|SECTION 1: The Early Days||SECTION 2: More Early Days|
|SECTION 3: Omaha in 1870||SECTION 4: Present Day (1882)|
|SECTION 5: Crimes||SECTION 6: Fires and Public Works|
|SECTION 7: Health, Parks, Mail||SECTION 8: The Press in Omaha|
|SECTION 9: Press Continued||SECTION 10: Religious|
|SECTION 11: Religious (cont.)||SECTION 12: Cemetery and Schools|
|SECTION 13: Legal and Medical||SECTION 14: Opera House-Hotels-Business|
|SECTION 15: Societies||SECTION 16: Societies (Cont.)|
|SECTION 17: Business||SECTION 18: Manufacturing|
|SECTION 19: Manufacturing (cont.)|
20 - 46:
** Omaha Biographical Sketches **|
| ABLE~BARRIGER | BARTLETT~BOYD | BOYER~BURNHAM |
| BURR~CONKLING | COFFMAN~CREIGHTON |
| CRITTENTON~DIETZ | DINSMOOR~FAWCETT |
| FEARON~GAYLORD | GELATTE~GROSSMANN |
| GROSS~HAVENS | HAWES~HOILE |
| HOLDREDGE~JORGENSEN | JOSLYN~LEISENRING |
| LEHMAN~LOWE | LUDINGTON~MARHOFF |
| MANNING~MILLER | MILLSPAUGH~NINDEL |
| O'CONNOR~PEABODY | PAUL~READ | REDICK~ROGERS |
| ROSENBERY~SCOTT | SEAMAN~SIMPSON | SINCERE~STONE |
| STORZ~UMPHRESON | URLAU~WILBUR | WILDE~WOOD |
| WOODARD~ZEHRUNG | West Omaha Precinct | Douglas Precinct |
List of Illustrations in Douglas County Chapter
F. G. URLAU, firm of William Urlau & Bro., bakers and confectioners, 1109 Douglas street. They employ five hands and do a business amounting to $2,000 monthly. Keep one delivery team. Mr. U. was born in Germany, November 29, 1842, and emigrated to America in company with his brother, Julius Urlau in 1860, and located in Louisville. William came in 1857. F. G. clerked in a hardware store eight months, then enlisted in Company B, Thirty-second Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was in many battles with the Western army, being in that of the Cumberland. He was wounded in the battle of Stone River, and went in the hospital 31st December, 1862; and got his discharge from there in the winter of 1863. That also being his final discharge. He now draws a pension. He had two brothers in the same company with him. William Urlau was a Captain, Julius Urlau was a private, and was killed June 24, 1863, in a skirmish at Liberty Gap. F. G. Went to St. Louis, Mo., in 1865, and engaged in the grocery business until fall, 1866, and in January, 1867, went to Omaha, Neb., and went in his present business with his brother William, who died in May 1881.
IRA VAN CAMP, M. D., came to Nebraska in 1862 at Dakota City, where he remained until 1864. Then came to Omaha and has practiced here ever since. With Dr. E. L. Siggius he established the Nebraska Medical and Surgical Institute in February, 1881. He was born in Durham County, Canada West, October 5, 1828, and lived in Omaha most of the time, until he came to Nebraska. He was educated at the Eclectic Medical Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio. He has been engaged in practice for twenty-one years. He was married in Canada, to Phebe L. Bourke, who died in November, 1869, leaving three children--Alda Jane, Now Mrs. J. M. Eddy; Albert Eugene, and Hamilton Brisbon. The Doctor's present wife was Sarah Virginia Cowan, maiden name Bute. They were married in Omaha, and have three children--Clara Bute, Ira L. and Bertha Falk.
ELBERT D. VAN COURT, was born in Elgin, Kane, Co., Ill., July 11, 1849, and at the age of two months moved to Burdett, Schuyler Co., N. Y. Lived there until he was seven years old, when he moved to Sheffield, Ill., and at the age of sixteen moved to Peoria, Ill., living there one year, and moving to Neponset, Ill., where he engaged in the retail hardware business with Mr. L. O. Morse as partner. At the age of twenty-two he married Abbie E. McLeran, daughter of William McLeran, of Neponset, Ill., Has three children, Charlie, aged nine; Blanchie, seven years; and Willie, four years. In March, 1881, he moved to Lincoln, Neb., and was engaged as traveling salesman for the Sandwich Enterprise Co., of Sandwich, Ill. In September, 1881, moved to Omaha, Neb. and went into the wholesale machinery trade, as President of the Omaha Implement Co.
HENRY VAN DEUSEN, machinist, U. P. R. R. Co., was born September 8, 1847, at Hudson, Columbia Co., N. Y. Before locating here was with his parents at Fort Calhoun, Washington, Co., Neb., who went there with the idea of taking up a pre-emption claim, but failed to do so, and rented a farm for one year; then bought 160 acres in the same county, farmed it for two years and sold out and went to Logan Creek, and there took up a claim of 160 acres, and after farming it a few years sold it, and bought another 160 acres from the widow Neville, and held it until the commencement of the war, when he left his parents and went to Tonica, Ill, and thence to Ottawa, Ill, to school; availing himself of such educational advantages as best he could; and remained with his uncle there until the death of his father, who died in 1865. Then returned to Fort Calhoun, and rented a farm from Judge Stills for one year; and in the fall of 1866 located here, and teamed that winter, and in 1867 was apprenticed to the U. P. R. R. Co., and is now machinist. Is a member of St. John's Lodge, No. 25, also member of the Christian Church.
W. C. VAN DERVOORT, Postal Clerk R. R. Mail Service, was born in Bloomington, Ill., September 30, 1860. Received his education in that city, and in November 1880 came to Nebraska to take present position. Is on the Omaha & Denver route.
PAUL VAN DEVOORT, Chief Head Clerk Railroad Mail Service, is a native of Warren County, Ohio. He was born July 12, 1846, and removed with his parents to Bloomington, Ill., in 1856. He enlisted in 1862 in Company G, Sixty-eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving about six months, then re-enlisted in Company H, Sixteenth Regiment Illinois Cavalry, and was attached to the Cavalry Division under Gen. R. W. Johnson, of the Twenty-third Army Corps, under Gen. Thomas. He was captured at Jonesville, W. Va., December 9, 1863, and was in the Rebel prisons at Belle Isle, Libby, etc., about one year. Was discharged on account of disability a few days before his regiment was mustered out of the service. He returned to Bloomington, and was appointed Deputy County Treasurer of McLean County, Ill.; a position he retained until he became connected with the Railway Mail Service, in 1873. Came to Nebraska in 1874 and took present position. He was married in Towanda, McLean Co., Ill., May 7, 1868, to Miss Ware, of that county. They have five children--Fred, Grace, Percy, Samuel Miller, and an infant. Mr. Van Devoort is a prominent member of the G. A. R.; has held all the offices in the Order except that of Commander-in-Chief, and in the balloting in Indianapolis, at the last meeting, stood next to the present incumbent. He was Chairman of the Republican County Committee in 1876; is now a member of the Republican State Central Committee. In 1868 he canvassed Illinois for the Republican ticket, and in 1880, at the Invitation of the National Committee, canvassed Indiana and Illinois, making speeches some three months.
ANDREW S. VAN KURAN, auditor of agents accounts, U. P. R. R., is a native of New York State, and was born at Rochester, April 26, 1844. At the age of six years he removed with his parents to Boston, where he was educated. In 1862 he went to Clinton, Iowa, and engaged with his father in the manufacture of railroad cars, where was gained his first business experience. From 1871 to March, 1881, he was employed as accountant and traveling auditor of the Auditing Department of the U. P. R. R., when he was appointed to his present position. He married September 3, 1873, Miss Carrie Loveland, whose father was one of the early settlers of Omaha. They have one child, Laura Belle, born June 13, 1874.
JOHN VALIEN, the junior member of the firm of Andrean & Valien, was born in Sweden, in 1839. He learned the trade of machinist, and was employed at it there some ten years. Came to America in 1864; was employed for one year in a foundry and machine shop at Louisville, Ky. Afterward employed for thirteen years in fire and burglar proof safe works at Chicago, Ill., and for two years in the Globe Iron Works at same place. He came to Nebraska in July, 1880, located at Omaha, and entered his present business. Mr. Valien was married in Chicago, Ill., in 1866, to Christinia Johnson, a native of Sweden. They have four children--Claus, Hilda, Nettie and Emma.
L. H. VANDENBURG, of Vandenburg & Marston, painters, was born in Holland in 1831. Learned trade of painter there and was employed at it some years. Came to America in 1856, and carried on a painting business in Chicago, Ill., for some years. He came to Nebraska in 1867, located in Omaha and worked at his trade as a journeyman until March, 1868, when he commenced a painting business by himself, which he carried on up to 1872. He then went to Chicago, Ill., and carried on a painting business until 1875 when he returned to Omaha and opened a painting establishment which he carried on alone up to April, 1881, when he entered into partnership with John Marston in the same business. Their principal business is in house painting.
MISS KATE C. VEIRS, dressmaker, 1318 Capitol avenue, Omaha. Miss Veirs' father, Thomas J. Veirs, was among the early settlers of Douglas County, having come here from Ohio, with his family in 1857, where he remained identified with the developing industries of the State till his death in 1876. He is buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery.
BRICE VIERS, grain dealer, 1614 Izard street, Omaha, was born in Cabell County, Va., in 1832. When he was quite young his parents removed to Carter County, Ky., where he remained until he was eighteen years old. He then went to Steubenville, Ohio, being employed in his uncle's wholesale grocery store for about four years. In 1857 he came to Nebraska locating at Florence and engaging in brickmaking for a short time. He went to Pike's Peak in 1859 and engaged in the ranching business fifteen miles north of Denver, following that until 1861. He then in partnership with another man began the business of freighting across the plains, following this and doing a very large business until 1867 requiring thirty wagons and 102 yoke of oxen, their receipts averaging $10,000 per year. He returned to Omaha in the last named year and purchased a farm west of Fort Omaha where he lived until 1875, when he sold his farm. Since that time he followed various kinds of business up to the fall of 1881, when he engaged in the grain business. In 1871 he married Miss Nellie F. Weber, who is a native of New England. They have three children, Benjamin F., Ray E. and Edwin W.
ERNST VOLKMEIER, proprietor Pioneer Pork and Sausage House, 2205 Cuming street. Mr. Volkmeier was born in Germany, 1845. In 1871 he came to this country and settled in Minnesota, where he carried on sausage manufacturing for six years. He had previously followed the meat business in the old county. In 1877 he came here and engaged at the present business which he has successfully conducted since. On October 16, 1879, he was married to Miss Sarah Campbell, who was born in Ireland. They have one daughter, Bertha Louisa.
THEODORE L. VONDORN, apiarist, Omaha was born in Chester, N. J., in 1841; is a graduate of the Chester classical school of that place. In 1861 raised a company in his town and helped to enlist more men than any man in his county. Enlisted in 1862 and was tendered a captain's commission but refused it; was discharged in 1862 for disability. In 1865 went to Omaha, Neb., in the employ of the U. P. R. R. as the first merchant, and was with them three years. In the spring of 1868 with a portable saw mill located near the Good Canon. In the fall of 1868 took charge of the first engine house of Omaha and was the first man to get the engine in working order so as to do fire duty, holding the position until 1873. Then bought the Vondorn machine ships which he carried on until 1868, when ill health and the loss of sight obliged him to abandon it. Since then has turned his attention to bee culture, meeting with good success. In the spring of 1881 started with fourteen colonies of bees in good order and in the fall had twenty-one colonies and a surplus of $200 in honey.
PHILIAN VON WINDHEIM, known under the name of P. Windheim, practical painter and decorator. Born in the village of Roetting, district Calenberg, Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, May 18, 1826. Was at school in Hanover, from 1842 to 1844. Clerking in the domain of Liebenberg, Kingdom of Hanover, from 1844 to 1848. Served as volunteer under the command of Gen. Von der Tannen during the revolutionary war in Germany from 1848 to February 14, 1851. Was wounded at the battle of Jisted, North Schleswig, January 7, 1850, taken prisoner and kept as the such at the city of Copenhagen till February 14, 1851. After return started for America and arrived at New York in June, 1851, on the sail ship North America from Hamburg. Made a living by hunting and trapping in Marion County, State of Iowa, till May, 1872. Went down to Chicago and engaged in painting business. Followed this business in Chicago to April, 1857. Left Chicago for Omaha, Neb., and arrived there April 18, 1857. Engaged in the painting business there, also commenced dealing in paints, oils, window glass, wall paper, etc. Is at present engaged in the same business. Employs on an average about twenty-five hands. Is doing a first-class business and is widely known for promptness and square dealing. While in Omaha assisted in building up the town by putting up several buildings of his own. Helped lay out the city of Beatrice, Gage Co., Neb., city of Columbus, Platte Co., Neb., and West Point, Burt Co., Neb.
HENRY VOSS, architect. Was born in Germany in 1843. He studied architecture and draughting in Switzerland for five years. Was then engaged traveling and perfecting himself at his profession seven months. Then built a railroad in northern Russia. Afterwards engaged at his profession for several years in Germany. During 1870 and 1871 he served as an infantry officer in the German army, engaged in the Franco-German war. Came to America in August, 1871. Was employed for a few months in New York City as a draughtsman. Then engaged at his profession in Chicago, Ill., for over a year. Afterwards employed as a draughtsman at Rock Island, Ill., until he came to Omaha, Neb., in 1873, and has followed his profession here since. He built a public school building at Blair, Neb., in 1880 and the county jail, at Kearney, Buffalo County in 1875, besides prominent breweries and other buildings at Omaha.
J. H. WAGNER, cooper, corner Fourth and Pierce Streets. Born February 7, 1843, in Holstein, Germany. Came to New York in 1866. About six months later he removed to Chicago. Came to Council Bluffs in 1869. There opened a cooper shop where he remained about two years. He then came to Omaha, where he has since resided and carried on this business. He has employed as high as twenty-five men at a time. Is a member of the Omaha Mænnerchor Society. Married in 1871 to Lena Patz of Germany. Have six children, Otto, Henry, Katie, Fred, William, and Charles.
WALTER WALKER, foreman Chicago Lumber Company, Omaha. Was born in Steubenville, Ohio. In 1855 he came to Nebraska and has been active as a pioneer in the State since. In 1862 he enlisted in Company D, Second Nebraska, but subsequently re-enlisted as veteran in Company I, First Nebraska and remained in the service till the end of the war. Was honorably discharged. In 1865 he was married to Miss Rachael Veirs, whose people came from Ohio here at an early period in the State history. They have one little girl, Anna.
WILLIAM WALLACE, assistant cashier of the Omaha National Bank, was born in Summit County, Ohio, May 1, 1841. Removed to Canton, Ohio, when eight years of age, residing there until he entered the army in 1861. Served in the Fourth Ohio Infantry Volunteers from April, 1861 to June 21, 1864. Was then employed in the Governor's office at Columbus, Ohio, until he removed to Omaha in the fall of 1865 and was employed as book keeper for Hurford & Bro., remaining in that capacity until July, 1866, when he entered the Omaha National Bank in the same capacity. Was elected assistant cashier of that institution September 7, 1869, which position he now holds.
G. T. WALKER, vice-president and superintendent of the Omaha Iron and Nail Company, was born in England in 1837 and emigrated to America when quite young. He was for several years engaged in mercantile business in Grant County, Wis., and was also connected with a woolen mill for some six years. In 1876 he purchased the Northwestern Nail Works at Dunleith, Ill., and ran them for a short time. In 1877 he moved the machinery, etc., to Omaha and organized the Omaha Iron and Nail Company with a capital of $25,000, which has since been increased to $50,000. They employ some sixty men, have automatic machinery and manufacture about 300 kegs of nails per day.
J. A. WAKEFIELD, lumber dealer, commenced business in February, 1880. He does a wholesale and retail business in lumber, sash, doors and blinds, lime, cement and all building materials. During 1881 he did a business of about $200,000. Mr. Wakefield is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and lived at Rock Island, Ill., four years before locating at Omaha. He has been engaged in the lumber business for the last six years.
WILLIAM WARD, machinist, residence 1111 Capitol avenue, Omaha, arrived in Nebraska March, 1866 and located in Omaha, and has been identified as machinist with the U. P. Railroad ever since. Was born in Lincolnshire, England, June 15, 1828, and lived in native place until twenty years of age, and after leaving it traveled up the Mediterranean for four years, then went to Jamaica for four years, then back to England for five years, and came to United States in 1858, and first located in Cincinnati, Ohio for one year, thence to Chillicothe, Ohio for two years, then to Litchfield, Ill., and Indianapolis, Ind., back to Cincinnati, then to Omaha. Maiden name of wife is Mathilda Augusta Slatter, was married December 31, 1860 in Chillicothe, Ohio. Wife was born in Oswego, N. Y. They have four children, William J., Rosa M., Artemas, and Ernest.
DR. WILLIAM C. WARDNER, dentist, was born in Almond, Allegany Co., N. Y., March 21, 1846. When sixteen years of age he left home and entered the United States service as hospital steward, remaining in that position until 1866. Came to Lincoln in 1870, and lived there three years, moving from there to Hornellsville, N. Y. In April, 1881, he came to Omaha and has been engaged in practicing dentistry with Dr. Nason since that time. Has followed that profession since 1867. Was married in Chicago November 28, 1871, to Delia L. Rust, a native of Illinois. They have one child living, George H., and have lost two, Grace and William R. Is now a member of the I. O. O. F.; G. A. R.; K. of H.; and Royal Arcanum.
G. H. WATTS, agent American News Company, was born in Baltimore, Md., March 2, 1839. Removed to Chicago and was engaged with the Western News company of that city nine years. Came to Omaha, Neb., in 1881, and took charge of this office.
RICHARD WEARNE, of John Wearne & Sons, proprietors of Fenwick's Foundry, was born in England in 1842, came to America in 1848. He learned the trade of iron moulder with his father, John Wearne, at Mineral Point, Wis. Was then employed at his trade in Illinois, California and British Columbia for some time. In the spring of 1866 he entered into partnership with his father in foundry and machine ship at Mineral Point, Wis. He came to Nebraska December 8, 1880, to establish a branch of that firm at Omaha. The business here is managed by him and his brother John Wearne, Jr., who was admitted into the firm in 1879. They employ six men, and manufacture principally castings for buildings and do considerable repairing. Mr. Wearne was married at Mineral Point, Wis., to Mary Trelolar a native of that place. They have three children, Lula B., Charles and Frederick J.
H. E. WEAVER, firm of J. L. Rice & Co., otherwise known as Joe and Sam, bakers, caterers and confectioners, but make the bakery and candles a specialty. They began on a very small capital and now do a business of $18,000 per annum, and employ five men. Mr. Weaver was born in Kennebunk, Maine, January 10, 1852. His parents, with the family, moved to Minnesota and settled in Sternes County, in 1854, where he lived until 1874. His father, J. R. Weaver, was a farmer. Mr. H. E. Weaver lived at home until he was twenty years of age, then traveled over many portions of the West, working at different occupations and finally located in Omaha, Neb. He is a member of the Good Templar Lodge No. 144, also a member of the Presbyterian Church.
[Portrait of Jno L. Webster]
HON. J. L. WEBSTER, attorney at law, was born near the present town of Fairview, Harrison Co., Ohio, in March, 1847. That place was his home until he removed to Omaha in 1869. He was educated at Washington College, Pennsylvania, and at Mount Union College, Ohio, graduating from the latter place. He served in the One Hundred and Sixty-seventh Ohio Infantry during the latter part of the war of the Rebellion. He has followed his chosen profession since his residence in Omaha, being a member of the Legislature in 1873 and President of the Constitutional Convention in 1875. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., Pleasant Hours Club, Belles Lettres Club, and is a stockholder and director of the city water works, and director and attorney of the M. P. R. R., in Nebraska. Mr. Weaver was married in 1868 at Belle Vernon, Pa., to Josie L. Watson, a native of that place. They have one child, Flora.
NICHOLAS WEEKS, locomotive engineer, U. P. R. R., was born in York County, Me., October 28, 1836. At the age of twenty-two years he entered the employ of the I. C. R. R., was employed fifteen months as a fireman, then as a locomotive engineer for seven years, one year of which he was employed principally as a freight conductor, after which he went South and was engaged as an engineer on the M. & O. R. R., for some time. In 1868 he entered the employ of the U. P. R. R., as an engineer and has occupied that position since. He resided at Cheyenne, W. T., until March, 1881, when he came to Omaha, Neb. He served one term in the Wyoming Legislature, being elected in 1875. Mr. Weeks was married at Centralia, Ill., in April 1858, to Nancy E. Parker, a native of York County, Me. They have two children, Lewis P., a locomotive engineer on the U. P. R. R., and George W.
JACOB WEIDENSALL, Jr. foreman of the wood and machinery department of the U. P. R. R., was born in Hollidaysburg, Pa., June 7, 1842. He was engaged with his father in the trade of a carpenter, and attending school in the winter up to the late civil war, when he enlisted as a private in Company A, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, September, 1861, and upon the disbandment of that regiment he became connected with the Fifty-seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry, and was promoted to Second Lieutenant, Company H, of the same regiment, was discharged June 29, 1865. From October 24, 1861, to the close of the war, Mr. Weidensall was with the Army of the Potomac in all of its principal engagements, not having missed any that his regiment was engaged in from any cause--over sixty battles and engagements. After discharged, on account of ill health, from his service he did not return to his trade, but teamed in the oil regions of Pennsylvania. In 1866-67 he worked at his trade, carpentering, at Hollidaysburg and Altoona, Pa. In May, 1867, he came to Omaha and worked for a contractor six months, and was engaged upon many of the prominent buildings of Omaha. November 4, 1867, he began work as a journeyman carpenter in the shops of the U. P. R. R., for three months as carpenter and for three months running a machine. He was then made foreman of the framing department, under C. C. Gamble, master car builder, until 1870 when wood machinery was added to his department by G. E. Stevens, master car builder, and has continued in that position to the present. He was a member of the Legislature of Nebraska in 1875-76, is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and at present one of its officers. He is a member of State Lodge No. 10, I. O. O. F., also of Hesperian Encampment No. 1. He married Miss Jennie M. Patten, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, August 31, 1876. They had two children, one living, Clara J.
GEORGE WEISBROAD, foreman, Cooperage Willow Springs Distillery, was born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, November 18, 1850, and came to the United States with his parents in 1851, located in Terra Haute, Ind., where he learned his trade. He came to Nebraska in 1879, locating in Omaha, and engaged with this company in the spring of 1880. He was married in Des Moines, Iowa, November 24, 1879, to Miss Susan Gibson. They have one child, Margaret.
AUGUST WEISS, insurance agent, was born in Breslau, Silesia, February 28, 1838. He came to the United States when eighteen years of age, since which time he has traveled extensively through all parts of the world. He was for seven years in Chili, Peru and Panama in the service of the Pacific Steam Company and previous to that time was a resident of New York and San Francisco. He came to Omaha in February, 1868, and for four years was engaged in the commission business, and since then in fire insurance, foreign exchange, and selling steamship tickets to and from Europe. He held the office of Justice of the Peace four years and was again elected to that office in the fall of 1880. He is Notary Public. He was married in Omaha May 3, 1876, to Dora Schwenk. She was born in Holstein.
HARRY M. WELLS, firm of Baswitz & Wells, dealers in a general line of boots and shoes, located in Boyd's Opera House Building, established in 1881. Mr. W. located in Omaha, Neb., in 1881. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 29, 1860. His parents lived in Ohio until 1864, at which time they moved to St. Louis, Mo., where he began the boot and shoe business in 1875, and continued with success, until he went to Omaha, Neb, in February, 1881. They are now receiving a liberal amount of public patronage.
GEORGE W. WERTZ, dentist, came to Nebraska in 1878 and located at Omaha, where he has since practiced his profession. He is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and resided in Kansas City for nine years, prior to coming here. He has practiced his profession for twelve years. Dr. W. is a member of the State Dental Association. He was married at Falls City, Neb., in 1876, to H. E. Bullock, a native of Lester, Mass.
JOHN T. WERTZ, traveling salesman, with M. Hellman & Co., Omaha, was born and reared in Ohio, and came to Omaha in 1879, engaged with the present firm, with which he has been successfully connected since. He first entered the mercantile business in 1876, with Foust, Dague & Co., of Dalton, Ohio, with whom he remained till he came here.
[CIGAR MANUFACTORY OF WEST & FRITSCHER, 1305 DOUGLAS STREET.]
JOSEPH B. WEST, of West & Fritscher, manufacturers of cigars, and wholesale dealers in pipes, tobacco, etc., was born in Kent County, Del., 1837. Learned trade of cigar maker at Wilmington, Del., and was employed at it until 1861, when he enlisted in the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, served three years, and was promoted through the regular grades to the ranks of Second Lieutenant of Company E., in which capacity he served two months; was then engaged for a few months in the cigar manufactory business, at Glasgow, Mo. Then employed as a journeyman cigar maker in Kansas, Mo., and other States, until he came to Nebraska, in the spring of 1867, when he located in Omaha, and commenced present business in company with Charles L. Fritscher. When they began the business, they did all the work connected with the cigar factory themselves. In 1878 they purchased their business building, and employ fifty men, and manufacture some 2,000,000 cigars per annum. Mr. West was married in Omaha, in 1869, to Meriem E., a native of England. They have four children, Joseph, George, Genevera and James.
JAMES H. WHITAKER, foreman of nail department, Omaha Iron and Nail Company, was born in Taunton, Mass., in 1834. At the age of ten years was employed in the nail department of the Old Colony Iron Company. He went through all branches of the trade of nailer, in that company's service. In 1861 he enlisted in the Third Massachusetts Infantry, as private, and served three years, during which time he was promoted to Orderly Sergeant, returning to Taunton, Mass., in 1864, was employed as a nailer, for a year, then as boss nailer, with the Oxford Iron Company, Oxford, N. J., for some fifteen years. He came to Nebraska in June, 1881, located at Omaha, and entered upon his present duties. Mr. Whitaker was married at Taunton, Mass, to Eliza J. Martin, a native of that place. They have seven children, Mary, James H., Benjamin F., Emma, Alice, Edward and Mable.
WILLIAM H. WHITAKER, boss nailer, Omaha Iron and Nail Company, was born in East Taunton, Mass., April 11, 1849. At twelve years of age he learned the trade of nailer, at Oxford, N. J., and was employed at it there some fifteen years; was also employed for two years as flagman, on the M. & E. R. R. He came to Nebraska in July, 1881, located in Omaha, and entered upon his present duties. Mr. Whitaker was married in Belvidere, N. J., July 3, 1870, to Josephine Searles, a native of that place. They have one daughter, Margaret, born July 21, 1871.
W. J. WHITEHOUSE & CO., drugs, paints, etc., commenced in 1879, succeeding W. J. Whitehouse; carries a stock of about $4,000 and the yearly sales, $15,000 to $20,000. W. J. W., of above firm was born in Fort Edward, Washington Co., N. Y., December 31, 1854; came to Nebraska about 1871, and located in Saline County, where his father was engaged in the practice of medicine. In 1874 he removed to Omaha, and after clerking about two years, entered the firm of W. & Co., afterward firm of W. & Dwyre. Sold out and started present business in 1879. Mr. W. is a member of the A., F. & A. M., I. O. O. F., and also of the Volunteer Fire Department.
J. C. WIEMERS, groceries and provisions, succeeded Wiemers & Peycke, in 1871; carries a stock of $4,000 to $5,000 and the yearly sales will amount to $30,000. Mr. W. was born in Hanover, Germany, August 10, 1842. Learned the business in Germany, and in 1866 came to the United States, engaged in clerking, in New York City, and from there, in 1867, moved to Nebraska, located in Omaha, and engaged in the grocery business under the firm name of Wiemers & Peycke. He was married in Omaha, May 23, 1872, to Miss Emily Droste. Mr. W. is a member of the Concordia Society.
J. E. WIGMAN, residence 1620 Cuming street, Omaha, arrived in Nebraska, June, 15, 1868, and located at Omaha, and engaged as pattern maker for the Union Pacific Railroad shops, where he has been identified with since. Was born in Hanover, Germany, October 19, 1837; lived in native place until seven years of age, and came to New York City. Maiden name of wife is Catherine Leichner; were married September 1, 1868, at Fort Wayne, Ind. Wife was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, Names of children; William Henry, Katie Louise, Linda, May and Emily Birdie.
R. H. WILBUR, traveling auditor of Union Pacific R. R., was born in Chatham, Columbia Co., N. Y., April 26, 1825. His early life was spent as a merchant in New Lebanon, N. Y., up to 1856, three or four years of which time he was also interested in the milling business. After 1856 he was the agent in New York City for years of the North Middlesex Brown Stone Quarry Company. In 1861, at the breaking out of our late civil war, he was appointed First Lieutenant of Company I, One Hundred and Second New York Volunteer Infantry; was promoted to Captain of same company, then breveted Major, for meritorious services at Gettysburg, and afterwards appointed full Major of same regiment; was breveted Lieutenant-Colonel of same for meritorious services at Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge; then served on the staff of Gen. John W. Geary, from the battle of Antietam until close of the war. He was then retained for six months after the close of the war to December, 1865, in the War Department at Washington, D. C. as mustering officer, discharging in that time some 35,000 troops, more than any other mustering officer in the army. Attached to his discharge from the army may be found the following endorsement:
WASHINGTON, D. C. Dec., 1, 1865. Eminent capacity, with high moral qualities, a brave, faithful and meritorious officer. (Signed) Maj. Gen. John W. Geary, Maj. Gen. H. W. Slocum, Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard, Maj. Gen. C. C. Augur, Gen. W. T. Sherman.
Was then attached to the Internal Revenue Department of the United States Government for two and one-half years under E. A. Rawlins, Collector of Internal Revenue. In 1870 he permanently settled in Omaha, Neb., and first engaged in the book and stationery business, up to 1880, when he was appointed to his present position on the Union Pacific R. R. He served as Mayor of Omaha one term, and Police Judge one term. Is a member of Covert Lodge, A., F. & A. M., also member of Omaha Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. Married Miss Nancy E. Hitchcock, sister of the Hon. P. W. Hitchcock, of New York, September 24, 1846. Have six children, Harriet, Ella J., William H., Grace H., Lilian and Edward C., and three deceased.