Contributed by Susan
Description: Some Old Nebraska People – Sample of Hearty Old Age in the Glorious Climate of Nebraska – Biographical Sketches of Some Persons Who Have Attained More than the Allotted Age – Ancient Humanity
Newspaper published in: Omaha, NE
Some Old Nebraska People – Sample of Hearty Old Age in the Glorious Climate of Nebraska – Biographical Sketches of Some Persons Who Have Attained More than the Allotted Age – Ancient Humanity
Nebraska is a comparatively new state and is settled mostly by young people or those of middle age, but it numbers among its inhabitants many who have attained more than the allotted time of man. Below will be found the first of a series of articles on notable instances of advanced age in this state. The biographical sketches of these patriarchs (and "matriarchs") will be found to be intensely interesting:
Richardson County (Humboldt, Neb., March 4.)
Charles Quackenbush was raised in New York and is now 75 years of age. He came to Humboldt thirteen years ago and has lived here ever since. He is a veterinarian doctor.
J. A. Duprey is 75 years old and was born in Pennsylvania. He has lived in Nebraska 22 years.
O. G. Tinker is 80 years old, born in New York, has been a citizen of Nebraska 34 years and is the founder of Humboldt.
William C. Bissell was born in Western Reserve, Ohio, June 8, 1810, was graduated at Yale College in 1835, and has followed teaching as a lifework. Came to Humboldt, Neb., in the fall of 1873, and has resided here ever since.
Daniel Chaflin is now 86 years old and resides in Humboldt, Neb. He was born in New Hampshire. He emigrated to Kentucky in early life and from thence to Missouri. He came to Nebraska in 1861 and has been a citizen of this state ever since.
Judge C. Minor is a product of the Old Dominion. He is now 76 and resides in Humboldt, Neb. He was born and raised in Charlottesville, Va., in sight of both the University of Virginia and Monticello. He received his education there and in 1833 came to Missouri, where he commenced the practice of law. In 1852, he was appointed judge of the common pleas by General Sterling Price, then governor of Missouri. He was for many sessions connected with the Missouri legislature as an officer of the senate. Judge Minor relates many interesting incidents connected with Mr. Jefferson, with home he had such an acquaintance as a boy could have with an old man. Among other incidents, he witnessed the meeting between Mr. Jefferson and General Lafayette in 1825. He is sometimes called "the walking encyclopedia of old times." The judge had all his property swept away during the ravages of the Civil War, but still holds to the spirit of the old Virginia gentleman. He came to Humboldt, Neb., in 1879. The judge is a democrat and knows how to defend the principles of his party.
Dr. R. S. Malony was born and raised in New Hampshire and was graduated at old Dartmouth College. He came west and finally settled in Belvidere, Illinois, where he acquired an extensive practice. He was several times elected representative to Congress from his district. Dr. Malony has always been a democrat, and many a hard contest has he had with the ablest men of the west. But the shadow of death is near upon him, and the tongue that once so sweetly sang, will sing no more forever. His condition has thrown a gloom over this entire community, for he is one of the few men who have lived so long in this country and is, indeed, without a single enemy, beloved by all that ever knew him. His death is looked for each day, and when he passes away we can truly say one of the best and noblest of men has gone from us forever. The doctor has been long known as the wheelhorse of democracy.
J. W. Deweese is 75 years of age. He came to Nebraska in 1864 and carried on an extensive farm for 29 years. He was elected to the first state legislature and also the last territorial legislature, where he served with honor to himself and credit to the people he so ably represented. He has been a resident of Humboldt about seven years, where he moved from his farm in this county. He is the father of eleven children living and five that have passed away; also raised two stepchildren. Has been married twice. There are something over thirty grandchildren who live to call his name blessed and nearly as many great-grandchildren. Nearly the entire family are residents of Nebraska.
Simon Quick is over 74 years of age and has been a resident of this county and city [Humboldt] for nearly twenty years.
Grandpa Nims, as he is frequently known here, has passed that period allotted to man and is one of Humboldt's first settlers.
Newton Stevens is about 80 years of age and has been a resident Humboldt for many years.
In this connection we are glad to state that time has dealt gently with the entire list and not one will ever know want.
Nuckolls County (Hardy, Neb., March 2):
In all probability we have the oldest person living in this county. Her name is Sarah Doolittle and she was born in Oneida County, New York, March 4, 1802. She had eight children, six dead and two living. She is making her home with one of them in this place. She has three grand and five great grandchildren and she was married in above county and state. Her husband died in January 1865. Her maiden name was Monger and she was a daughter of Dr. Monger, a worthy and highly esteemed citizen of that place. She used spectacles previous to her second eyesight for thirty years, but now she can read write, sew and knit without difficulty and enjoys good health at present, considering her age.
Thomas County, Thedford, Nebraska, Feb 2:
Michael Kelly, whose age is 77 years, resides at Norway, a station eight miles west of here. His post office address is Thedford. He was born in Sligo County, parish of Casel Coner, Ireland. His father was a farmer and Mr. Kelly followed the business of his father as long as he remained in Ireland. He came to America 27 years ago, during which time he followed farming and railroading at Breckenridge, Caldwell County, and Morasville (Mooresville?), Swingstone (Livingston?) County, Missouri. At the latter place he lived 21 years. He was married 50 years ago to Mary Richard, who is now 83 years old. The couple have five children, all married, named as follows: John, 48; William, 46; Mary 44; Charles, 42, and Ann, 39 years old. They have fifteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren. The old couple are residing with their son-in-law, James Melvin, and are closing their lives in contentment and happiness.
Butler County, Rising City, Neb., March 6:
Benedict Reichenbach, who resides with his sons, S. A. and J. A. Reichenbach, bankers of this place, has had an eventful life. He was born in Bern, Switzerland, eighty-two years ago. He served his time as a tanner, and followed that trade until 1873, when he retired with a competency for his old age. He served two years as a militiaman in the artillery department of Switzerland, and was in the same camp with Louis Napoleon, learning the drill side by side with him. He then went to Paris where he spent fifteen years, employed at his trade. That was during some of the most exciting times in French history. Charles X was dethroned, and many thousand of her citizens were killed in the streets of the great city. While there, he was present at the bringing of the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte from St. Helena, and witnessed the remains placed in the vault. Trade became so depressed in Paris that he returned to Switzerland, married, and went to Russia and opened a large tannery at Odessa, and pursued his business until Russia confiscated his property. He spent some time seeking redress, without success. In 1852, he came to America and settled in Bowensburg, Ohio. The first of the present year he left his Ohio home and came here to spend the remainder of his days. He is the father of six children, three are dead and three are living. He has two grandchildren. His oldest son enlisted in the war of the rebellion in 1861, in the same regiment in which Rosecrans and ex-president Hayes enlisted. He was promoted to major and detailed as quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac. He served in the regular army until 1867 when he was honorably discharged. His sons, S[amuel] A. and J[ohn] A., are honorable business men and have been bankers for a number of years in this city. Mr. Richenbach (Reichenbach?) now weighs 210 pounds and measures six feet two and one-half inches in height. He is more active than many persons are at the age of 60 years. His mind is clear and he keeps abreast with the times in all departments of knowledge.
Madison County: Madison has many fine examples of vigorous old age. Living here are men and women whose birth dates back to the opening of the present century and some of them had had a personal acquaintance with some of the greatest men and women that ever lived, while others have either taken part in or witnessed many of the most important events in this history of human government. When calling on these old people to secure the sketch of their lives appended below, it was interesting to hear them tell how cities had grown and states developed from a veritable infant, how wars had raged and the maps of countries had changed within their recollection.
One of the oldest persons in Madison County is Mrs. Glenn, who is now in her 87th year. Mrs. Glenn is a remarkably well-preserved woman. Her eyes are bright, her face full and almost destitute of wrinkles, her hair shows only a few silver threads, she is straight and walks as well as many a girl of sixteen. She takes care of her own room and assists in taking care of the house. Frequently she comes to town and her activity and happy disposition make her an object of interest. She is an American and has raised a large family.
Mrs. Martha McNall was born in St. John, New Brunswick, and is in her 87th year.
Mrs. Sophia Buettner was born in Prussia. She has seven children and seventeen grandchildren now living. She is in her 83d year, but does not appear to be more than 60. She has always enjoyed good health and today can do as much work as most women at 50.
Michael Bauch was born in Germany in 1805. He immigrated to the United States in 1850. He is the youngest of six brothers, all of whom were living a short time ago. He has seven children, forty-five grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren, many of whom are grown up men and women. He is in good health and takes care of his horse and cow and quite a large garden. His father died at the age of 75, and his mother reached the age of 86.
W. E. Carter is 82. He was born in Grayson County, Virginia, and immigrated with his parents to Indiana when an infant. He was one of the pioneers of Indiana, and has lived to see the state developed from the wilderness to a flourishing and wealthy state. Mr. Carter has eight children, thirty grandchildren, and twenty five great grandchildren, some of whom have reached their majority.
Grandfather Scheer will be 75 if he lives until his next birthday. Mr. Scheer came to America from Germany some forty years ago. He was one of the pioneers of Madison County. He has a large number of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, many of whom are among our wealthiest and most respected citizens.
Miss Ann Barnes is 75. She was born in Ireland, coming to America in 1816. Her vigor is remarkable. Her face is fresh, her cheeks rosy and her step as light as if she were only 40.
John Bohannon, aged 75, was born in Kentucky. He has a family of thirteen children. Mr. Bohannon lives on a farm which he superintends himself, taking care of the stock and doing as much work as any one of the place. He has been a life-long democrat.
This sketch would not be complete without a reference to Mr. and Mrs. Chris Martin. Mr. Martin is 67 and his wife is 62. Mr. Martin's father died last year, aged 100, and during the same year Mrs. Martin's father and mother died, aged 84 and 87, respectively. Mr. Martin was born in Ireland and Mrs. Martin in Indiana.
Other well known old people residing in the country near Madison are Mrs. Knapp, aged 77, grandfather Bohn, and Joseph Moline who are upwards of 75 years of age.
The subject of this sketch, whose maiden name was Mahala Boggs, was born in Ohio on the 15th day of December 1814, and is therefore in her 77th year. Her parents removed to Indiana, near where the present city of Richmond is located, when she was 6 years old. Here she grew to womanhood, and here, when but little past 15 years of age, she was married to Obed Swain, by whom she had three children, two of whom are still living – Cyrus Swain of this place and Mrs. Ellen Burroughs of Plymouth, Indiana. Mr. Swain died in 1836, and after nine years of widowhood, she was married to Thomas Sumner, who died in 1883, after thirty-eight years of happy wedded life. Mr. Sumner fought in the rebellion, entering the service in 1862 as major of the 87th Indiana Infantry, and was promoted to the colonelcy before he was mustered out in
1865. He died in 1883 and in the fall of the same year, his widow removed to Nebraska where she has since lived. Mrs. Sumner is a small woman, active in all her movements, and, beyond the inevitable wrinkles, gives but little evidence of her advanced age. Her life has been an uneventful one, passed on a farm as a rule. By hard work and thrift, she has accumulated considerable property, part of which consists of three farms near the town of Filley. At present she makes her home with her grandson, Orlando Swain, but spends a good deal of her time looking after her farming interests in the vicinity.
Ann Wooley was born in Wayne County, New York, September 13, 1816, and is therefore in her 76th year. Her parents were both American born, the father being of English and the mother of Scotch descent. In 1830 her parents emigrated to Illinois, going by the Erie Canal to Buffalo, thence to Detroit by steamboat where they got on board a schooner and sailed to Fort Dearborn, or what is now the city of Chicago. At that time, there were but two American families at Fort Dearborn, one a missionary and the other his son-in-law. Going out into the country a few miles, her father purchased a yoke of oxen and a wagon with which he hauled his effects about forty miles to what is now called the town of Plainfield, on Dupage River. After living at this place with her parents a number of years, the subject of this sketch was married to Silas Burd, with whom she lived until his death which occurred in 1853 while they were traveling in
Texas in hope of bettering his health. Mrs. Burd is the mother of eight children, five of whom are still alive. After the death of her husband, she continued to keep house until her children were married. Since that time, as for the last fifteen years, she has made her home with her daughter, Mrs. E. Filley, of Filley, Neb., among whose family she is an honored guest. She is an ideal "grandma" and her grandchildren love her dearly. In person, Mrs. Burt is of medium size with a pleasant voice and smile. She is a brilliant conversationalist and when she begins some of her anecdotes of pioneer life in Illinois, her listeners always hear something interesting. During the Blackhawk War, she molded bullets that in all probability sent some of the noble redmen to the happy hunting grounds. The famous chief himself has been a guest at her father's house and she remembers distinctly when he and a number of his braves stopped there for the night when on their way for their allowance. Her father was quite a prominent politician in the early days and had personal acquaintance with many of the political wire pullers of those times. Among those who used to frequent her father's place was "Long John" Wentworth, upon whose exceeding length of limb and awkwardness she yet loves to descant. Mrs. Burd is intensely American in her views and has pronounced ideas upon the restriction of immigration and many other questions of the day.
Catherine Boussman was born in Pennsylvania, September 1, 1812, of good old Pennsylvania Dutch stock. She was married to Samuel Caley in 1834, with whom she lived 54 years. Removed to Ohio in 1840 and in 1844 came to what was then the wilds of western Wisconsin. Here they lived for 34 years, coming to Kansas in 1878 and to Nebraska in 1884. Since the death of her husband in 1888, she has made her home with her son, Village Marshal L. C. Caley of Filley, Nebraska. Mrs. Caley is the mother of 12 children, seven of whom grew to manhood or womanhood and four of whom are still living. In person she is of strong frame, with eyesight and hearing remarkably well preserved for one of her great age. She can recall many interesting reminiscences of her pioneer life in Wisconsin, and lovingly cared for by her son, lives largely in the memory of her bygone days.
James Large, now residing in this village [Bassett], was born in England in 1807 on the 8th day of November, being now 84 years of age. He was married in 1828 to Miss Elizabeth Martin. Mr. Large is the father of fourteen children, twenty two grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Two of his sons served in the late war. He is at the present writing able to do most any kind of work.
William O'Hagan of Lamar precinct will be 82 years old on his next birthday, August 2, 1891. He is the father of three children and four grandchildren. He is an American and has lived in Chase County for five years. He is a hale, hearty old man and makes a full hand on a farm, having tended about 95 acres of crops last year, 40 acres of which was corn. He has had good health since coming to Chase County and says that he is going to live as long as he sees anyone else alive.
David Davidson of Valley Precinct was 76 years old last November, and has nine children and is the grandfather of 26. Mr. Davidson has been in Chase County four years and enjoys good health. He was one of the pioneer settlers of the woods of Wisconsin and has been among the settlers of the frontier ever since.
S. P. Stowell, who reached his 75th birthday February 28, was born in Stowe, Lamoille County, Vermont. Mr. Stowell is the father of eight children, five of whom are still living, three boys and two girls. He has 12 grand and two great grandchildren. His wife has been dead for several years. In the year of 1850, during the great gold excitement in California, Mr. Stowell concluded to try his fortunes in that country. Leaving home with $500 in cash, he went via the Isthmus of Panama. On reaching Foster's Bar, Cal., 40 miles above Marysville, he was $20 in debt and broke, but having three pairs of boots with him, he sold one pair for $20 and paid the bill. Mr. Stowell's health giving way, he stayed but one year in California, returning to Vermont from which place he move to Minnesota in search of gold. After two years of varying success they returned to their former home at Faribault, Minn., where he resided until five years ago, when he removed to Stuart, Neb., where he still resides. Mr. Stowell tells many interesting stories of his explorations and adventures in the wilds of frontier life. He is hale and hearty, reads the finest print without the aid of glasses and bids fair to tarry on the face of the earth for many years to come.
A[nsel] P. Ward was born in Warren County, New York, April 18, 1809, removed to Delhi, Delaware County, Ia., in 1847, where he resided until seven years ago, when he came to Stuart, Nebraska, where he has since resided. Mr. Ward has been a carpenter and joiner by occupation. He will be 82 years old next April. Mr. Ward's wife, Louisa, was born in Ida County (Oneida?), New York, April 12, 1812. They were married July 1, 1832, at Fredonia, NY. They are parents of six children, two of whom are still living. They lost two sons in the southern rebellion. Six grand, seven great, and two great-great grandchildren are now living. Their son is living in Iowa and the daughter in Idaho. Mr. and Mrs. Ward are living here by themselves and enjoying remarkably good health for people of that age.
Christopher H. Wise was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, June 23, 1814, residing there until 20 years of age, then removed to Chautauqua County, New York, from New York to Michigan, from Michigan to Missouri, from Missouri to Iowa, from Iowa to Stuart, Neb., where he has resided for the last seven years. He has had eleven children, ten still living. There are also nine grandchildren. Mr. Wise has followed farming and lumbering most of his life, but is at present engaged in the livery business at Stuart.
Sabina Robertson, born at Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, September 29, 1811, where she resided until 1857, when she removed to Minnesota, from there to Iowa, from there to Stuart, Neb., where she has resided for seven years. Is the mother of seven children, two daughters still living. Mrs. Robertson is living with her daughter, Mrs. Haight, of this place. She has eleven grand and thirteen great grand children, and is smart for a person who has passed the fourscore years of life.
Julia Ann Haight was born August 12, 1812, at Russia, Herkimer County, New York. She removed from New York to Iowa about 45 years ago, where she resided until seven years ago, when she came to Stuart, where she has since resided. Mrs. Haight is mother of seven children, only one of which is living, John Haight of this place, where she makes her home. Mrs. Haight has 11 grand and 17 great grandchildren. Mrs. Haight was 78 years old her last birthday.