of Fort Hartsuff, Nebraska. He was for some time a teacher and also a farmer and rancher. He is half owner of the grocery of Johns & Mitchell. The people have shown their appreciation of him by electing him to be sheriff of Wheeler county before the organization of Garfield County, as county superintendent and county treasurer. He is now serving his second term in that capacity. He is a Republican.


The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


H. A. Messenger

Was born in Wisconsin in 1853 He lived here until May, 1874, when he started toward Nebraska with ox teams. He arrived in GarfieldCounty about two months later and took up his home just north of Burwell at the place where he yet resides. He is a farmer by occupation and has spent his whole life in following this kind of work. He is one of Garfield County's oldest settlers and has been closely connected with its history throughout all its stages of growth. He was a member of the old militia of which R. P. Alger was captain.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


Frederick Robke

Has surely had a varied experience. He was born in Germany in 1834 where he lived until twenty-four years old. As a young man he spent four years of his life as a soldier, taking active part in the early war between Prussia and Bavaria. His occupation while in the old country was that of a wagon maker, which work he followed for a number of years after he had come to the United States. In 1868 he arrived in the land of his adoption and located his home in Chicago. In 1870 he made a trip to Colorado but returned to Chicago six months later. In 1873 he moved to Nebraska and settled on his present home about three and one-half miles from Burwell. Since coming to this Valley he has been a farmer.


The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


Mrs. M. Smith

Is another of those sturdy people who though born in a foreign land came to this country and made themselves a home. She was born in Scotland and came to Iowa in 1858. Here she lived till 1873 when she moved to Nebraska and settled in Garfield County. In 1871 she married a farmer by the name of Smith. In 1884 they moved into Burwell and have run a boarding house ever since. Mr. Smith died in 1891 but his wife has shown her ability as a business woman by continuing the business in a very successful way.



The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


Frank A. Webster

Among the early "Trailers of the Loup" who have since moved to other communities none is more worthy of mention than Frank A. Webster. Mr. Webster was born in Crawford, Pennsylvania, in April, 1852. When but three years old he moved with his parents to Adams County, Wis. Here he grew to manhood and learned the printer's trade. In April, 1873, he came to Omaha and accepted a position with the Omaha Bee. Here he remained only till the following fall when he came to the LoupValley. Later western Burwell was platted on a part of his old homestead. For several years Mr. Webster was engaged in newspaper work in central Nebraska; among these papers was the Howard County Advocate. In 1873 he married Miss Ella M. Bowen. The Websters moved to Rathdrum, Idaho, several years ago where they still make their home.



The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson


William Woods


Has come a long way to find this garden spot on the Loup River. He was born in Surrey County, England, November 28, 1833. However, being attracted by the greater possibilities in a new country he came to Canada on May 6, 1857, and located about fourteen miles west of Toronto. Mr. Woods then moved to the United States in 1856 (sic). He has since lived in several different states. New York, Wisconsin Iowa and Nebraska among others. In 1865 he enlisted in the Union Army and served till the end of the war. Mr. Woods came to Garfield County in 1874 where with the exception of a couple of years he has since reside homesteaded the farm on which he now lives.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by:  Cathy Danielson



William Bank   

Comes out of old Scotland, and is of good Scotch ancestry. He possesses many of the sturdy qualities and traits which have made Scotchmen leaders the world over. His birthplace was the city of Perth, beautifully situated on the banks of the Tay. He spent twenty-one years in the homeland, attending grammar school at Hasting, Eassa and Retrey. Full four years were then spent in apprenticeship. He became a journeyman blacksmith in 1885 and worked in this capacity for a year at Blairgowrie. Here he married Miss Susan Saunder and with his young wife came to the United States in 1886. The first stop was made in Osborn County, Kansas. The family came to Burwell in 1889, where Mr. Bank has since followed his trade. Mrs. Bank died in 1896 leaving four children living. William Bank is highly respected in his profession and outside it. He has a first class smithy, furnished with electric motor-power and other modern appurtenances. He holds high office in the local Masonic lodge, and is the chief of the fire department. He has a valuable farm a short distance from town.  

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG



 Wilber M. Becker    

May justly lay claim to be the "Pioneer Merchant" of Burwell. For his was the first store to be erected on the town site, and with the exception of A.  A. Graber, he is the only merchant who has stuck to his post continuously up to the present. Mr. Becker was born in Schoharie County, New York, in 1842, where he grew to manhood. He received His education in the common schools of his home county and at Fort Edward Collegiate Institute. The Becker family moved to Crawford County , Iowa, in 1875. Here young Wilber clerked in a store for a while and later was taken into partnership with his father, under the firm name of Wm. N. Becker & Go. The firm erected a store building at Burwell in 1883 and placed their stock of general merchandise in charge of George Hoyt. Mr. Becker did not take personal charge of the business till 1887, however, but since that time he his never for a moment let go the reins of management. It is interesting to know that the present "Pioneer Store" block has resulted from the reconstruction of two old, historical structures— the first store building erected on Burwell town site and the C. H. Jones store building, first built at old Willow Springs and later moved to Burwell. Mr. Becker can tell of hardship and discouragement as known only to the earliest settlers. He well remembers the time that eastern wholesalers were reluctant to extend him credit on bills exceeding $50.00, and how he was forced to live on the old homestead for years after taking charge of the store, and having to drive the four miles daily, all because he was too poor to prove up on it. But those days are gone and prosperity has smiled on the Beckers. Besides doing a good business in the "Pioneer Store" he owns a thousand acres of good farm lands occupied by tenants. Mr. Becker was married to Miss Mary E. Chauncey at Amsterdam, New York, in 1866. Five children have come to bless the family. Of these the three sons assist their father in one capacity or another. Of the daughters one—Mrs. J.  J. Hess—lives on a farm near Burwell.

 The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG



 David S. Beynon   

The present postmaster of Burwell, was born at Albia, Iowa, December 5, 1856. He was born on the farm and reared to manhood there. His early education was such as could be procured in the rural schools of those days. When twenty-one years of age he began to shift for himself and tried his hand at farming in different parts of the state. It was perhaps his marriage to Miss Christina J. Cornelia that decided him to leave Albia definitely and to seek a career in the greater, untrammelled west. At any rate as soon as this event took place, in December, 1883, he moved with his wife to western Iowa and there engaged in farming for two years. But Mr. Beynon was not satisfied to stop here. Accordingly the family set out for Nebraska and reached Willow Springs July 3, 1886. Ever since his arrival in Garfield County has Mr. Beynon been intimately connected with the progress of the county. Willow Springs was quite a town then and promised to continue the metropolis of the upper Valley. Mr. Beynon accordingly bought an interest in a drug store there, entering partnership with Dr. A. W. Hoyt. Everything went smoothly till the B. & M. commenced building to Burwell. Willow Springs was doomed and no one realized this more fully than David Beynon. In February, 1888, he moved his residence across the ice of the North Loup to Burwell; the store building was torn down and rebuilt on Webster Street. Within the last few years it has been moved to its present location on Grand Avenue and further remodeled. Mr, Beynon has been a careful, upright business man and has succeeded well. Ho operates an up-to-date drug business, being a registered pharmacist. An index to his general prosperity may be seen in the late erection of a beautiful home, costing at least $3,500. In public affairs, too, has he taken a prominent part. Thus he has been a member of the school board at Burwell for ten years, chairman of the village board a number of years, and deputy sheriff two terms. While acting in the latter capacity he made an enviable record by capturing Nicholas Foley, the Antelope county murderer and desperado. He was appointed postmaster of Burwell August 7, 1897. During his term of office, Burwell post office has been raised from fourth to third class office, causing a raise in salary from $600 to $1100 per annum. Three rural routes and four star routes now branch out from this office. The Beynons have an interesting family. Of the four children now living Rebecca has graduated from the Burwell High School and lately from the Fremont Normal. She teaches this year at York. John, the only son, is also a graduate of the local High School.

 The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG 


Charles I. Bragg   

County attorney of Garfield County, was born at Sanford, New York, in 1863. He was a very precocious boy as may be seen from the fact that he had already completed his course at Unadilla Academy and received a life certificate to teach school when twelve years old. After teaching for a couple of terms in his native state he came west and pursued the same occupation at Cedar Rapids, Nebraska. He spent three years in the regular array, but soon realized that in time of peace the ambitious youth may find greater avenues for advancement in civil life. He accordingly retired to private life. From 1882 onward he engaged in the insurance business. This took him to Kent, Loup county, in 1885. Next year he commenced the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1889. Mr. Bragg has been a lifelong Republican. He has been very active in public life and has taken a leading part in the councils of his party. In Loup county he held the office of county attorney one term and was county clerk for three years. He moved to Burwell in the fall of 1897 as this town seemed to offer greater possibilities for a broader usefulness. While here he became one of the founders of the American Order of Protection, though he later devoted all his time to law. He was elected county attorney of Garfield County in 1904 and fills the important position with much credit to himself and the party that elected him. Mr. Bragg married Miss Jennie M. Ginder in 1885. The happy family, including parents and six children, is now nicely located in a beautiful home lately erected in the south part of the city.

 The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


 Cash Mercantile Co.    

The Cash Mercantile Co. is one of the thriving institutions of Burwell. Being the successor of Scott Brothers' old, well established general store, it carries with its new name all the trade of the old. The store is under the management of Peter Scott who is recognized as one of the most genial and able business men of our Valley. He together with his brother George F. Scott of Taylor constitute the company. The business, which is of the nature of general merchandise, is well stocked with all that pertains to a first-class store of this kind. Dry goods, shoes, and all kinds of fresh groceries are always kept in stock. By dint of hard work and unquestionable honesty the management of the Cash Mercantile Co. has built up a trade hard to excel.  

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG 


Albert I.  Cram   

One of the younger business men in Burwell who is succeeding exceptionally well is Albert I. Cram. He was born at Monmouth, Illinois, November 16, 1883, and moved with his parents to Loup County, Nebraska, in 1883. He remained on his father's farm till twenty-one years old, when he decided to prepare for a business career. The Monmouth, Illinois, graded schools had given him a foundation upon which to build. Some time spent at the David City High School and the Omaha Business College then prepared him for his chosen work. He entered the First Bank of Burwell as book keeper but was soon chosen to the responsible position of cashier. Four and one-half years later he became a member of Cram Brother, lumber dealers. When the firm was reorganized in 1900 under the name of Cram & Co., he was made manager. He married Effie V. Wilson and is the father of three children, two boys and one girl.  

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Wilber I. Cram   

Is proud that he comes of Irish ancestry, and one of his day-dreams for many years has been to visit the home of his fathers "across the big sea." He was born at historic Crown Point, New York, August 8, 1846, and remained there till eight years old, when he moved with his parents to Jackson County, Iowa. Here he remained for more than 27 years engaged in farming and stock raising. As a cattle judge and specialist he soon won more than local fame. He became a breeder of thoroughbred swine and one of the originators of the American Poland China Record Association. While here he married Miss Honour Filby. They have four sturdy sons who are all making their way in the world. Thus O. E. Cram manages the old home ranch in Loup county, A. I. Cram is a noted Burwell lumber dealer, Fred C. Cram manages the stockyards at Sargent, and John E. Cram is associated with his father in the Burwell stockyards. The Crams became pioneers in the unorganized territory which later became Loup county. They arrived in 1881, and homesteaded the southeast quarter of Section 3, Township 21, Range 19. By degrees they have added quarter to quarter till now the ranch, as W. J. calls it, contains 1,680 acres of good land. When they first took their claim the nearest neighbors were four miles away, and water had to be hauled in barrels a distance of seven miles. This led to the sinking of a well 300 feet deep, every foot of it dug by spade. In those days, too, the nearest freight depot was a hundred miles down the river. Mr. Cram feeds in the neighborhood of 500 steers on the ranch annually, and otherwise deals in all kinds of livestock. He has lately completed a $4,000 residence property, including a waterworks plant.

 The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG



Harry J. Coffin   

Is a Yankee bred and born. He boasts descent from the historic Tristram Coffin who settled on Nantucket Island in the middle of the seventeenth century, and whose family is scattered far and wide over the American continent today. Harry J. was born at Boston, January 16, 1860, and remained in his native town till almost 18 years old. He was educated in the excellent public schools of the old "Hub" city, and later worked in an organ factory there for several years. He left the New England states and came to Nebraska in the spring of 1878. The first pause was made at Schuyler where he farmed for four years. In 1883 he took a pre-emption near O'Neill, but after six months removed to The Forks, Wheeler County, and took a homestead. He moved to Burwell in 1902 and purchased the Garfield County branch of the Howe Lumber Co., operating the same under the title of H. J. Coffin for some time. The firm name has, however, lately been changed to Burwell Lumber and Coal Co., with Mr. Coffin as proprietor. He also operates a lumber yard and general store at Elyria under the name of Elyria Mercantile Co., with J. E. Stingley as manager. Mr. Coffin is interested in a number of other enterprises and is an extensive land owner. He has been on the board of commissioners in his home county and has served several terms on the village board. In May, 1893, he married Miss Mary Halloran of Inman, Nebr.  They have three daughters and are nicely located in their elegantly appointed home within a block of the lumber yard.  

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Thomas H. Doran   

Representative from the 49th District, is an Irishman bred and born. He came out of the picturesque County Carlow and when only six months old arrived at New York with his parents. His history in this land of his adoption has been a very honorable one. Four years saw the family and young Thomas on the trail with faces set toward the great west. The first pause in the journey came in LaSalle County, Illinois. Here the Dorans remained ten years, indeed till 1865. The next move was to Livingston County where the elder Doran died. The care of the family now devolved on the fifteen year old Thomas. The worth of the man is shown in the ability and conscientiousness with which the stripling boy took his father's onerous duties upon himself. Comparative prosperity came with hard work and in 1874 the westward march was continued to Beaver, Boone County, Iowa, where Mr. Doran engaged extensively in the grain, lumber and livestock business. His popularity and natural inclination for politics were soon rewarded by his being made postmaster of Beaver. But it is his career in Nebraska that is our particular theme here. He arrived at Burwell in 1889, and in conjunction with his brother John bought the First Bank of Burwell, then operated by the First National Bank of Orel. As an important step in strengthening their banking institution the brothers bought the Garfield County Bank and merged it with the First Bank. Mr. Doran was married at Boone, Iowa, to Miss Ettie Satterlee. Of the four children born to them only one, a son, reached maturity. The latter is now associated in business with his father. It is especially for his activity in affairs pertaining to the welfare of his own village and district that Mr. Doran has earned the thanks of his neighbors and constituents. When the county seat question came up for the last time none was more active than Thomas Doran. He has also been a prominent member of the school board for fourteen years, and one of the town board almost continually since its organization. In 1900 his brother's health failed. This led to the sale of the bank to Dann Bros. Mr. Doran and family now spent a year in restful travel in California and old Mexico. Upon returning home in 1901 he engaged in stock-raising. His ranch is one of the largest in this part of the state, and is the home of many hundred head of cattle and horses. Several other enterprises in which he is interested should not be overlooked. Thus he became a member of the prominent lumber business of Cram & Co, in 1897. A few months ago he purchased A. A. Graber's hardware store and placed the same in charge of his son, and nephew. As stated above, Mr. Doran represents the 49th District in the State Legislature. He is a republican in politics, and his popularity is shown by the fact that he carried his district, which is strongly populistic, by no less than 252 votes.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


L. P. Douglas   

Proprietor of the Burwell House, the leading hotel in Burwell, was born in New York state in 1843. He did not come west before 1876, when he first spent six years in Iowa, after which he moved to Omaha and engaged in the mercantile business. He and his wife are practical hotel people, having managed first-class hostelries in several cities. The Douglas family came to Burwell from Bellwood where they had pursued successfully in the same business. The Burwell house caters to both transient and local trade.  

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


The First National Bank    

Had its genesis in the First Bank of Burwell, which was for some time operated by the First National Bank of Ord. In 1889 Thomas H. and John Doran purchased this institution and merged it with the Garfield County Bank, under the name, however, of the former. In 1900 the bank was sold by the Dorans to Dann Brothers. Since that time it has been re-organized as a National Bank with a capital of 125,000, under a new management of shrewd financiers and moneyed men. The present officers and stockholders are: W. L. McMullen, president; E. Bailey, vice-president: J. M. Conrad, cashier; W. I. Cram, J. A. Brownell, M. B. Goodenow, Geo. F. Scott and W. T. Barstow. This bank is doing much to promote the material progress of Garfield and Loup Counties, and carries on a general banking business, receiving deposits, loaning money on approved security, discounting acceptable commercial paper, buying and selling domestic and foreign exchange, making collections, and generally exercises all the functions of a first-class banking institution. The First National is a synonym for stability and integrity. A statement of the condition of the bank at the close of business May 29, 1905, is as follows:  

RESOURCES                                                            LIABILITIES 

Loans………………….....$ 57,595.48                      Capital……………$25,000.00

U. S. Bonds and Premiums..10,487.50                      Surplus………………..250.00

Banking house Fur. & Fix….3,000.00                       Undivided Profits…   2,329.79

Cash & Sight Exchange……72,541.26                     Circulation…………10,000.00

Due fromU. S. Treasurer……..500.00                      Deposits…………..106,494.40 

                                         $ 144,074.19                                                   $ 144,074.19


The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Alfred A. Graber    

Can rightfully boast of being one of the very first merchants in Burwell, for when he opened for business the only store on the town site besides his own was the Becker store. He comes of good, study Swiss ancestry, though born at Mount Eton, Ohio. Until he was 24 years old the young man worked out, helping his parents who were poor. But when he finally left home he drifted about considerably before settling in Garfield County. Thus we hear of him in Michigan, at Waverly, and Wahoo, Nebraska; in 1877, in western Kansas; then in 1879, toiling overland to the Black Hills with their dangers and gold. In 1880 he is back in his native state, though not to remain, for in 1888, we find him boring wells at Wahoo, Nebraska. He next formed a partnership with a Swede and engaged in the hardware business at Mead. But Loup Valley history is of more interest to us. As we have said he built the second store in Burwell. This was a small structure 16x22 feet large, built at the corner of Milwaukee street and Grand Avenue. The store opened the 1st of June, 1884, with a $1200 stock of hardware most of which was gotten on credit. But Mr. Graber did well in business. He took an active part in the county seat election in 1884-85 and was instrumental in securing the writ of mandamus demanding a recount of votes. Associated with him in this were Cornwell, Ferguson, Smith, Mathews and other old-timers. Down through the years the business grow substantially till Mr. Graber found himself the proprietor of quite a department store. Thus in addition to hardware he handled farm implements and furniture, and became the town undertaker. On June 27, 1903, the store was struck by lightning and partially burned, causing a net loss of $3000. Instead of rebuilding Mr. Graber bought the stock and plant of B. J. Bunnell, which he again lately disposed of to Thomas Doran. Mr. Graber is nothing if not public spirited. He has thus been a member of the village board for ten years, and a chief promoter in procuring for Burwell a system of waterworks. His wife was formerly Miss Louise Keller of Youngston, Ohio. With her bright little family of five children, three boys and two girls, she presides over the cozy Graber home situated in the northwest part of town.

 The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Dr. John Claude Holson    

Is one of the most successful dentists in this part of the state. He is an Iowan by birth having spent his early days in Iowa City. Here he received his early and higher education. A graduate of the city high school, he matriculated at the medical college of the State University of Iowa, pursuing the regular practitioner's course. From this he graduated in 1890. He then took a course in the Iowa State University Dental College, graduating in 1892. He opened his dental parlors in Ord in the summer of 1896 making a specialty of crown and bridge work. In September, 1895, he was married to Rose I. Robbins and together they continued to make Ord their home till in 1903 they removed to Burwell where they are nicely situated in their cozy home in the south part of town. Dr. Holson not alone takes care of the Burwell patients but has branch offices at Comstock, Taylor and Greeley Center.  

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG 


Hegner & Downey   

The firm of Hegner & Downey, dealers in farm and agricultural implements, though of comparatively recent origin, is doing a remarkably good business. In fact it may be said that Hegner & Downey are today the only exclusive dealers in their line in Garfield county, having recently purchased the stock carried by other concerns of the same kind. Absolute honesty and strict business principles have won for the firm public confidence and given it a very enviable name.


Theodore F. W. Hegner, the senior member of the firm, is a German by birth, coming from Alstadt, Germany, where he was born March 22, 1865. He arrived at Grand Island, Nebr., with his parents when just six years old. Here his boyhood was spent. The public schools in those days were rather in their infancy, so that young Theodore's schooling was not of the best. A few years in carpentry and blacksmithing closed his career in Grand Island. Now follow some years of ranching and homesteading in Rock county. His marriage to Miss Edna Akins was solemnized, June 28, 1893, of which union two children are now living. Mr. Hegner seems to have preferred his early profession to farming for in 1893 he opened a blacksmith shop at Long Pine, coming to Burwell in 1895, continuing the same line here. He still owns his Burwell shop though not working it himself The firm of Hegner & Downey was organized in March, 1905, though Mr. Hegner had already been in the business a year when the change was made.


Fred A. Downey was born in Buchanan County, Iowa, June 26, 1870. He lived there till he was seven years old and then came to Knox County, Nebraska. Here some nine years were spent in school and on the farm. After spending four years near Norfolk farming, he moved to Inman, here he married Miss Delia Halloran. The family arrived at Burwell in 1895 and spent ten years in farming near town. As stated above he entered the Implement business of Hegner & Downey a few months ago. Aside from carrying a full line of farm and agricultural implements, the firm handles buggies and harness of all kinds.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


 Janes & Sons    

One of the old timers of the Loup doing a good business at Burwell is B. P. Janes of the successful firm of Janes & Co. He is an old Waushara County, Wisconsin, man, from the earliest date associated with the North Loup colony from that county. His father gave his life for his country during the Civil War, and thus the care of a widowed mother fell to B. P. and his brothers. He moved to North Loup in the early seventies and was for many years identified with North Loup in various business enterprises. Thus he engaged in livery and dray business and pursued carpentry for some time. Later he operated a skating rink at Ord. Then in turn he took a homestead near Kent, where he lived for some years. Becoming tired of the farm he moved to Burwell where he tried his hand at the harness trade and sale of implements. Not until the fall of 1900 did he launch upon the business which he is now pursuing —the general merchandise business. He started in with a small stock worth about $500.00, but soon built up a nice trade. Clayton McGrew now became associated with him in the business. In the spring of 1901 they bought out McMullen & Conrad; later in the year Mr. McGrew retired from the firm, whereupon William, son of B. P. Janes, came in as a junior member. During the last four years this firm has had a steadily increasing business and today carry one of the best and most complete stock of general merchandise in the city.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG 


Johns & Mitchell   

Burwell is well supplied with up-to-date general merchandise stores. One of the most prominent of these is operated by the well known firm of Johns & Mitchell. The senior member of the firm has been written up elsewhere in this work and may be passed by here. The junior member, Robert J. Mitchell, was born in New York state, in 1864, getting his early schooling in the old log school house there.


At 18 years of age he moved to Holyoke, Mass., and remained there till 1889. In that year he came to Burwell and began farming. He took a homestead in Loup County and spent five years there. Two years were again spent in Massachusetts, after which he entered the mercantile business. This he did by purchasing the stock of J. R. Alderman & Son, which he moved to the old "Michel Store.'" Later he formed a partnership with Ed. M. Tunnicliffe, then county clerk. Mr. Mitchell married Miss Nannie E. Alderman, November 24, 1892, and has an interesting family of one son and three daughters. The firm remained as Mitchell & Tunnicliffe till July 5, 1904, when Mr. Mitchell sold out to Will Johns. But in February, 1905, Mr. Tunnicliffe retired and Mr. Mitchell again entered the firm, now as the junior member. When Robert Mitchell launched the business six years ago he had a stock worth $600. By careful and correct business methods this stock has increased till it is now ten or twelve times as large. A full line of general merchandise, always fresh and up-to-date is kept on hand. Johns & Mitchell have succeeded because worthy of success.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Faran M. Key    

Was born in Adair County, Iowa, on November 19, 1863. When eleven years old he left his home state and with his parents moved around considerably. Thus we find him in Cowley County, Kansas, later in Benton County, Arkansas, and then back again in Iowa. When 24 years old he married Miss Annie Wright who became the mother of two children. She died in 1893. From his second marriage Mr. Key has five children making in all seven. He came to Garfield County in 1888 and immediately pre-empted a quarter section of land, and in 1901 filed upon his homestead. Mr. Key is a popular and public spirited man. He was elected sheriff by the populist party in 1901 and re-elected two years later. He has engaged in the implement business, but at the present gives all his time to the plumbing business, and sinking of wells and erection of windmills. The deepest well in the county —325 feet —has been sunk by him. A sketch of Mr. Key would not be complete without mentioning his business with the U. S. government. The star mail routes of the upper valley have been for years in his hands. Thus he contracted to carry the mail from Burwell to Taylor and Almeria in 1894 and still controls that route. He has likewise the Blake route, and he had the prime route—from Burwell to the mouth of Gracie Creek—till it was discontinued.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Guy Laverty   

Is practically speaking a Nebraska product. Though born in Black Hawk County, Iowa, when only two years old he came with his parents to Nebraska and Cass County. Here he spent his boyhood and attended the rural schools. The Lavertys moved to Valley county in 1884 and settled on a farm in Geranium township. Guy had no inclination to become a farmer, so came to Ord where he attended the high school. Later he taught school for some four years and in 1890 found time to attend the Fremont Normal school. In the fall of 1892 his legal career began. Then he entered the law office of Hon. Chas. A. Munn. A year later he was admitted to the bar. He immediately thereupon moved to Burwell and was elected county attorney in 1894 and re-elected twice. He has today a very remunerative law practice writes insurance and makes a specialty of abstracts. Mr. Laverty is a populist in politics. He was married to Miss Emma M. Glover at Ord August 31, 1892. They have two children, Cecil and Carmen. Mrs. Laverty is an expert accountant and stenographer and has been of invaluable assistance lo her husband in his upward career. Mr. Laverty is very public spirited. In the M. E. church he has been for years a mainstay; on the school board he has been elected and re-elected time and again.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


 I. W. McGrew   

Dealer in general merchandise, is one of the most prosperous merchants in the upper valley. He was born at Abbington, Illinois, February 9, 1863. At eight years of age he came with his parents to Missouri. He was educated at Laclede Seminary, Lebanon, Missouri, and at the state normal located at Kirksville. The commercial world held a charm for Mr. McGrew from earliest boyhood. As soon as he felt prepared for the work he took to clerking. This was at Lineville, Iowa. Two years later he moved to North Loup and opened a small grocery store. Soon after this, however, he determined to try farm life, and accordingly spent two years on a farm in Valley County, but unfortunately lost his crops by hail. He then came to Ord and worked for some time in the Harris Clothing store, and later for B. C. White. He finally bought the B. C. White stock of general merchandise and did a very good business. But he took the western fever about this time and selling out to Duby Brothers moved to Colorado. The western venture was not a success and Mr. McGrew was glad to get back to the Loup again. He now opened a small grocery at Burwell, investing a capital of $300. A year and a half later the stock was moved to a more commodious structure on the north side of the square, and a line of dry goods added. In 1900 boots and shoes were also put in. Through careful dealing and marked business ability the business grew steadily and warranted Mr. McGrew's removal to the brick block where he now is. The store building is one of the best in Burwell, well adapted for the display of such fancy goods as are found on the shelves here. Aside from carrying a line of general merchandise, Mr. McGrew carries an excellent stock of fine dress goods, the best of its kind in Garfield County. The business which a decade and a half ago started with $300 has now grown to an annual volume of $30,000. Mr. McGrew married Miss Ella M. Simmons at Ord in 1886. They have four children, one girl and three boys, and are nicely situated in their comfortably home in the eastern part of town.

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


W. J. Sly   

Was born in Page county, Iowa, in September, 1862, where he resided till sixteen years old. He got his education solely in the rural schools and was from boyhood inclined toward the farm. After spending three years in Ida County, Iowa, he set out for Nebraska and reached Willow Springs in 1881. His wife was formerly Miss Ida Beckwith. Mr. Sly is the proud father of eleven children who are growing up to become useful members of their home community. The Slys moved in time to the Calamus and for years farmed there. When the county seat difficulties harrowed the county Mr. Sly voted consistently with Burwell. He was elected sheriff as a democrat with populistic tendencies in 1887 and held the office for two terms. He has also been extensively engaged in cattle raising and the purchase and sale of all kinds of stock. He has lately moved to town to give his children better school advantages than could be gotten on the farm. Mr. Sly is at present city marshal.

 The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Eldon J. M. Smith, M. D.   

Is a comparatively new man in Burwell, but he is already making a name for himself through his undoubted ability in his profession. He was born at Mechanicsville, Iowa, in 1879. He received a good early education there and later at South Omaha, graduating from the high school of the latter place in 1895. Like many other young men, when determined to make their own way in the world, he was for some time variously engaged. Thus he worked for some time in the large Hammond Packing Co. He next attended commercial college for a year and then became bookkeeper for an Omaha firm. A year was then spent in college work in theNebraska Wesleyan University. But his natural bent was the medical profession. Accordingly he matriculated at the College of Medicine of the University of Nebraska. He attended the full four years and graduated in May, 1904. A month later he passed the strict examination before the state board and immediately thereafter located in Burwell. Dr. Smith makes a specialty of diseases of the eye, nose, ear and throat. His office adjoins the building of the new Burwell Drug Company, of which he is also a member.  

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Earl Stacy   

Now one of the most successful watchmakers and jewelers in our Valley, is an Ord product, having been born there on the 16th of September, 1881. Here he grew up and was schooled. For a professional course he attended a practical school in watchmaking in the east and soon found lucrative employment in the Bell Watch Factory at Cleveland, Ohio .  As a reward of thrift and ability he was soon promoted to be foreman in one of the shops, which position he held for nearly two years. Hearing the call of the west he returned to his boyhood home and was for some time engaged with E. L. Gard at Ord. December 1, 1904, he moved to Burwell and opened a first class jewelry shop and watchmaking establishment there. He carries a very fine and complete stock and has the confidence of the community in which he now moves and works. 

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Eugene D. Thurston, M. D.    


Was born at Richford, Wisconsin, September 3, 1859. Here he spent his boyhood and received his early education. When he was fifteen years old his parents came to Nebraska and arrived at Valley County in June, 1875. The elder Thurston bought the homestead and timber claim entered by Grandpa J. C. Collins in 1873, and located just east of Ord on the Springdale Road. The dwelling house on the homestead was constructed from sawed cedar logs and was covered with red cedar shingles. The two quarters were bought for $500 then. It is interesting to know that now these farms could not be bought for $20,000. Young Eugene came to the valley early enough to see antelope shot on the town site of Ord. Thus he states that on a certain day in 1876 "Art" Stacy shot three of these delusive animals just about where the public square now is. But those days are past. In 1880 Mr. Thurston entered the Methodist Episcopal Seminary at York and remained there for some time. He later matriculated at the College of physicians and surgeons at Keokuk, only later to shift to the Medical Department of theUniversity of Nebraska, wherefrom he graduated in 1884. He hung out his shingle at Taylor in 1886 where he remained—barring a short stay at Eugene, Oregon—till he moved to Burwell in 1900 to take the practice of the late Dr. Cameron. He married Minnie Davis in 1893. They have two children, a boy and a girl. Dr. Thurston is known far up and down the river as a careful, painstaking physician and jolly good fellow. He is a brother of "Herb" Thurston, an early-day sheriff of Valley county, who is now located at Longmont,Colorado.

 The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


William Z. Todd    

Editor of the Burwell Tribune, was born in Jones County, Iowa, September 28, 1866. When he was but four years old the Todd family moved to Cedar County where William remained till he was twenty years old, attending school and working in his father's law office. Mr. Todd came to Neligh, Nebraska, in 1883, and took a homestead in Wheeler County the next year. In 1888 he was induced by business men of Willow Springs to start the Willow Springs Enterprise in that town, to counteract the influence of growing Burwell. But when two years later the exodus to the latter town began Mr. Todd moved his printing establishment thither and founded the Garfield Enterprise. His public activity is from this time on chronicled in the chapter on "the Newspaper in the Valley."  In August, 1892, he married Mollie McKenzie. They have two children, a boy and a girl.  

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG


Robert G. Wicks    

The genial proprietor of the Racket Store, located at the corner of Grand Avenue and Webster Street, has had a most romantic life story. Born at Parnham, England in 1867, he took to the sea at the early age of 13. In his voyaging he soon became familiar with the ports of the Mediterranean and the Levant. He has sailed through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean and all the Indies reached by the latter. Indeed, he can boast of having seen all the continents of our earth. Barring the distance fromAdelaide to San Francisco, he has circumnavigated the globe. But Mr. Wicks is inclined to be a little modest when taking about these, his early wanderings. Mere chance decided his coming to America and the United States. It was "heads,"America and "tails" Australia. "Heads" won and the Loup added a good citizen to its population. He arrived at the small English colony on the Middle Loup, near Arcadia in 1886. But he soon tired of life there and went to Chicago and entered the employ of the Armours. But he longed for the open plains of Nebraska and again he returned to the Loup, this time to Burwell, and immediately engaged in the general merchandise business. This was June 1, 1890. His first store-building, the so-called Jerry Schuyler building, measured only 18x20, but readily accommodated his small first stock. In course of a few years the business grew to such an extent that a new building became necessary. Accordingly he moved into the capacious quarters now in use. He has also enjoyed a large trade from the Sargent country. So the extension of the B. & M. from Arcadia naturally, worked him considerable harm. However, he has an excellent business as things are and is very prosperous. He owns some five hundred acres of farm land under rent and has just completed an elegant home which has cost him at least $4,000. Mrs. Wicks was formerly Miss Addie L. Myers. They were married in 1892 and have four children, one boy and three girls.  

The Trail of the Loup, 1906, submitted by CD=FOFG