In the 19th and early 20th centuries, some states "Out West" published books with short biographies about their local residents. The persons whose short bios and info appear below may or may not be your ancestors, but it's worth scanning through them to check out where your own families' relatives migrated and when.

As early family documents could have ended up in the hands of any family member, we hope you can pick up a trail by following leads from the profiles below. The full table of USGenWeb State Sites is at


Contributed by an anonymous donor "In Memory of E.E." Notes in parentheses ( ) were made by the contributor:

From: "History of the State of Nebraska", Chicago: The Western Historical Company, A.T. Andreas, Proprietor, Copyright 1882

S. O. SALISBURY, Springfield, lumber agent for Dean & Son, was born in Norway, Herkimer County, N. Y., November 21, 1852. When eighteen years of age, he came to Nebraska, locating at Greenwood, where he engaged in teaching. Was educated at Fairfield Seminary, Fairfield, N. Y. Mr. Salisbury followed teaching most of the time for six years. In 1877, he moved to Ashland, Neb., and entered into the employ of J. A. Connor, dealer in grain, assuming entire charge of the business, remaining there two years. In 1879, he engaged with Dean & Son, dealers in lumber, Phillipsburg, Kansas, taking charge of the yard. In October, 1881, Dean & Son established a lumber yard in Springfield, Neb., and Mr. Salisbury was sent to take charge of the yard. Mr. Salisbury was married in Ashland March 17, 1878, to Miss Julia Osborn, who was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, August 28, 1862. They have one child, Fred O., born January 12, 1879. [Sarpy County]

J. H. BARKER, Indian trader, is a native of Herkimer County, N. Y. In 1844 came to Washington County, Wis., with his parents; there assisted on their farm. He then followed the ocean and lakes about five years. Enlisted in 1861 in Company B, Fifth Iowa Cavalry; remained in the service till 1866. In the fall of 1867 he secured the position as clerk at Fort Randall, D. T., remained there two and one-half years, then employed at the Old White Stone and Spotted Tail Agencies two and one-half years; ran a hotel at Springfield one year; engaged in farming two years; was about eight months clerk at Fort Scully. July, 1877, came to this Agency, where he has since remained as trader, doing a business of about $18,000 a year. He was appointed Postmaster soon after coming to this agency. [Knox County]

C. E. CAMPBELL, farmer and stock raiser, Section 1, Fremont P. O. Mr. Campbell was born and reared in Oneida County, N. Y., where he was identified actively with the farming and dairying industry till 1879, when he came here and located, and has been actively connected with his present industry since. In 1872 he was married to Miss E. J. Randall, who was born and reared in Herkimer County, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell have a family of two sons, Stewart A., and Sidney Earl. [Douglas County]

S. VAN SCYOC, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 15, Fremont, P. O., Mr. VanScyoc was born and reared in Franklin County, Pa., and removed to Illinois in 1851 and located in Hancock County, where he followed his present industry till 1869, when he came here and located and has carried on his industry here since. In 1867 he married Miss Parmelia Andrews, in Iowa. She was born and reared in Herkimer County, N. Y., They have a family of one son and four daughters: May, Estelle, J---, Helen and Edna. Mr. Van Scyoc served in the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company I, from 1861 to 1864; was honorably discharged. He has been an active worker in the public and social life of his locality since coming here. [Douglas County] (Note the phonetic spelling of Van Schaick)

HENRY H. McKOON, of the firm of McKoon & Sturges, insurance agents, came to Omaha in September, 1877, and has since been engaged in his present business. He is an attorney by profession. Mr. McKoon was born in Oxford, Chenango Co., N. Y., May 12, 1840, where he lived until 1855. He then removed to Herkimer County, where he remained two years and then went to Sullivan County. In September, 1861 he enlisted in Company C, Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, known as the Ellsworth Avengers. He served three years and was in twenty-one engagements. After the war he returned to Sullivan County and remained there until he came West. He was married October 18, 1865, at Columbia, Herkimer County, N. Y. His wife was Miss De Ette Young, a native of that place. They have five children--Harold S., May, Horace C., Vernet and Elfie. Mr. McKoon is Quartermaster of the G. A. R., of Omaha. [Douglas County]

M. G. McKOON, fire insurance, is special agent of the Commercial Union Assurance Company, of London, for the State of Nebraska. He represents, locally, the Continental, of New York; Commercial Union, of England; Fire Association, of Philadelphia; German-American, of New York; Imperial and Northern, of England; National of Hartford; Orient of Hartford; Fire, of Philadelphia; Phoenix, of New York; Royal, of England; Springfield Fire and Marine, of Massachusetts. Mr. McKoon was born at Ilion, Herkimer Co., N. Y., December 24, 1831. When a young man he engaged in farming, and teaching school in winter. In 1859 he went to California where he remained about four years engaged in mining and mercantile business. He then returned to Phoenix, Oswego Co., N.Y., where his parents had settled in the meantime. In 1864 he was one of two, who raised a company of Volunteers that were mustered into the service of Company K, One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment, New York Second Volunteers, of which organization Mr. McKoon was commissioned First Lieutenant. He served with the Army of the Potomac, and was mustered out in 1865. He returned to Phoenix, Oswego County, and in 1865 went to the oil regions of Pennsylvania, and in the same year he commenced the real estate and insurance business in Union City, Pa., in which he continued until he removed to Nebraska. In 1867 he settled in Omaha and established his present business. He was married in Union City, Pa., December 26, 1866, to Miss Helen M. King, of Union City. They have an adopted son, a nephew of Mr. McKoon's, Merritt P. McKoon. Mr. McKoon is a member of the K. of P. and I. O. O. F. lodges and encampment. H has been through all the five chairs in the I. O. O. F. and was a delegate four different years. He helped to institute five lodges in the State and was a member of the Board of Education two terms. [Douglas County]

GEORGE TILDEN, M. D., physician and surgeon, came to Omaha in 1868. He graduated from the Albany Medical College in December, 1867. He is a member of the State Medical Association and the Omaha Medical Society. He was born in Warren, Herkimer Co., N. Y., July 16, 1842, and received an academical education. He was married at Omaha to Ida V. Clegg, a native of Moundsville, Va. They have one child--Howard. [Douglas County]

JAMES U. GRIDLEY, SR., residence 1911 Cuming street, stock buyer, Arrived in Nebraska in April, 1866, and located in Omaha. Has been identified in locating land and in the cattle business up to the present time. Was born in Manlius, Onondaga Co., N. Y., August 2, 1820. After leaving native place moved to Hiram Township, Portage Co., Ohio, from there to Cleveland for seven years, then held position as steward of U. S. Marine Hospital from 1860 to 1864 under Lincoln's administration, from there to Omaha. Maiden name for wife was Mary Baldwin, was married April 1, 1845, in Parkman, Geauga Co., Ohio. Wife was born in Frankfort, Herkimer Co., N. Y. Children are Flora Cornelia, Finley Payne, James U. Jr., Charles Wilson, Frank Baldwin.

JAMES U. GRIDLEY, JR., Assistant Chief Clerk, post office was born in Cleveland, Ohio, August 29, 1860, came to Omaha, Neb., in 1865 with his parents, received his schooling in Omaha, was clerk in the grocery business for a time, and was engaged with his father in the cattle business; entered the post office department in 1879, is a member of the Royal Arcanum. [Douglas County]

REV. WILLIAM E. KIMBALL, pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Is a native of Frankfort, Herkimer Co., N. Y. Enlisted in Company H, Fifteenth New York Cavalry, August 3,1863; promoted to the office of Corporal, and served until August 21, 1865. Prepared for college at Cazenovia Seminary, New York; entered Hamilton College, New York, in 1872, and graduated in June, 1876; entered Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, the same year, and graduated from that institution April 29, 1879. Took charge of the Madison Presbyterian Church July 4, 1879; was ordained September 17, 1879, by the Presbytery of Omaha; served the Creston and Humphrey churches in connection with the Madison Church for three years, and now (July, 1882), gives his whole time and service to Madison. Was married, May 10, 1881, to Miss Linda E. Brown, of Sturbridge, Mass. [Madison County]

JOHN WIGGINS, dealer in grain and live stock, and Secretary and Treasurer of the Columbus Packing Company. Member of the Masonic and Knights of Honor orders. Settled in Columbus February, 1875. Born in Herkimer County, N. Y. Married in same county to Miss Rose D. Metcalf. They have three children, whose names are John L., Rossa M. and Florence. [Platte County]

H. F. REMER, livery and feed stables, Unadilla. Born in Herkimer County, N. Y., February 17, 1837, and in 1843 moved to Grand Traverse, Mich., and left in the fall of 1860 for Livingston County, Ill., and in 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Third Illinois Cavalry for three years and was discharged, his time having expired. Was married to Miss M. J. Mannon, who was born in Washington, Pa., in 1857. Married February 10, 1870, and has five children, two sons and three daughters, all living. [Otoe County]

A. GRIBLING, harness and saddlery, one of the pioneer substantial business men of Bennet, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of New York, and was born in Herkimer County, August 28, 1841. When quite young he was deprived of his father by death. His boyhood days were spent in gaining an education in his native county. In the spring of 1862 he commenced to learn the harness and saddlery trade, at Fredonia, N. Y. In August of that year, he tendered his services to the Union cause, enlisting in Company B, One Hundred and Twelfth New York Volunteer Infantry, under Gen. Dix. Soon after being mustered in, he was put on detached service, being placed in the Seventh Massachusetts Battery. His first engagement was at Deserted House, Va., and the next Hanover Junction, near Richmond, thence to New Port and Washington. Was called to New York City during the riot, but on his arrival it had subsided, and he returned to Washington, thence to New Orleans. Was with Gen. Banks on the famous Red River expedition. On returning, camped for several months at Morganzies Bend, after which was at Little Rock, Duvall's Bluffs and Montgomery, where he rejoined his regiment. Was honorably discharged at Buffalo, N. Y., on July 1, 1864. Again located at Fredonia, N. Y., and completed his trade. In 1865, came west, and after a temporary sojourn in Iowa and Illinois, returned to New York, not to remain, however. After a few months' sojourn, he became a resident of Rockford, Ill. For a time worked as a journeyman, after which he embarked in trade, continuing to reside in that city two years. In 1868 came to Nebraska, locating four miles north of Bennet, engaging in agricultural pursuits. Continuing in that capacity until he engaged in trade in Bennet in 1872, with the exception of a short time spent in Lincoln. Mr. G. was the first and only harness and saddlery man in Bennet, and the large and lucrative trade that he has built up is prima facie evidence of his popularity. From 1876 to 1879, he was Bennet's efficient Postmaster. Upon the organizing of the Town Board, he was elected one of that body. Mr. G. is a member of the I. O. O. F., and Recording Secretary of the Nebraska Horsethief Association. In 1873, Miss Ida Graves, an estimable lady, became his wife. She is a native of New York. [Lancaster County]

JAMES E. SPENCER, conductor C., M. & St. P. R. R. Was born March 26, 1845, at Newport, Herkimer Co., York State. Left there at an early age and went to Freeport, Ill., and availed himself of an education, and in 1860 engaged as conductor with the W. M. R. R. Co., for about eleven years running from Racine, Wis., to Rock Island, Ill. In 1872 he came to Lincoln, and engaged in the hotel business for about three years, being proprietor there of the Metropolitan Hotel, which was considered to be, at that time, the only first-class hotel in the city, after which he engaged in farming, purchasing some 320 acres of land six miles west of Lincoln, in Section 22, Town 11, Range 5; held the same for a few years, raising stock, principally of the graded Short-horn breed; then sold out and went to Omaha and engaged with the U. P. R. R,. Co. as conductor; remained with them for about two years; returned to Lincoln and purchased a five-acre lot, with house and barn, situated about one mile east of post office, and is considered to have one of the prettiest residences with orchard in the city. Was married in 1874 to Miss Mary J. Wilson, of Rock Island, Ill. His wife is a graduate of the college at Davenport, Iowa. [Lancaster County]

F. A. GRAHAM, superintendent of farm at State Penitentiary. The department employs about forty men and eighty horses. The stock in addition consists of 500 head of cattle and 900 hogs. Mr. Graham is a son of Mrs. W. E. Gosper, of Lincoln, he was born in Herkimer County, N. Y., June 30, 1854, his parents moved to Illinois about 1865 and settled in Geneva. In 1871 he moved to Lincoln, Neb., attended school for a time and in 1878 engaged with W. H. B. Stout in present position. [Lancaster County]

CAPTAIN C. R. BRYANT, retired merchant, Tecumseh, was born and reared in Hartford. Conn., and entered the whaling service in 1842, at the age of seventeen. After an eventful experience of nineteen years, he retired from that business in 1861, but soon after entered the naval service in 1863, and remained in active service until the end of the war. In 1867 he came to Nebraska and settled in Tecumseh, where he has been actively identified with the industries of the place since. In 1853 he was married to Miss Jennie W. Meyers in Herkimer County, N.Y. They have a family of one son and daughter, Alonzo P. and Carmeleta, now Mrs. Powell, of New York City. [Johnson County]

WILLIAM H. TUTTLE, proprietor of the "Tuttle House," came to Nebraska in the spring of 1868, locating in Seward County, where he took up a homestead on Section 30, Town 12, Range 3; at the same time he erected a small frame house on the present site of the Commercial Hotel, Seward, which was afterwards converted into a tavern, and was the first one built in the town. In 1872 erected the "Park Hotel," same town, and this he ran till 1875, when he removed to Friendville, Saline Co., thence to York, and built the "Commercial Hotel." Run this till the summer of 1877, when he sold out and changed his place of abode to Aurora. Here he erected the "Tuttle House," which is a frame building, 40x75, two stories, and has accommodations for about fifty guests. William H. was born November 26, 1828, in Herkimer County, N. Y., son of Ransom and Ethina Tuttle, nee Ellis, both from the New England States. He remained at home, going to school and working on the farm, up to the time of his marriage, which occurred August 29, 1849. Then commenced keeping hotel at Turin, Lewis County, which he continued till 1855, and two years later emigrated to Allamakee County, Iowa, where his occupation was that of farmer. In the fall of 1862 he became a soldier of the rebellion, enlisting with Company A of the Twenty-Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, but after serving his country a little more than one year, he was discharged on account of sickness. Returned to Allamakee County, where he was appointed Deputy Provost Marshal, and held this position till the close of the war. While living at Seward, Mr. Tuttle was Sheriff of that county two years, and was an original member of the F. & A. M. of that town. His family is composed of four children, Ella (now Mrs. Liggett, of Colorado), Lucian L., Lizzie M., and Effie. [Hamilton County]

JOHN L. CUSHMAN, farmer, Section 18, Township 19, Range 2, P. O. Wilson was born in Lewis County, N. Y., July 29, 1834, living there until six years old, when his parents moved to Oneida County, in the same State, residing in that county until 1860. He then returned to Lewis County and there married April 11, 1860, Miss Helen Johnson who was born in Herkimer County, N. Y. They have five children, Minnie, George, Carl, Claude, and Lois. He enlisted in Company I, Fifth New York, Heavy Artillery, serving nearly three years in the Army of the Potomac. After his discharge he returned to Lewis County, engaging in farming until 1872, when he moved to Nebraska, arriving in February of that year and locating at the present residence. He has 280 acres, 200 in cultivation, the rest grass land. He devotes considerable attention to his stock-raising, having a good herd of cattle and other stock. He is a Republican. Is Postmaster at Wilson and has held the office of Justice of the Peace of Wilson Precinct. [Colfax County]

G. W. RANDALL, proprietor of the Lake View Creamery, P. O. Fremont. The factory is located on Section 36, Elkhorn Precinct, Dodge County, four miles from Arlington, their shipping depot on the Sioux City & Pacific Railway, eight miles from Fremont, was established here by the present proprietor in May, 1882. Although in its infancy, this enterprise has now the milk of about two hundred and fifty cows' and manufactures 200 pounds of butter per day. It is carried on upon the most improved plans of working. Mr. Randall is a native of Herkimer County, N. Y., and was identified with the present industry there till 1881, when he came here and located and took up the stock industry, which he still actively carries on. [Dodge County]

ELIPHUS HIBBARD ROGERS, second son of Rev. L. C. Rogers, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Litchfield, Herkimer Co., N. Y., January 12, 1830. In early childhood he met with an accident which crippled one foot through life. But nature had endowed him with an energy and a persistency of purpose which quailed before no obstacle, and made a success in life possible to him, notwithstanding his physical disabilities. At the age of sixteen, he had acquired a good academic education, and commenced teaching school. He took time, however, to attend several terms of the O. C. Seminary, at Cazenovia, N. Y., before he attained his majority, and soon after married Miss Lucy J. Goff, at Augusta, N. Y., and, purchasing a farm in the neighborhood, settled down to the life of a farmer. But he soon found that the amount of hard work required by that avocation was out of proportion to the profits, so he sold his farm and in the spring of 1854 removed to Fort Atkinson, Wis., where he remained until the fall of 1856, when he came to Nebraska, and in the following spring settled at Fremont, then a rude frontier hamlet of three unfinished log houses and a "dug-out." Since that time, Fremont has been his home, and he has been identified with almost every measure for the prosperity and upbuilding of the town. As President of the first Board of Trustees, he procured the title to the town site from the United States, and deeded it in lots and blocks to the rightful claimants. While in Wisconsin, he had begun the study of law, and was admitted to the Nebraska bar in 1858. The next year, he was elected to the Territorial Legislature, and at once took rank as one of the leaders of the House. In the spring of 1860, chafing under the slow, hard times which settled over this new country as a result of the financial crash of 1857, and fired with a towering ambition to do and to be something in the world, he converted his farm wagon into a "prairie schooner," after the manner of the times, loaded his family into it, and went to the mining region, then newly discovered, in the vicinity of Pike's Peak, Colo. Shortly after his arrival, he was elected Judge of the Miners' Court for Russell District, and filled the position with acceptance until the autumn of 1861, when he returned home and resumed the practice of law, to which he soon after added real estate and banking. He also held the office of County Clerk for four years prior to 1867, and for many years filled the position of Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue for his district. In 1866, he was elected to the last Territorial Council, and also to the first State Senate, and honored both bodies by being their President. Occupying so prominent a position at such a time, he had an important part to perform in setting the machinery of the new State Government in motion. In doing this, he gained for himself a reputation for ability and uprightness worthy of emulation. But no sketch of his life would be complete should it fail to point attention to the strong religious element which entered into his composition. Having been favored with early religious training, his mind and heart soon embraced the truths of religion, and he became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church when quite young. During his residence here, he has been twice elected lay delegate to the General Conference of his church, and on each occasion was placed on committees of importance, and acquired a national reputation for his ability in denominational work. At home, he was the main pillar of his church, and by far the largest contributor to its support. Possessing intellectual endowments of a high order, with a genial disposition united with strong religious convictions and unflinching integrity, he was far richer in qualities which would adorn an exalted office than in those necessary to success as a politician. He may have been wanting in cunning; he may have had too great faith in the professions of men to be worldly wise, and he doubtless erred sometimes in judgment, but he was large-hearted, honest, generous, sympathetic and conscientious. He died August 1, 1881, at Vera Cruz, Mexico, just as he was entering upon his duties as United States Consul at that Place. "Peace to his ashes." [This sketch of Mr. Rogers has been kindly contributed to this work by E. H. Barnard, of Fremont.] [Dodge County]

D. L. McLAUGHLIN, M. D., was born in West Winfield, Herkimer Co., N. Y., May 28, 1834. From the age of thirteen, he attended school in New York City until the age of seventeen, when he commenced the study of medicine under Alonzo Clark, M. D., of New York City, which he continued up to the year 1854, during the time also attending a course of lectures in the Berkshire Medical College and also University of Louisiana. In 1855, he graduated from Berkshire Medical College, and at once commenced the practice of medicine in Point Coupee, La., at the same time being proprietor of a large plantation up to the breakout of our late civil war, when he was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the Second Louisiana Volunteer Infantry, and was soon afterward assigned to duty as Hospital Surgeon, first at Yorktown and then at Williamsburg. In 1862, he was made Surgeon in Charge of the Hospitals at Lynchburg, continuing the same up to 1864, when, on account of ill health, he was transferred to the Department of Florida, and was made Staff Surgeon on the staff of Gen. William Miller, serving until the close of the war, when he returned to Virginia and commenced the practice of medicine in Hamilton, near Harper's Ferry, from the spring of 1866 up to 1868. In the summer of 1868, on account of ill health of his wife, the Doctor came to Nebraska and spent that winter in Cuming City. In the spring of 1869, he settled in Tekamah, where he has lived ever since, engaged in the practice of his profession. In 1872, he was appointed Commissioner for the Insane for Burt County, which position he still holds. Is also Local Surgeon of the C., St. P., M. & O. R. R. Was married to Miss Georgetta W. Savage, of Hamilton, Elizabeth City Co., Va., September 23, 1862. She died at Tekamah December 25, 1878, a very accomplished lady who left many warm friends. She left four children-Mary V., William R., George S. and Linnetta M. [Burt County]

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Last Updated: 8/21/99
Copyright ©1999 Martha S. Magill
Some contributions made in Memory of E.E.
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