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:
ALLAN ~ KNOTT | LANGWORTHY ~ SCOTT
SEDGWICK ~ ZIMMERER
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
Beaver Creek Precinct is situated in the centre of the eastern tier of precincts, and is well watered by the creek that courses its way through a gentle valley, from which it receives its name. The surface is some what crossed by "draws," but the soil here is considered as ranking with that of any portion of the county, in depth and richness. In the spring of 1868, the first settlers found their way into the precinct, and established themselves on the banks of the creek, among the many timber groves that fringed its banks. Julius Frost settled on Section 28, U. L. Nichols and R. Clark upon the same section, John Corey and T. Godding on Section 26, Charles Le Count on Section 24, and William Zweig on Section 8; all in Township 10, Range 1 west. The following spring of 1869, William Goche took up his homestead on Section 34, and Jared Goche on Section 32, and made the first settlements on the "divide." In 1870, a large number of settlers arrived. Among the first were Henry Cesheler, George and Robert Bray, who located on Section 24; John Widle, on Section 32; Christian Bristol, Henry Goche and Henry Wellman, on Section 22; Detricht Naber and F. Hoffschneider, on Section 26; and the following spring, of 1871, they were followed by a host of others, who soon took up all the government land. The first school district was formed in 1869. The first schoolhouse consisted of a dug-out, built in the banks of a draw, and was furnished with one wooden bench and a rough pine desk, for the teacher. The first school was taught by Frank Manning.
The first church organization in the precinct took place in 1871, under the auspices of the German Methodist Episcopal Church. The initiatory services were held at the house of Henry Goche, under the leadership of Rev. C. Herman, who became the first paster, officiating until the year 1874. His successor was the Rev. Charles Ott, in the spring of 1875, remaining in charge until 1878. Rev. Mr. Bruns was the next pastor, commencing his labors in the spring of 1878, which was closed after a period of two years. The present pastor, Rev. Mr. Behrns, took charge in 1881. The organizing members were: Detricht Nabor, C. Dwehous, H. Kleinschmidt, John Widle and John Brahmstedt. Regular services were held at the houses of the members, and at the school house until the year 1874, at which date the present church building was erected. The society is now in a prosperous condition, and one of the strongest in the county.
The organization of the German Lutheran Church took place at the school house in District No. 6, in the month of September, 1873, with the Rev. Theodore Gruber in attendance. Henry Goche, A. Bulgrin and G. Tieken were elected deacons, and H. Burhopp, church clerk. The first resident pastor of the society was Rev. G. Endrs, the present incumbent, who commenced his labors in the fall of 1878. The first church erected was a sod building, dedicated in the winter of 1875-76. Services were conducted here until the fall of 1880, at which date the present building was completed and dedicated. It is a fine frame structure, and is valued at $2,000.
Waco.--Waco was the out-growth of the railroad, and sprang up as a market town, upon the advent of the railroad. In 1877, Thomas C. Tagg commenced buying grain here, and shipped the first car load in 1877, upon completion of the railroad, to York. The first house erected was a small frame structure, now used as a kitchen by J. W. Strickler, also one of the business men of Waco. Nelson Creech and J. W. Armstrong were early upon the scene, and engaged in merchandising. Waco has made very rapid progress, and is now an important shipping and trading point. A new public school building has been erected at a cost of $1,600. There are about 100 scholars in attendance. The Protestant Methodist, the Methodist Episcopal and Christian Church Societies have permanent organizations effected at the establishment and laying out of the town. The population of the town is about 300, and Waco bids fair to become an important village.
JOHN B. ALLEN, farmer, Section 24, Township 10, Range 2 west, P.O. York, came to this State in the fall of 1870, and took up a homestead where he now lives, and in the spring following moved his family from Madison County, Iowa. He was born in Lawrence County, Ind., March 15, 1838; the son of James and Margaret Allen, neePhillips, who removed to Iowa in 1853. Here John B. worked on a farm for his father till twenty-one years of age, and then commenced farming for himself, first in Iowa and then in this State as above. He owns 320 acres of land, all of which is under a high state of cultivation. He has a ten-acre grove of his own planting, and four acres of various kinds of choice fruit trees, and has always taken great interest in the agricultural improvements of the country, being one of the instigators of the York County Agricultural Society, and Vice President of the same one year. He married in 1862, near Topeka, Kas., Miss Helen Harvard. They have five sons and five daughters living.
JOHN S. BENNETT, Justice of the Peace and Notary Public, and land agent for the B. & M. R. R. Co., at Waco. Came to Nebraska in 1874, locating in York County, Section 26, Township 11, Range 1 west, Beaver Creek Precinct. When the village of Waco was started he left his farm and moved there in 1878. He was born in Union County, Ohio, March 31, 1845, and is the son of Charles and Ellen Bennet, nee Hyde, of English descent. They removed to Henderson County, Ill., when John S. was only five years of age, and engaged at agricultural pursuits. Here he enlisted in the Rebellion with the Tenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company F, and served until the close of the same, having veteranized in the same regiment in 1863. He then returned to Illinois, and farmed until his emigration to this State. He was the instigator of Dick Yates Post, No. 41, G. A. R., Waco, and first Commander of the same. He is one of the original members of Waco Lodge, No. 80, of the A., F. & A. M., and the first Master of the said Lodge. He was married in Osceola, Neb., in 1876, to Miss Samantha Fox, who was born in Plattsmouth, and is the daughter of John and Sarah Fox, who were among the first settlers in the State. They have two children, Ada A. and France L.
JOHN J. EVANS, Postmaster and grocer, Waco, came to Nebraska, October 10, 1871, and took up a homestead in Beaver Creek Precinct, York County, on Section 26, Township 11, Range 1 west. Here he made his home, improving his land till 1880, and during this time served as Assessor and Justice of the Peace in said precinct a number of terms. He then came to Waco and began buying grain and hogs, being appointed Postmaster in November of the same year. He was the second person to hold that position in the said town. He was born in Sussex County, Del., February 20, 1833. He removed to Hancock County, Ill., in 1861, where he soon enlisted in the war of the Rebellion in the Second Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, Company G, and served until August, 1864. He then went back to Illinois, where he farmed one year, and at the expiration of that time returned to his native State, where he was married at Gloucester, N. J., in 1855, to Miss Percilla Stephens. Then came back to Illinois, where he lived till his removal to Nebraska. They are both original members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Waco. They have three sons and three daughters. Mr. E. is an A., F. & A. M., being a charter member of Waco Lodge, No. 80, and of Dick Yates Post, No. 41, of the G. A. R.
JOHN T. HILTON, proprietor of the Commercial Hotel, and Deputy Sheriff, at Waco, was born in Grant County, Wis., January 16, 1850. Removed to Buchanan County, Iowa, in 1868, where he was engaged in the pump and windmill business for a time, and then at various occupations until March, 1880; then came to Waco, Neb., and began farming, which he finally abandoned to begin keeping hotel. He was married February 12, 1882, to Miss Rachel A. Logan, of York County. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., York Lodge, No. 35. Is also proprietor of the Waco Livery Stable.
GEORGE W. SHRECK, wagon manufactory and blacksmith shop, was born in Harrison County, Ind., August 6, 1857. He learned the trade in his native State, and afterward worked on the farm with his parents and at his trade until July, 1878. He then came to Waco, Neb., and started a blacksmith shop in partnership with H. C. Smith; this firm continuing till November, 1881, when Mr. Shreck bought out his partner. He was married in April, 1878, in Indiana, to Miss Miranda Milton, of that State, who died September 14, 1879, at Waco. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church there.
HERMAN C. SMITH of the firm of Smith & Einsel, dealers in lumber and farm machinery, came to Nebraska in 1870, and took up a homestead in York County, Section 28, Town 12, Range 1 west, Stewart Precinct. In the spring following he moved his family from Whiteside County, Ill., on to his claim, and he immediately opened a blacksmith shop, the first in the precinct. When the village of Waco was started, in 1878, he moved there and continued his former occupation till 1881, when he embarked in his present business. He was born in Racine County, Wis., in 1846. Here he learned his trade, and in 1864 enlisted in the Thirty-ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company D, 100-day call, after which he re-enlisted in the Forty-eighth Wisconsin, serving until 1866, when he returned to his native State. He is a member of the G. A. R., Dick Yates Post, No. 41. John H. Einsel, of the above firm, was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, December 7, 1852. He moved to Tippecanoe County, Ind., in 1862, where he lived until 1878, then came to York, Neb., and in January, 1881, moved to Waco, and in company with his brother, E. D., commenced dealing in farm machinery. This they continued until November, 1881, when the present firm was established. Mr. Smith also owns a farm of 240 acres.
GALEN J. RICHMOND, of the firm of Inbody & Richmond, blacksmiths, came to Nebraska in February, 1870, locating at Seward, where he formed a co-partnership with Samuel Stevenson, and opened the first blacksmith shop in the town. This he ran till August, 1880, and in the same month of 1881 established himself at Waco. He was born in Lewis County, N. Y., in 1841, but his parents removed to Cleveland, Ohio, when he was only two years old. In April, 1861, he enlisted in the first three-months' call of the rebellion in the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and in the fall of the same year re-enlisted in the Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, Company L, and was afterward transferred to the Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery, and veteranized in that till January 5, 1866. At the close of the war he went to Jasper County Iowa, where he was married in 1868, to Miss Martha E. Springer, of that State. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M., Seward Lodge, No. 38.
ROBERT P. STRICKLER, drug store, came to Nebraska in June, 1872; took up a homestead in York County, on Section 10, Town 11, Range 1 west, Stewart Precinct, where he lived, improving his land till March, 1880, which was the date of his starting in the drug trade at Waco. He was born in Fayette County, Pa., September 21, 1839, subsequently coming to Illinois. He was a soldier in the late war, enlisting in the Sixteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company B. Entered the army in May, 1861, and served until the close of the rebellion, when he returned to Illinois, and was there married in March, 1864, to Sarah M. Bennett, who was born in Clarke County, Ind. He remained in that State until 1872, engaged in farming and merchandising. He is a charter member of the Dick Yates Post, No. 41, G. A. R., and belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church at Waco.
North Blue Precinct is situated in the northwest corner of the county. The north fork of the Blue courses through the precinct, and other minor streams furnish abundant facilities for obtaining pure water. J. W. Kingston is honored as the first settler in the precinct. He arrived in the spring of 1870 and took up a homestead claim on Section 8, Town 12, Range 4. Along the banks of the Blue, a few weeks later, he was joined by Samuel Cline and Philanda Church, who located on the same section. During the summer of 1871, Jordan Denny and V. Dich settled on Section 4, and A. C. Eberhart on Section 8. In the spring of 1871 the south part of the precinct was settled. R. M. Lytle, John Lett, A. M. Daucker and William Cross arrived at the same time, and each took up a claim on Section 32. About the same time George Myers and Thomas Mitchell took up their claims on Section 2. G. W. Bowers and A. J. Bowers on Section 8, Albert and Edward Eastman on Section 6, Riley Myers and James Eads on Section 2. In 1872 a large immigration of settlers came into the precinct and took up all the Government land. The first school district was organized in the south part of the precinct during the summer of 1872. Robert Lytle was elected Director, A. M. Daucker, Moderator, and William Cross, Treasurer. During the summer of 1873, the first school was taught, a three months' term, by Miss Carrie Lorence, at the house of William Cross. Arborville was laid out as a town in 1874, by C. S. Harrison. It contains one general merchandise store, a blacksmith shop and post-office. The Methodist Episcopal Society organized in 1872. The Congregational Church, at Arborville, was organized in 1873, at the residence of W. S. Hill, by the Rev. Mr. Harmon, who became the first pastor. Services were held in the schoolhouse up to the year 1879, at which time the church building was completed. The society of the Presbyterian Church was organized April 23, 1874, by the Rev. Mr. Robison, Synodical Missionary, assisted by the Rev. T. K. Hedges. William Greer and John Lett, were elected elders, and Mr. Hedges was called as pastor. His labors cover a period of one year, and were continued by Rev. Mr. Powell for two years. From 1877 until 1880 the church was without a pastor. Rev. B. F. Sharpe, the present incumbent, was called in 1880. The United Brethren organized their society in 1875, and erected a church building in 1877. Samuel Cline built the first frame house in the precinct in 1872.
Henderson Precinct lies in the rich and fertile valley of the Blue River, in the southwest corner of the county. It receives its name from David Henderson, who in company with his son John Henderson, Randolph Fairbank and Daniel George, made the firstr settlements on the Blue River, July 2, 1866. David Henderson settled on Section 20 and the others on Section 38. In 1867 but two settlers arrived. Alexander Lowry located on Section 28 and Charles White on Section 30. The spring of 1868 brought Edward Copsey and Thomas M. Bearse, who established themselves on Section 28, and in November, 1869, Rollen Sheppard settled on the same section, purchasing the claim of Alexander Lowry. In the spring of 1870 the first claims were taken up on the prairie. Orlando Darling was the first to arrive, locating on Section 26, and shortly after was followed by the following settlers who took up their claims in the following order;l John Staller, J. A. Larkins, Section 22; M. Riggs and Mr. McCarty, Section 14; E. Higby, William Armstrong, F. Leaming, Martin Suliver and George Allen, on Section 10; William Consor, Section 22; George Russell, George Williams, John Moore, Section 18; Henry Fay, N. H. Hopkins, Fred Hemper, James Addis, on Section 8. In 1872 this precinct settled very rapidly and all the land was taken up.
The first school established was a subscription school held in the summer of 1868 in a log building owned by Edward Copsey, taught by Mrs. Jarvis Chaffee. In the summer of 1869 the school was again opened in the old log building under the instruction of Mrs. Chaffee. From 1870 to the spring of 1876 the residence of Thomas Bearse was utilized for school purposes. On the third of April, 1876 the organization of the district was perfected with the following officials: Daniel George, Director; Thomas Bearse, Moderator; Randolph Fairbank, Treasurer. A frame school bulding was immediately erected and school opened under public instruction during the ensuing summer. Among the early teachers in this district the names of Miss Nellie Henderson, W. W. Elliott, and O. Darling will be remembered with pleasure by both parent and pupil.
Rev. Mr. Colwell preached the first sermon in Henderson Precinct at the residence of David Henderson in 1868, journeying all the way from Saline County to spred the good news of the gospel, and among the early missonaries who labored in this precinct are the Rev. Mr. Austin and Rev. Henry Spafford. No church organization was perfected until the year 1876. During the fall Rev. William F. Hill organized the Congregational Church society at the school house in District No. 11. The Methodist Episcopal Church also organized its first class about the same time under the instruction of Rev. William Blackwell, and at the Darling school house, the United Brethren Church society was organized by Rev. Mr. Austin; at the Ellis school house in the south part of the precinct, Rev. Mr. Austin organized a second society of the United Brethren Church. This society erected its church building in 1879.
HENRY C. HECHT, farmer, Section 17, Town 9, Range 3 west, P.O. York, came to Nebraska in April, 1871, took a homestead on Section 20, which consisted originally of eighty acres but by purchase has increased it to 160 acres, also leases 120 acres more, with a view of purchasing when put on the market. Of this 208 acres are under cultivation, thirty-five acres being fenced for pasture; has also six acres of grove, and one and one-half acres of fruit trees and a good frame residence, and a windmill to keep a steady stream of cool fresh water flowing to quench the thirst of his stock. Mr. Hecht has been unfortunate since coming to this State, having lost all of his household goods by fire. He was born in Germany, December 17, 1837, and emigrated to the United States with his parents, in October, 1844, landing in Baltimore, Md. He located in Frederick County in what is known as Middletown Valley, within three miles of Middletown. After living there four years they removed to Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1849, remaining until 1851, then removed to Richland County, and finally settled down in Ashland County, Ohio, until the year 1862. Henry C. lived with his parents until his twentieth year on a farm, tilling the soil for a living, after which he entered the business world to battle for himself, went to Stark County, where he was married to Miss Christina McQuait, on the morning of February 2, at six o'clock, 1858, calling the minister from his couch of repose at that hour for the purpose of taking the early train for the West. Having been convinced that farming in the East did not pay he returned to the neighborhood of his wife's previous home, remaining there about seven months. He then returned to within five miles of his former home, now the home of his parents and engaged with the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago R.R. Co., in the year 1860, as night watchman at a prominent station, where he came near losing his life, being shot at from the rear by a supposed friend, the friend having robbed the Railroad Company's safe of $1,000. After remaining in the employ of the railroad company for about two years went to Wayne County, in the same State, and remained two years, part of the time on a farm and part of the time in a grist mill at Mohickinville, running a steam engine for Joseph Bemenderfer, an uncle of his wife's. In 1864 the subject of this sketch moved to Clinton County, Mich., and bought a farm of eighty acres in the woods paying $200 down, and the remaining $200 in debt, remained there seven years working hard clearing land, part of the time for himself and part of the time for others, to get something for himself and family, a great deal of the time shaking with ague. During this time of struggle his $200 debt increased to $850. He then sold out and located at his present home in York County. He borrowed $80, on which to live until he could raise a crop. To-day he is a prosperous farmer. He was school Director during the whole seven years that he resided in Michigan, and for eight years of the time of his residence in this State, being re-elected this spring for another term of three years. Politically he has been a Republican, but voted for Gen. Weaver, the Greenback candidate at the last Presidential election; he was himself a candidate as Representative in the State Legislature, and was this year elected Assessor of his precinct. Henry C. and Christiana Hect are the parents of five children, Issac H., William H., Truly C., Harry E., and a son up to this time unnamed.
CALVIN V. KEITH, farmer and stockraiser, Section 12, Township 9, Range 4 west, P.O. York. Was born in Lorain County, Ohio, July 12, 1847. His parents were Martin H. and Rachel B. Keith, the former of Scotch extraction and the latter, whose maiden name was Bouton, of old New England stock. He lived on a farm with his parents, who gave him a good practical education, and he was a student at Oberlin College for one year. In 1863 he entered the army, enlisting in Company F, of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and after serving seventeen months was discharged on account of ill-health contracted in the war. He then returned to Ohio, and as soon as his health would permit, commenced farming on the old homestead. Mr. K. married September 27, 1865, Miss Abbie Frisbee of Ohio, and two years subsequent to this, came to Iowa, but remained only a short time. Then returned to Ohio and in the spring of 1872 emigrated to Nebraska and took up a homestead. He now has a well improved farm of 160 acres of which 124 is under plow and the balance fenced for pasture. He has served as Justice of the Peace of Henderson Precinct for four years, and has always worked for the public welfare of the town and county.
SAMUEL S. LINT, farmer, Section 18, Town 9, Range 3 west, P.O. Grafton, Fillmore County. Is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Fayette County March 27, 1840. Lived on a farm with his parents till twenty-two years of age, when he started to travel through the north and northwestern States to examine the country. This he continued for three years, following various occupations, and then returned to Pennsylvania. He only stayed there a short time however. Then removed to Preston County, W. Va. In 1869 came to Marshall County, Ill., and pursued farming. In the fall of 1874, came west to this State locating on the place where he now lives and owns 200 acres of land. He has 120 of it under plow, and has excellent improvements. he has served two terms as constable of his precinct. Mr. Lint was married December 30, 1862, in Pennsylvania, to Miss Volinda Show. They have four children living, John W., Benjamin C., Isaac B. and Julia A.
EDWIN MERRILL, farmer, Section 12, Town 9, Range 4 west, P.O. York. Was originally from Maine. Was born in Somerset County July 4, 1816. Followed farming in his native State until 1846, then moved west to La Porte, Ind., where he continued his former occupation, and in the spring of 1871 emigrated to Nebraska, homesteaded some land, and now in company with his son owns 240 acres, of which 210 are under cultivation. Mr. M. was married in Maine in 1840 to Miss Sarah Simons, also born in that State, who died in 1860, leaving one son, Osson V.
JESSE O. PAYNE, farmer and stockraiser, Section 20, Town 9, Range 3 west, P.O. York. Came to Nebraska in the fall of 1872 and homesteaded 160 acres of the place where he now lives. This consists of 240 acres of which 200 is under cultivation and the rest pasture for his stock. Of this he keeps nine horses. forty head of cattle and fifty swine. Jess O. was born September 12, 1835, in Pickaway County, Ohio. In 1855 he came to Iowa, his occupation that of a farmer. He became a soldier in the late war, in 1862, volunterring in the Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry, Company G, and served till the close of the rebellion in all the engagements of his regiment. Then returned to Iowa, where he ws married in 1866 to Miss Elizabeth Evans. Mr. Payne is a member of Robert Anderson Post, No. 32, of the G. A. R.
GEORGE C. PURSEL, farmer, Section 24, Town 9, Range 4 west, P.O. Grafton, Fillmore County. Located on the above land in April, 1871, which he homesteaded. He now has 120 acres under cultivation, but owns 160, the original homestead containing eighty. He has served two terms as Justice of the Peace of his precinct, and is president of the Farmers' Alliance in the same. Is also one of the board of school directors of District No. 80. He was born in Hunterdon County, N. J., January 11, 1840. Son of Jacob and Mary Pursel, nee Cole, who removed to Marshall County, Ill., in 1857. George C. received a common school education and worked on a farm with his father till nineteen years of age. He then commenced working out by the month, and in two years' time saved enough from his earnings to purchase a team. Then began farming for himself, and also followed the carpenter's trade. He was married to Sarah Brumsey in Marshall County, Ill., in 1867.
GEORGE H. ROBY, farmer, Section 24, Town 9, Range 4 west P.O. Grafton, Fillmore County. Was born in Herkimer County, N. Y., February 17, 1845. His parents were Jacob W. and Esther C. Roby. The former of Welsh and the latter of German descent, who settled in Dodge County, Wis., in 1853. After receiving a common school education, he entered the State University at Madison in 1863, where he was a student for two terms. In September, 1864, he enlisted in the rebellion with the First Wisconsin Cavalry, Company E, and served until the close of the same. Then returned home and commenced farming, and on the 29th of January, 1867, was married in Dodge County, Wis., to Miss Mary A. Underwood, formerly from New York State. They have five children, Carrie A., Cecile A., Iva L., Edwin D. and Jacob W.
Houston Precinct is situated in the northern tier of precincts. It is watered by Lincoln Creek, one of the more important tributaties of the Blue. Columbus C. Smith is the pioneer settler, who arrived in the spring of 1867, and moored his "prairie schooner" on the banks of Lincoln Creek, on Section 8, Township 11, Range 3. He was a solitary settler for a short time only, for a few weeks later he was joined by Messrs. Johnson and Coon, who took up their claims on the same section. In the spring of 1869, John Farris, Thomas Eades, John Rowsdale and John H. Parker settled on Section 10. The first to arrive in 1870 was Andrew Houston, from whom the precinct receives its name. He made settlement on Section 8, and shortly after was followed by Peter Anderson, who located on the same section. D. P. Allen on Section 30, Hon. William H. Keckley on Section 20, made the first claims in 1871. During this year the following settlers took up claims in the precinct: R. B. Stevens, Section 30; James Dooley and William Moore on Section 32; Peter Peterson, Fred Shondoreff and John Keckley on Section 6; S. W. Sidwell, Section 20; Thomas B. Kohn, S. L. Shiley and S. W. Sidwell, Section 24, and Henry Hartwell also on Section 24. In 1872, the general immigration that came into the county took up all the Government land that remained.
In 1872, the Rev. George H. Carroll, District Missionary of the Board of Home Missions for Western Iowa, organized a Presbyterian Church society in the precinct, which was the first organization perfected. The society has never erected a church building, and its pulpit is supplied by missionary work. The Methodist Episcopal Church organized its first class in the spring of 1874. The first service was held at the pioneer residence of Hon. William H. Keckley. The first members were Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Castle, Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Sidwell, Mrs. John Combs, Mrs. R. B. Stevens.
It was organized by Rev. Mr. Streeter, who was called as the first pastor, remaining five months. His successor was the Rev. D. C. Brown, who presided over the church for two years, and was in turn succeeded by Rev. J. Andrus, who was in charge of the church for one year. Rev. G. W. Confer was the next pastor appointed to this work and at the end of the conference year was succeeded by J. A. Larkin. Rev. H. Harmon was appointed in 1880, and was also in charge one year. The present pastor, Rev. Henry Chapin, of York, commenced his labors in 1881.
DERRICK P. ALLEN, farmer, Section 30, Township 12, Range 2, west, P. O. York, located in Nebraska in the fall of 1871, homesteading the land upon which he now lives, which was a soldier's claim of 160 acres. This he has nicely improved with forest trees of various kinds, and a young orchard of choice fruit trees, a row of the former nearly surrounding his farm, of which 145 acres are under cultivation. The subject of this sketch was born in Niagara County, N. Y., July 2, 1843. He is the son of Jacob and Juliett Allen, nee Porter. His father died when he was but three years of age, leaving his family in moderate circumstances, there being six children; but when his mother died he was thrown upon his own resources at the age of ten years. He went to Michigan with his eldest sister, where he was employed at farming till the breaking out of the Rebellion. In April, 1861, he enlisted with Company I, of the Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served until the fall of 1863, then veteranized in the same regiment until June 25, 1864. On this date, while in front of Petersburgh, he received what was supposed at that time to be a mortal wound in the right lung, and from which he has not fully recovered at this writing. He was discharged January 28, 1865, and then returned to Michigan, and embarked as a merchant, following this until his removal to Nebraska. He is a member of the G. A. R., Robert Anderson Post, No. 32. He was married in Michigan, February 20, 1866 to Miss Julia F. Miller, of New York, by whom he has four children,--Ada M., Homer W., George B. and Arthur D. Mrs. Allen is an original member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Houston Precinct.
JAMES C. CATHCART, farmer, Section 34, Township 12, Range 3, west, P. O. York, was a settler in Nebraska as early as 1865. Lived first in Nemaha County where he worked at various occupations, and in the spring of 1871 moved to York County and homesteaded the above place. Owns eighty acres, all under cultivation, and was the first settler on the divide lines west of Lincoln Creek. James C. is a native of Jefferson County, Pa., born November 1, 1849. He is the son of James C. and Mary Cathcart, nee Williams, who emigrated to Rock Island County, Ill., in 1853. Here he received but a limited education, his mother dying when he was but a small boy. Mr. C. married, March 4, 1870, Miss Abigail Brown, who died November 12 of the same year. In 1874 he married his present wife, Hannah J. Brown, sister of the above. They are members of the United Brethren Church, Houston Precinct, and have two children, Artemus B. and Delia Viola.
JAMES D. HOUSTON, farmer, Section 8, Township 11, Range 2, west, P. O. York, is a native of Scotland, born in Perthshire, June 20, 1841. His parents were Andrew and Emily Houston, both deceased, who emigrated to the United States in August, 1870, locating in Nebraska, where his father homesteaded the land described above, and James took a claim adjacent to this. He now owns 400 acres of good farm land, 200 under cultivation and good improvements. Mr. H. was married in England in 1867 to Miss Mary Lidington, born there. They are members of the Episcopal Church society, York, and are the parents of seven children--James, William B., Andrew, Kate L., Ritchie, George and John E. The first two were born in England. Mr. H. has served as Assessor of Houston Precinct a number of terms. His father, Andrew Houston, was a gentleman highly educated in the first schools of Scotland, and from him Houston Precinct derives its name. When a vacancy occurred in the first Board of County Commissioners, owing to S. V. Moore being elected Representative from York County, A. Houston was appointed to fill the said vacancy.
WILLIAM H. KECKLEY, farmer, Section 20, Town 12, Range 2 west, P. O. York, was born in Frederick County, Virginia, Nov. 8, 1818. His parents were Jonathan and Mary Keckley, nee Dyoson, the former of German and French, and the latter of Irish descent. They changed their place of abode to Muskingum County, Ohio, when William H. was 13 years old, and here his father died in 1830, leaving a widow and eight children in limited circumstances. William H. had received some education but on the death of his father, he, being the eldest in the family, was obliged to go to work and help maintain the rest. In 1842 he was married to Miss Margaret E. Hodges, a native of Maryland. In 1848 his mother died, and two years subsequently he left Ohio and came westward to Wapello Co., Iowa. In 1862 he enlisted in the Twenty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company E, but was taken sick, which prevented him from being sworn in. After recovering, he enlisted in the same year with Company E, Thirty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, known during the war as the Gray Beard regiment. He served to the close of the war, and then returned to Iowa and resumed farming. In 1869 he moved to Polk County, Mo., and in the fall of the year following came to Nebraska, and took up a homestead where he now lives. He owns 240 acres, of which 160 are under a high state of cultivation. His residence is surrounded with a beautiful grove of trees of various kinds, and this, in connection with other improvements, makes it one of the model farms of York County. In 1879, Mr. K. represented York County in the legislature. For six years he has been chairman of the York County Central Committee. He has served as Judge of Election in Houston Precinct seven years. He is a charter member of York Lodge, No. 35, I. O. O. F. He belongs to the G. A. R., Robert Anderson Post, No. 32. His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and his father in the war of 1812.
JOSEPH W. McCOUGHEY, farmer and stock raiser, Section 26, Town 12, Range 3 west, P. O. York, came to Nebraska in the fall of 1872, and took up a homestead of 160 acres. He now has it all under cultivation, with 14 acres of lawn grass. He also has a grove containing eight acres of his own planting, and a fine young orchard. He was born in Fulton County, Ill., December 6, 1842, the son of Wilson and Margarett McCoughey, who were formerly from Ohio, and among the early settlers in Illinois. Joseph's boyhood was spent on a farm, part of the time being devoted to schooling, and in the fall of 1861, he became a soldier of the rebellion enlisting with Company F of the Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He served three years and two months, being in all the principal engagements of his regiment, and was wounded at the battle of Shiloh through the right thigh. He also received a slight wound in the head, which disabled him for active service for four months. Mr. McCoughey was married December 6, 1868, in Illinois, to Miss Minnesota Talbot, formerly from Ohio, who died May 8, 1879, leaving three children; Wilson, Maud, and Wilbur. He was a charter member of York Lodge, No. 56, F. & A. M.
JOHN ROMSDAL, farmer and stock raiser, Section 10, Town 11, Range 3 west, P. O. York, was born in Norway, near Hamerfest, June 13, 1845, son of Ole and Joron Romsdal, nee Joakem, who died in her native country in 1860. John R. was married in 1863 to Miss Mary Donalson, and three years later started for the United States, accompanied by his father, wife and son, Jacob. While on the ocean his father died from disease contracted on shipboard, and was cast into a watery grave. His wife also gave birth to a daughter, and owing to the circumstances of being born aboard the ship, they named her Olena Atlantic. Arriving here he located in Houghton County, Mich., and worked in the copper mines, which occupation he had followed in Norway. In 1868 he moved his family to Chicago, and then took a trip to Montana, where he worked in the mines till the spring of 1870. Then returned to Chicago and brought his family to Nebraska, and homesteaded where he now lives. Owns 240 acres, 110 under cultivation, and was among the first settlers in Houston Precinct. Mr. R. and wife are members of the United Brethren Church society, Houston Precinct. In addition to the two children already mentioned, they have six others: Rosa A., Philip M., Eliza M., Frederick, Charles O. and Mary E.