Garfield County - Genealogytrails

 

 

 

 Biographies

 

 

William Abbott

James Barr

F. A. Barker

J. S. Deafenbaugh

William Draver

Truman Freeland

Alexander Gross

Tom Hemmett

W. C. Johns

H. A. Messenger

Frederick Robke

Mrs. M. Smith

Frank A. Webster

William Woods

William Bank

Wilber M. Becker

David S. Beynan

Charles I. Bragg

 

 

 

 

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 oldScotland, 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 ofPerth, 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 theUnited 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 atFort 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 westernIowa 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 onWebster 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 theBurwell 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 atCedar 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 ofGarfield 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


     

     

     

     

     

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