Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Nuckolls County
Produced by Vicky Drake and Loreta J Walker (nee Coe).


Early History | First Things | Pioneer Reminiscences
Indian Troubles

Organization | County Affairs | Railroads, etc.
Superior:  Local Matters | Mills | Biographical Sketches
Nelson:  Churches | Biographical Sketches

Hardy:   Biographical Sketches
Biographical Sketches: Elk Precinct

Biographical Sketches: Sherman Precinct | Liberty Precinct
Bohnart Precinct | Alban Precinct | Nora Precinct



HON. S. T. CALDWELL, farmer and stock dealer, P. O. Edgar, was born in Salem, Jersey Co., Ill., in 1845, remaining there seven years; thence to Macoupin County, where he remained twelve years, then back to Jersey County five years, then to Montgomery County, where he was engaged in running a steam flouring mill until 1872; then came to Nebraska, and located in Nuckolls County, and took a homestead on Section 4, Town 4, Range 6, the same year the railroad was built into Edgar, and Mr. Caldwell helped survey the town and put up the first building, and put in a stock of flour, bacon and potatoes, and sold twenty-three cases of goods, amounting to $9,000, then put up a larger building, and continued to handle goods until 1880; the last year's trade was $46,000 on merchandise, and $20,000 on machinery, besides buying and shipping 100 cars of stock, superintending his mammoth farm, which has steadily increased until he has 480 acres added to his homestead, besides a stock range of 300 acres on the Blue River, on Section 20, Town 4, Range 6, is raising from fifty to seventy-five head of cattle to turn off annually besides what he is buying and feeding; also raises from 200 to 250 hogs each year; has been engaged in buying and shipping stock all the time he has been in the State. In 1873, bought stock in Kansas, which he drove seventy-three miles to a shipping point; the first year shipped about fifteen cows, and has increased so he is shipping from 100 to 125 cows per annum now; is also engaged in buying grain in Edgar, and is the heaviest dealer in stock in the place. His farm is but two miles from Edgar; there are 960 acres under the plow; was elected to the State Legislature in 1876 for one term; was married in 1869, at Zanesville, Montgomery Co., Ill., to Miss Mary J. Haynes, of that place. They have five children, viz., Thomas E., J. H., J. G., Charles E., Luella M.; is a member of Edgar Lodge, No. 67, A., F. & A. M. Edgar Chapter, No. 22.

GEORGE A. FELTON, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Ox Bow, was born in Franklin County, Vt., in 1850. At the age of fifteen, went to Ohio, where he remained five years. Then to Illinois and Iowa, remaining about one year in the two States. Then started to Nebraska with an ox team, and arrived in Nuckolls County in 1871. Took a homestead on Section 32, Town 4, Range 6, of eighty acres. Has since added two hundred and forty acres, and has three hundred and twenty acres in the old homestead lying on Ox Bow Creek. Has about twenty five acres of timber, and, with the running water, makes a fine stock farm. Has one hundred and forty-five acres under the plow, the balance for hay and pasture. Also owns one hundred and sixty acres on Section 28, Town 4, Range 7, with sixty-five acres improved. Has gone into stock-raising quite extensively in the last few years. Has good buildings, fences and fruit. Mr. Felton has made the most he has in Nebraska. Was one of the early settles on Ox Bow Creek, and his property consisted of one yoke of cattle when he came here, thus showing what a man can do in Nebraska, who is willing to work for a few years. The first bundle of wheat was bound on his place in the Ox Bow settlement. Was married in 1874, at Ox Bow, to Miss Anna Littrel, of that place. They have four children--Emery E., Allie A., Zella Z, Sarah E. Mr. Felton and wife are members of the Christian Church.

HON. CHARLES KLINGERMAN farmer, P. O. Edgar, was born in Philadelphia, Penn., 1843. In 1854, went to St. Joseph County, Mich., remaining there until 1860, working at carpenter work. In 1861, enlisted in Company K, Thirtieth Indiana Infantry, serving three years. Was then promoted to Assistant Quartermaster, and was stationed at Nashville one year. Then went back to Michigan, and from there to Minnesota, locating at Rochester, Olmsted County, and was engaged in the lumber trade until 1873. Then went to Wyoming and worked at contracting and building, doing a very large business, locating at Laramie, and remaining there until 1878, and built the greater part of the city. In 1877, was elected to the Territorial Legislature of Wyoming. Was a member of the City Council the most of the time while at Laramie. Then came to Nebraska and bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on Section 5, Town 4, Range 6, and one hundred and sixty acres on Section 9, and has the greater portion of the two places improved. Has put up good buildings, planted all kinds of fruit and forest trees, and is working into stock-raising, and has a good many hogs and quite a large herd of cattle. Is four miles from Edgar. Is also engaged in contracting and building. Was married in 1870, at Des Moines, Iowa, to Ella Janeson of that place. They have four children, viz.: Jennie, Charley, Walter and Ralph. Is a member of Edgar Lodge, No 67, A., F. & A. M.

J. A. ROBERTS, one of the proprietors of Blue Bluff Mills, was born in Darke County, Ohio, 1844. IN 1856, emigrated to Iowa, locating in Clarke county, remaining there the most of the time until 1871. In 1862, enlisted in company D, Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry, serving three years. was in all the engagements of his regiment. In 1871, came to Nebraska and took a homestead on Section 6, Town 3, Range 6, which he improved and owned until 1879. In 1876, in company with Mr. Aikens, rented the Blue Bluff Flouring-Mills, which they ran nearly two years. Then purchased a half-interest in a mill at Amboy, which he ran until 1881, then sold and bought an interest in the Blue Bluff Mills. The mills are 36X48 feet, with two run of wheat buhrs and one for corn. The capacity is about fourteen bushels per hour for each run of stone. The dam has a seven-foot fall, and the power is strong enough to run about as much again machinery. There is a stone quarry in connection with the mill. Was married in 1867, in Clarke County, Iowa, to Miss Stansbury, They have three children, viz.: Clara, Henry and Maggie.

A. WIGGINS, farmer and stock-raiser, was born in Washington County, N. Y., 1844. In 1846 his parents moved to Cass County, Mich., where he remained until 1871. Then came to Nebraska and took the first homestead in Sherman Precinct. Has added eighty acres to the place, and has one hundred and eight acres improved. Had a fine grove of forest trees planted soon after he came there. Has planted a variety of fruit trees, and has his place nicely improved. His place is but five miles from Edgar, and when he first settled there, was forty miles from a store, and the old Government trail to California crossed his farm. Was married in 1876 , in Cass County, Mich. to Miss Josephine Taft. They have four children, viz.: George E., Charley, Mary and James.


JAMES BEACHAM, farmer, P. O. Fairfield, was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1830. In 1868, emigrated to America, locating in Morristown, N. J., remaining there about one ;year, then emigrated to Nebraska, reaching Nebraska City in 1869. The following year, came to Nuckolls County, and took a homestead on Section 4, Town 3, Range 8, which he improved and lived on for eleven years. The homestead lies on Liberty Creek. Set out three acres of timber and planted fruit and made other improvements. Mr. Beacham is the oldest settler who located in the county and remained here, and was the first County Clerk elected in the county. In 1876, took a timber claim on Section 22, Town 4, Range 7, and in 1880 moved on this claim; has fifteen acres of timber planted with 2,700 forest trees to the acre, of which he has a large variety; also peach, apple, and cherry trees, and grape-vines. Mr. Beacham was married in 1851, in England, to Miss Hannah Brown. They had four children--Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah and Charlotte. His wife died in 1859. He was married again, in 1861, to Miss Louise Howe. He is a member of the I. O. O. F.; was a member twenty-one years in England; also, a member of Episcopal Church.

JAMES CRAWFORD was born in Decatur County, Ind., March 15, 1836. In 1841, his parents moved to Missouri, where he remained thirteen years. He then returned to Decatur County, Ind., where he remained eight years. During this time, he was married to Miss Levina B. Marsh. In 1860, they moved to McLean County, Ill. In 1862, he enlisted in Company I, of the Ninety-fourth Illinois Infantry; served three years. In 1873, moved to Nuckolls County, Neb., took a homestead of 160 acres on Section 20, Town 4, Range 7; has 127 acres under cultivation; has planted a grove of forest trees and some fruit trees, and is engaged in farming. In 1875, he was elected County Commissioner, and served for three years. On April 5, 1881, his wife died, leaving five children--Anna J., Antrim R., Arthur B., Alice G., and Andy L.

J. B. NESBITT, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Nelson, was born in Stark County, Ohio, in 1840, and was brought up on a farm until fourteen year of age, then emigrated to Iowa and located in Mahaska County. In 1861, enlisted in the Twelfth Illinois Infantry, serving three years; was then commissioned as First Lieutenant in the One Hundred and First United States Colored Regiment, serving for some time on the staff of Gen. Clinton B. Fisk, remaining in the service until January, 1866; then located at Muscatine, Iowa, working at carpentering, removing to Montgomery County in the fall of 1879, following his trade and teaching until 1873, then came to Nebraska and took a homestead on Section 24, Town 4, Range 7, Nuckolls County; then commenced work at his trade in company with J. M. Cook, working at the business about three years; put up a hotel, court house, store and other buildings in Nelson, the first season out here, earning enough in this way to improve his place some and put up a house; has 120 acres of his land improved, and has planted a nice little orchard of apple and peach trees, besides cherries, plums and other small fruits. Mr. Nesbitt was the first acting Superintendent of Public Instruction, serving two terms of two years each, and did some good work in getting the schools in good working order. There were nineteen school districts when he came into office, which were increased by thirty-one when he went out. Mr. Nesbitt really had the whole organization to do, and did it to the satisfaction of the people, and has also served as Deputy Clerk and Deputy Treasurer at different times. Was married, in 1868, at Muscatine, Iowa, to Miss E. W. Lee, of that place. They have five children--Ely, Paul, Rose, Maud, and Charlie. He is a member of the G. A. R., and of the Baptist Church.

C. M. WOODWARD, farmer, P. O. Fairfield, was born in Madison County, N. Y., in 1819. At the age of six years, his parents moved to Genesee County, where he remained until about twenty-one years of age; thence to Chautauqua County, locating at Jamestown, and learned the tanner's trade, remaining there eight years; thence to Cattaraugus County, remaining a number of years. He emigrated West, and located in Montcalm County, Mich., where he engaged in farming until 1874; was Postmaster there eight years; came to Nebraska that year and locating in Nuckolls County; took a homestead on Section 10, Town 4, Range 7. He has his place nicely improved and has five sons, who took claims close to him. Was among the early settlers in Liberty Precinct. Is extensively engaged in raising hogs. Mr. Woodward has devoted a great part of his time to the study of law, and has practiced some since he came to Nebraska. He was married, in 1838, to Miss Nancy M. Smith of Java, N. Y. They have seven children--Mary E., Calvin O, George W., Laura A., T. S., Horace G. and Frank E.


REV. B. KUPPENBENDER, Pastor of St. Stephen's Church was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1849. At the age of six years, he commenced his studies at the city of Duren, on the Rhine, taking a six years' course at that place. From there he attended the gymnasium at Lothringen, remaining there three years. Passed his examination and graduated, and then took a course to prepare himself for the ministry, completing his course in 1877. The same year, he emigrated to America, and located in St. Francis Seminary, Wisconsin, remaining there until December. Then went to Omaha, Neb., and was ordained there by Bishop James O'Connor December 31, 1877. January 11, 1878, he came to St. Stephen's and began building up the church. The church was organized in 1875, with a membership of seven. The church building was commenced in 1876, and the first service was held in September or October of that year. The first cost was $300, and since the present pastor has been there they have made from $600 to $700 worth of improvements, put up a bell, plastered and nicely furnished the house. The membership now consists of seventy-five families. They have a schoolhouse worth $450, with an average attendance of thirty pupils, under the charge of one of the Sisters. The house and goods for the priest's house are worth $1,000. The vestments for the church service were all sent from Germany in 1880, and are very fine. The church and society have been built up to their present magnitude by Father Kuppenbender, and through his efforts it will continue to grow, and the congregation should truly appreciate one who has done so much in so little time.

ENOCH OWENS, farmer, P. O. Fairfield, was born in Beaver County, Penn., in 1839. In 1848, he moved to Ohio, locating in Sciota County, remaining there until 1861; then enlisted in the Eighteenth Ohio Infantry, serving three months. In September of the same year, he enlisted in the Fifty-third Ohio Infantry, serving in Company C until August, 1865. Was wounded at the battle of Nickajack Creek and was wounded at the battle of Dallas, Ga., the ball entering his left side and coming out under the right arm. Was also taken prisoner at Camden, S. C., but succeeded in making his escape two days after. After receiving his discharge, he moved to Missouri, locating near St. Louis, where he remained until 1870. From there he came to Nebraska, and took a homestead in Thayer County. In 1873, he came to Nuckolls County, and bought 320 acres of land on Section 10, Town 4, Range 8, which he has been improving. He has 190 acres under the plow, and the farm is situated on Liberty Creek, furnishing timber for wood and shelter for his stock; also has living water. He is one of the first settlers in his precinct. Was married, in 1864, to Miss Ewings, of Jackson, Ohio. They have seven children, viz.: William D., Henry E., Minnie, Pearl, Frederick, Myrtle and Earnest. Mr. O. is a member of G. C. Oliver Post, No. 43, G. A. R., Fairfield, Neb.

J. F. SCHELL, farmer, P. O. Negunda, was born in Somerset County, Penn., in 1839. In 1845, his parents settled in Ashland County, Ohio. At an early age, he began learning the tinner's trade. In 1856, he emigrated to Iowa, locating in Iowa City. In the spring of 1861, he enlisted in Company B, First Iowa Infantry, serving three months. He was then commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, and served three years on the frontier. Was on detailed service most of the time; the first year was Post Quartermaster at Ft. Pierre, Dakota; was transferred to Ft. Sully, remaining there two years as Post Quartermaster and Commissary Sergeant. At the end of three years, was recommissioned by President Lincoln as First Lieutenant, and served in Kansas and Colorado nine months. While in Kansas, was stationed at Ft. Dodge, and was the first Adjutant of the old mud fort. After leaving the service, he went to Iowa County, Iowa, and engaged in the hardware trade, remaining seven years; thence to Nebraska, in 1872, and located in Nuckolls County, and took a homestead on Section 8, Town 4, Range 8, of 160 acres, nicely situated on a Branch of the Liberty Creek, and with several fine springs on the place, and young timber along the creek, making a very desirable place for stock-raising. He has 110 acres improved, an orchard of 100 trees, besides a fine grove of forest trees, which he has planted, and small fruits of all kinds. Mr. Schell is one of the present County Commissioners; was elected in the fall of 1881 for a term of three years. Was married, in 1865, at Iowa City, Iowa, to Miss E. B. McCandless, of that place. They have nine children--Frank, Cora, Mena, Bessie, Charley, Frederick, Joseph M., Agnes and James Garfield. He is a member of the I. O. O. F.

LOUIS SCHUMM, farmer, P. O. St. Stephens, was born in Bavaria, Germany, 1823. In 1848, emigrated to America and located at Madison, Ind., where he remained until 1851; from there to Pitt, in Bay Island; then to New York, remaining until 1854; thence to Kane County, Penn., remaining one year. In 1855, emigrated to Iowa, and engaged in farming in Cedar county, remaining eleven years; then went to Johnson County, remaining six years. In 1872, he came to Nebraska, and took a homestead on Section 5, Town 3, Range 8, on which he has since lived, adding eighty acres to the homestead, the balance in Liberty Creek, with wood and water. He was fifty miles from a blacksmith shop and post office the first year. There was a little ranch about ten miles away; but they kept mostly whisky, flour and bacon. Buffalo were plenty, and Mr. S. says if they had not been, most of the families would have starved. Mr. S. has a fine place for stock-raising, and is very extensively engaged at the same. Was married, in 1848, at Madison, Ind., to Miss Apollonia Dertenger. They have two children--Mary and Henry. The latter is at home with his father, and was married, in 1879, to Miss Mary Behnen, of Fort Madison, Iowa. They are members of the Catholic Church.


JOSEPH HUNTER, farmer, Section 7, P. O. Guide Rock, is a native of Ireland. In 1848 came with his parents to Philadelphia; they soon after came to Lake County, Ill., where he was raised. He enlisted February 11, 1864, in Company K, Twelfth Illinois Infantry, Second Division, Second Brigade and Sixteenth Army Corps; after to the Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, under command of Gen. John A. Logan. Served to the end of the war; returned to Illinois and engaged in farming. April 22, 1871, came to Webster County, took a homestead, which he afterward sold, and bought eighty acres in Guide Rock. He then formed a company and surveyed forty acres of the said eighty acres, which was laid out into town lots--making ten shares. He then sold seven of these shares, and traded the remaining three shares with a flour and feed store, which he had built, for this half-section of land, where he now resides, he paying the difference. He then removed to J. D. Burns' stock ranch, where he remained one year; he then came to this farm. He donated twenty acres to the B. & M. R. R. in order to secure the location of the depot. He now owns twenty acres in the town of Guide Rock. He built the first building in Guide Rock, which was built of logs and used as a store, which was in 1873. His farm consists of 706 acres of land, less that portion which the river runs through; he also owns five lots in Guide Rock with a store building which he built in the fall of 1880, and cost about $700. He owns a large amount of livestock; employs four teams. Married, February 23, 1876, to Miss Mary E. Hughes, of Alamakee County, Iowa. They have two children--Martha R. and Joseph W.


JONATHAN HIGGINS, farmer and stock raiser, P. O. Nora, was born in Grayson County, Va., in 1837, remaining there until sixteen years of age. In 1854, he and some brothers came West and located in Nemaha County, Neb., and put up the first cabin on Rock Creek, where they bought land. From 1860 to 1866, was freighting from Nebraska City to Denver. In 1874, built a grist-mill on Nemaha River, and was engaged in milling about three years; then engaged in raising and dealing in stock and was in this business a number of years. Served two terms as County Commissioner in Nemaha County. In 1880, he located in Nuckolls County and engaged in stock-raising; has thirty-three head of cattle and 350 hogs; has 480 acres of land, using about 200 acres for corn, the balance for hay and pasture. He was married, in 1857, to Miss Mary F. Good, of Nemaha County, Neb., They have seven children, viz., Belle, Lowell, Lillian, Ulysses G., Albert A., Emma H., Mary E. He is a member of Nelson Lodge, No. 77, A., F. & A. M.

IRA D. KEMMERER, farmer, P. O. Nora, was born in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1849. In 1855, his parents moved to Iowa, locating in Davenport, where he remained until 1870; he then came West, and located in Nuckolls County, taking a homestead in Section 24, Town 2, Range 6, and was the first settler in his precinct, and built the first dugout. There was no lumber within seventy-five miles, and it was seventy miles to a mill. There was plenty of buffalo and elk on the prairie, which furnished a part of their living. Has added 130 acres his homestead, and has 160 acres under the plow. Has a hedge of honey locust around the farm, besides other timber and fruit and grape-vines. Was elected Justice of the Peace soon after he settled in Nuckolls County, and served as County Commissioner from 1874 to 1878. In 1877, was married to Miss L. Fletcher, of Elk Precinct, Nuckolls County. They have one child--Clara. Is a member of Nelson Lodge, No. 77, A., F. & A. M. Was Postmaster at Nora Post Office from November, 1880, until May, 1882.

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