Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

York County
Produced by
Alice Vosika.


Topography | Early Settlements | Organization | County Roster
York County Agricultural Society


York:  Early history | Incorporation | Schools | First Term of Court
New York | Local Matters | Elevators | Banks
Nebraska Conference Seminary | Public Schools | Churches
Societies | The Press

 3 ~ 5:

Biographical Sketches:


Baker Precinct | Bradshaw:  Biographical Sketches
West Blue Precinct:   Church History


Beaver Creek Precinct | North Blue Precinct
Henderson Precinct:  Biographical Sketches
Houston Precinct:  Biographical Sketches


Stewart Precinct: | Woodruff Precinct

List of Illustrations in York County Chapter

Part 5

   SAMUEL H. SEDGWICK,senior member of the firm of Sedgwick & Power, attorneys at law. This gentleman was born in DuPage County, Ill., March 12, 1848. Was a graduate from Wheaton College, Ill., in 1872, and was also a student at Ann Arbor, Mich., during part of the years 1871-1872, and in 1874. then went to Kewanee County, Wis., and commenced the practice of law, having been admitted to the bar at the city of Green Bay, in the same State, and here remained till his removal to Nebraska. This transpired in October, 1878, when he came to York, and first formed a co-partnership with George B. France. January 1, 1882, the present firm of Sedgwick & Power was organized. Frederick C. Power, junior member of the above firm, was born in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., June 3, 1855. Received an academic education at Antwerp, in his native State, and when he had completed this, commenced reading law in the office of Hon. Judge Neary, of Gouverneur, N.Y. In the fall of 1879, came west, to York, Neb., and was admitted before Hon. George W. Post, Fourth Judicial District. Then he began the practice of his profession, being connected with the present firm, as above.

   THERON E. SEDGWICK, editor and proprietor of the York Timeswas born in Du Page County, Ill., September 2, 1852. Was a student at Wheaton College in the same State for four years and afterwards attended the law school at Ann Arbor, Mich., for one year. Then went to Wisconsin where he was admitted to practice in the courts of that State at Oconto, after which he followed his profession in Brown County. In September, 1878, came to Nebraska, locating in York and practiced law with his brother, Samuel H., for a short time, and in March, 1881, purchased the paper known as the Tidal Wave, changing the name to York Times. This is an eight page weekly paper, Republican in politics and an advocate of the temperauce cause. When the present editor took it in hand it was not much of a success financially, but he has improved it and increased its circulation from 300 to 600 copies principally consumed in York County. Does also a general line of job printing. He was married in Illinois in July, 1874, to Miss Adalaide Thurston, of that State. Mr. S. was Superintendent of Public Instruction in Brown County, Wis., from 1876 to 1878 and was elected Councilman of the city of York in the spring of 1880.

   REV. BENJAMIN F. SHARP, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at York, was born in Tolland County, Conn., August 25, 1820. He is the son of Alva and Lydia Sharp, the former of English and the latter, whose maiden name was Chapman, of Scotch-Irish descent. His parents both died while Benjamin F. was but a young boy so that his education was acquired by his own exertions. He was a student at Burr Seminary, Vt., and in 1848 began a theological course in Reserve College at Hudson, Ohio, and graduated in 1851. He was ordained the same year and became pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Independence, Ohio, and had charge of that church until 1861. During the year following he was financial agent for the Lake Erie Female Seminary, and at the expiration of that time re-entered the ministry, preaching both in Ohio and Illinois until he came to Nebraska in April 1878. Upon his arrival here he took charge of the Presbyterian Church at York. He was married, July 10, 1851 at Deerfield, Ohio, to Miss Lavinia S. Wakefield, who was born in Watertown, N.Y., March 21, 1828. They have one son living, Charles E.

   W. A. SHARRAR, vice president of the First Nartional Bank at York, with E. W. Mosher, cashier. This bank was established in June, 1882, and represents a capital of $50,000. The gentlemen mentioned are both practical business men, with a good deal of experience in that line, having been formerly employed in Marsh Bros., Mosher & Co.'s Bank, at Lincoln, Neb. Mr. Sharrar is an old resident of Nebraska, coming to the State in the spring of 1871. Lived first at Lincoln, where he was engaged for three and one-half years in the County Treasurer's office as deputy for John Cadman, R. A. Bain and C. C. White. In 1875 was appointed by the County Commissioners as County Clerk to complete an unexpired term for R. O. Phillips, and in the fall of the same year was unanimously elected to that office in Lancaster County. In 1879 entered the bank in Lincoln, as mentioned above, and in the spring of 1880 came to York. He was born in Blair County, Pa., November 23, 1842. He is the son of James M. and Mary A. Sharrar, the former of German extraction and the latter of Scotch-Irish descent. Received an education and commenced teaching in the State of Illinois, that being his occupation till he came to Nebraska. He was married at Lincoln, this State, in the winter of 1873, to Miss Belle Radmore, of that city.

   GEORGE W. SHIDLER, physician and surgeon, at York, was born in Washington County, Penn., September 13, 1849. After receiving a common school education, he attended the medical department at the university at Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1861, and in the spring of 1875 was a graduate from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa. Then practiced his profession in various places in Iowa until February, 1878, when he came to York, Neb., which has since been his field of labor. In August, 1881, went to Red Cloud, where he remained but a short time and then returned to York. Was married in York, in 1881, to Miss Alice J. Shirley, formerly of Illinois. He is a member of the State Medical Society, and also of the Central Medical Society. Belongs to the F. & A. M., York Lodge, No. 58, and is an I. O. O. F. in the lodge at York.

   REV. GEORGE A. SMITH, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, York, was born in Windham County, Conn., August 16, 1831. Son of George and Osha Smith, who were descendants from the Puritans. George A. received his literary education at Charlotteville Seminary, New York, and in 1856 emigrated to Wisconsin where he took charge of the Wisconsin Conference Seminary at Evansville. In 1858 became a member of that conference and in 1860 was ordained Deacon, and in 1862, Elder, by Bishop Scott at Fond du Lac, having entered the ministry in 1861. Was a member of this conference until the fall of 1880, having subsequently come to Nebraska in 1878. He was married in Wisconsin, August 2, 1858, to Miss Martha G. Axtell, of Vermont. They have four children living, Mary A., Martha G., Herbert O., and Wendell B.

   MILTON SOVEREIGN, Clerk of York County, came to Nebraska in the spring of 1873, taking up a homestead on Section 8, Township 12, Range 2 west, Houston Precinct, York County. Here he made his home till 1878, then moved to Baker Precinct, same county, where he continued agricultural pursuits. Lived here till his election to the office of County Clerk, which occurred in the fall of 1881, when he moved to York. The subject of this sketch was born in Warren County, Ill., July 12, 1842. After receiving a public school education, he attended the college at Evanston, Ill. At the breaking out of the Rebellion, he enlisted in the Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company A, serving three years, and was in all of the engagements of his regiment. Then returned to his native State, where he followed the occupation of a farmer, until his emigration to Nebraska. Was married in Illinois, in 1867, to Miss Nancy Smiley. Is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church being an original member of that society in both Houston and Baker precincts.

   ERNST STACHE, manufacturer of harness and saddles, was born in Germany, December 21, 1842. Learned the harness trade in his native county, and worked at it there until the spring of 1871. Then emigrated to the United States, and took up his abode at Milwaukee, Wis., until the spring following, when he came to Nebraska. Took up a homestead in York County, Section 2, Township 9, Range 2 west, Woodruff Precinct, and for two years after this, worked at his trade at Lincoln. In 1873, he was married at Pleasant Home, Neb., to Miss Follina Smith, and in the fall of the same year, opened a harness shop at York, being now the oldest resident harness-maker in the county. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., York Lodge, No. 35.

   THOMAS F. STEVENS, Mayor of York and attorney-at-law, came to Nebraska in May, 1879, and in the following February moved his family to York, which has since been his home. Upon his arrival here he purchased forty acres of land adjacent to the town for the purpose of going into the stock raising business. Bought also a ten-acre lot, which he had surveyed and laid out in town lots, and which is now known as Stevens' Addition to York, joining the Seminary grounds on the east. The subject of this sketch was born in St. Francois County, Mo. Is the son of John P. and Margaret F. Stevens, the former of English lineage, and the latter, whose maiden name was Donaldson, of Scotch-Irish descent. Left his native State when sixteen years of age and went to Macoupin County, Ill., where he followed various occupations, devoting his leisure time to acquiring an education. In 1860, he went to Kentucky, but after remaining there a little more than one year, returned to Illinois, and in 1862 entered the Marshall College of that State, but quitted it in order to enlist in the war of the Rebellion. This he did in the One Hundreed and Twenty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company B, and was soon promoted to Orderly Sergeant. While in service he suffered from a sunstroke on the Tupelo, Mississipi march, which partially paralyzed him, and he has not recovered from its effects, and never will. In 1864, he was wounded at the battle of Nashville, being shot through the left arm above the elbow, permanently disabling it. This unfitted him for further service, and in May, 1865, was discharged and returned to Illinois. He was married in 1864 to Miss Eliza J. Fletcher. In 1872, he emigrated to Minnesota, and purchased 360 acres of land preparatory to going into stock raising in Mower County, and after residing there sixteenth months, went back to Illinois, where he again began the practice of law, having been admitted to the bar in 1869, and engaged in practice at Bunker Hill, Ill., till his removal to Minnesota. Returned to Minnesota the same year, settling in Austin, where he practiced his profession until his removal to Nebraska. Mr. S. is a self-made man in every sense of the word. Beginning life a poor boy, with a widowed mother and family dependent on his exertions for support. But having a great deal of perseverance and energy, in addition to providing for himself and them, he also acquired an education, which has enabled him to creditably fill his vocation in life. He was elected Mayor of the city of York, in April, 1882. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M., belonging to both Fidelity Lodge, No. 39, and Chapter No. 14, of Austin, Minn.

   LYMAN D. STILSON, farmer and stock raiser, also agent for the Nichols Centennial Wind Mill, was born in Erie County, N. Y., in 1839. He is the son of Joel M. and Elvira D. Stilson, the former of Scotch, and the latter, whose maiden name was Dayton, of Welsh descent. His boyhood ws spent on a farm, and he acquired a common school education. In September, 1861, he became a soldier against the rebellion, enlisting in the Forty-ninth New York Volunteer Infantry, Company D. He served three years, of which sixteen months were spent in active, and the balance in detached, service. He then returned to New York, and in 1865 was married to Miss La Delle Cushman, of that State, who was born in Wyoming County, N. Y. In March, 1870, he came to York County, Neb., and homesteaded on Section 22, Township 10, Range 2 west, York Precinct, 160 acres. Here he lived, improving his land for five years, and also working at carpentering in various places. In 1875 he removed to his present home, situated one mile south of York City, where he has a fine residence, and improvements to match, and in connection with his father, eighty acres of excellent farm land, all under cultivation. His father is still living, and has a nice comfortable home adjoining his son's. The subject of this sketch helped build the first frame building erected in York after the surveying of the said town. He is a member of the G. A. R., Robert Anderson Post, No. 32, York, also of the I. O. O. F., and has been District Deputy of York County for two years. His wife is one of the oldest music teachers of York County, and is highly accomplished in that art.

   JOHN C. TENNEY, farmer and stock raiser, Section 35, Township 11, Range 3 west, P.O. York, was born in Grafton County, N. H., April 3, 1827. His parents were Amos and Hannah Tenney, nee Cass, the former of Welsh and the latter of old New England descent. They removed to Kendall, County, Ill., when the subject of this sketch was ten years of age, and were among the early settlers. In 1867 John C. moved to DeKalb County, same State, where he farmed until his emigration to Nebraska. This was in the fall of 1875, and in the spring following he purchased the farm on which he now lives. This contains 160 acres, of which 125 is under plow, and he also owns another eighty acres on Section 25, partially improved. He has over two miles of willow and box elder hedge around his farm, and three acres of plum and cherry orchard. His residence is a large two-story frame building, and has one of the most substantial barns in the county, built after the old eastern style. Mr. Tenney was married in Kane County, Ill., in 1854, to Miss Melissa A. Gurnsey, a native of New York, and who died March 29, 1878, leaving four children--John W., Syrus C., Sarah A., Wesley E. He is a member of the Medthodist Episcopal Church, York.

   REV. EDWARD THOMSON, President of the Nebraska Conference Seminary, York, was born in Delaware County, Ohio, June 5, 1848. He is the son of Bishop Edward Thomson and Maria, his wife, who is a daughter of ex-Governor Bartley, of Ohio. The subject of this sketch took a preparatory course at Columbia College, New York City, but his classical education was received at the Ohio Wesleyan University, where he graduated with the degrees of A. B. and A. M. He subsequently attended a course of lectures both at the Chicago Law College and the medical department of the Michigan University. He received the degree of S. T. B. from the Garrett Biblical Institute, and at Cornell University, he became a Doctor of Philosophy. Rev. Mr. Thomson served three years in the Methodist Episcopal Conference of Northern Ohio, and was Professor of Chemistry two years at Baldwin University, same State. He was a member of the Nebraska State Conference three years, and at the expiration of that time, at the opening of the seminary at York, which is under the auspices of that conference, he was appointed President of the same. This institution, under his able and efficient management, is gradually becoming one of the first educational enterprises of the State, and he has proved himself worthy of the high testimonials which he holds. He was married in 1870 to Miss Ella A. Macy, of Harveysburgh, Ohio, who was born there April 27, 1850. She received her education at the Xenla Female College and the Wesleyan Female College, both of which are in Ohio. She is now Preceptress and teacher of English language, literature and history in the seminary over which her husband presides.

   ANAXMANDER B. TUTTON, broker at York. He came to this town in 1870 and opened a general merchandise store, which was the second store in that line in the county. He sold out this stock to Bell Bros., and immediately bought a full line of drugs and opened the first drug store in the county, and was the first School Director of District No. 12, the district wherein the city of York is situated. He was elected County Clerk in 1871, and in the spring of 1872 he sold out his store, resigning the County Clerkship in the following fall to embark in the broker business, conducting the same successfully. In 1874 he removed to Loup City, where he was engaged as a merchant until 1878, and during that time he served three years as County Clerk of Sherman, he being the second officer to fill that position. In 1878 he returned to York, where he served two years as Deputy County Clerk. He was one of the original Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of York, and a memeber of Oliver Lodge, No 38, A., F. & A. M. Mr. Tutton was born in Williamson County, Ill., December 4, 1848. He enlisted in the Rebellion in the Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company G. When he had served eleven months he ws wounded in the left shoulder at the battle of Pittsburg Landing. This unfitted him for active service, and he was appointed military storekeeper at Camp Douglas, Chicago, under Capt. Goodman. He was married at St. Francisville, Mo., in 1866, to Miss Ada Means, who was born at Blue Hill, Me. Mr. Tutton is now a broker and money loaner at Omaha, Neb.

   LYMAN S. WHEELER, farmer, Section 18, Town 10, Range 2 west, P.O. York, was born April 11, 1837, in Worcester County, Mass. Is the son of Josiah and Martha Wheeler, who were of Scotch and English extraction. His boyhood was spent on a farm, and in 1859 he was appointed Station Agent at Templeton, on the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad. After filling that position for two years, he enlisted in 1861 with the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Company I, and veteraned in the same regiment in 1864. He served till the close of the war, and at the battle of Drury's Bluff, Va., was wounded through the left arm and shoulder. After the war he returned to Massachusetts, and was married in 1864 to Miss Mary E. Barnard. In August, 1865, Mr. Wheeler came west to Chesterfield, Ind., where he was engaged at milling four years, and then removed to Illinois, where he made his home till June, 1872. Then came to Nebraska, and took a soldier's claim, which he homesteaded, and in October of the same year, moved his family from Illinois. He is a member of I. O. O. F., York Lodge, No. 35; of the G. A. R., Robert Anderson Post, No. 32, and a life member of the Andersonville Prison Association, Chicago, Ill.

   CHARLES O. WILCOX, of the firm of C.O. Wilcox & Co., family grocers. This gentleman came to Nebraska in the spring of 1872 with his parents, Darius and Synthia Wilcox, who settled at Aurora, Hamilton County, and pre-empted the land on which said village now stands. His father was the original proprietor of the town. Here Charles O. remained until Januaruy, 1879, attaining an education, then began clerking, which occupation he followed until February, 1881, when he started in business for himself at York, in the grocery line, and has an excellent trade, the first year's sales being $18,000. He was born at Columbus, Ohio, February 10, 1861, and was married at Lincoln, Neb., September 1, 1881, to Miss Alice Stafford, of York. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., York Lodge, No. 35.

   JOHN WILLIAMS, lawyer, was born in San Francois County, Mo., May 18, 1839. Was educated in his native State, and in 1856 removed with his parents, who were farmers, to Cedar County, where his mother died in 1859, and three years afterward he came with his father to Otoe County, Neb. Here the subject of this sketch began teaming across the plains to Colorado, but only followed this one year. In 1863, he was married in Otoe County, to Miss Catherine G. Patterson, who was born October 6, 1834. Came to York County, March 13, 1871, and took up a homestead on Section 10, Town 10, Range 1 west, Beaver Creek Precinct, and was among the earliest settlers there. Here he lived, improving his land, and spending his leisure hours in reading law, which is his profession. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Protestant Church at Waco. They have two children, Francis L., and Leuvina A.

   WOLCOT C. WING, farmer and stock raiser, Section 3, Town 10, Range 2 west, P.O. York, was born in Otsego County, N.Y., August 31, 1832. His boyhood was spent in his native State, and in 1858 he came to Bureau County, Ill., where he was engaged in farming until the fall of 1879. Came to Nebraska and purchased 160 acres of land and now has 135 acres of it improved, and a good comfortable home. Mr. W. was married in Illinois in 1860 to Miss Carrie L. Johnson, of Batavia, in the same State. They are members of the York Presbyterian Church. They hve two daughters, Medith, married to A.C. Ward, York, and Bessie J.

   GEORGE W. WOODS & SONS, dealers in dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, came to Nebraska in December, 1878, and opened a clothing and gents' furnishing store in the City Hall building. Began with a small stock and in July, 1880, removed to their present location in Bell's brick block, where they have a large store room 100 x 24, carrying the most complete stock of goods in this line to be found in the county; in 1881 doing a business of $40,000. George W. Woods was born in Franklin, Morgan Co., Ill., November 14, 1831; and was married in the same State, in Jacksonville, in 1856, to Miss Hannah J. Kerr, who died January 31, 1882, at York, Neb., leaving four children--James W., Edward B., Charles G. and Ellen; the two older boys being partners in the store with him. Previous to coming West to Nebraska, he had been a merchant at Carlinville, Ill., for twenty years, and during the years 1867-68 was extensively engaged in the woolen mill business at that place. Was a member of the Northwestern Woolen Manufacturers' Convention, that convened at the Tremont House, Chicago, and during this meeting Mr. Woods offered a resolution to establish an exposition of wool and woolen goods for the purpose of exhibiting their progress in this line. This was finally adopted, and during the two years following expositions were held both at Cincinnati and Chicago; and from this said resolution sprung the great Chicago Exposition of to-day--for which Mr. W. may claim the credit. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of York, and was Chairman of the first Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State Conference Seminary, being also one of the building committee, and was greatly instrumental in getting this institution, which is one of the largest educational enterprises in the State, located in York.

   GEORGE H. WOOLMAN, family grocer, was born in Clarke County, Iowa, August 21, 1855. He is the the son of Benjamin Woolman and Lydia Woolman; the former a descendant from the Quakers, and the latter, whose maiden name was Hobaugh, of German extraction. His father served as County Commissioner of York County for three years. In 1873 George H. came to York County, Neb., and bought a farm on Section 31, Town 10, Range 3 west, Henderson Precinct, where he lived until July 1880. He then sold his farm and started a weekly newspaper at York, called the Tidal Wave. After editing this a short time in company with L. A. Adams, he sold his interest, and in June, 1881, embarked in his present business, which he has successfully operated. He was married November 11, 1878, at Seward, Neb., to Miss Dianna J. Hickman.

   WILLIAM WRAY, of the firm of Penn & Wray, machine and blacksmith shop, came to Nebraska in 1872, locating in Beaver Creek Precinct, and started the first blacksmith shop in the said precinct. This he ran until 1875, then removed to the village of York and formed the co-partnership as above. The subject of this sketch was born in Janesville, Wis., February 3, 1852, and there learned his trade. He was married at York, Neb., in 1875, to Miss Addie Le Count. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., York Lodge, No. 35.

   ALFONSO D. WYCKOFF, druggist, was born in Brown County, Ohio, June 17, 1830. He is the son of Asher and Armerilla Wyckoff. In 1838 they removed to Putnam County, Ill., where his father plied his trade, which was that of blacksmithing. The subject of this sketch learned the trade of cabinetmaker, and in 1852 went to California, where he worked in the mines and at carpentering, until 1855, then returned to Illinois and spent four years in acquiring a collegiate education at Wheaton College; then entered the ministry, and was ordained in the Congregational Church. In 1863 he entered the army as Chaplain of the Sixty-fourth Illinois Regiment, serving until the close of the war. Returned to Illinois and presided over different churches until 1872, when his eyesight failed him and he was obliged to quit the ministry. He then became connected with his brother in the drug business, which he has since continued, removing to York, Neb., in the summer of 1880. Is now the oldest resident druggist in the city. He was married in Illinois, in February, 1852, to Miss Lovina Beresford.

   EMIL V. ZIMMERER, of the firm of Bischoff & Zimmerer, hardware dealers, came to Nebraska in 1871, locating at Nebraska City, where he was employed as a clerk for six years. In June, 1877, he came to York, and opened a hardware store, under the above firm name. They also handle farm machinery, and in 1881 did over $20,000 worth of business. The subject of this sketch was born in Germany, September 19, 1847. Emigrated to the United States the same year that he came to Nebraska, and was married, in 1877, at Nebraska City, to Miss Theresa Sand, who was born in Missouri. Both are members of the Catholic Church at York.

   CARL ZIMMERER, dealer in general merchandise, came to Nebraska in 1866, first living at Nebraska City, where he was employed as stone cutter, having learned that trade in his native land. Then followed merchandising in various places, and finally located permanently at York, in February, 1878, and opened a general merchandise store. He was born in Germany, March 8, 1846, coming to the United States in 1866. He was married at Nebraska City, in 1870, to Minnie Schnurr, also born in Germany. They are original members of the Catholic Church at York. They have five children--Willie J., Emil C., Louisa M., Minnie K. and Mary T.

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