Gibbon Township – Its People
1860 Census – Buffalo County, 114 people listed, Post Office at
Nebraska Center, including James Boyd
1870 Census – Buffalo County,
James Boyd was in Omaha in 1870
Henry Dugdale, wife & 2 children – only one in first 15 listed in 1860
(Note--The "Boyd Ranch," was the first claim taken in the county by Joseph
Boyd in 1867, and was the first piece of deeded land in Nebraska west of
1871— 56 [Gibbon Homestead Colony came April 7, 1871]
Members of the Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony
born on Christmas Day, 1838, in Ireland.
Came to New York where he remained until
1871, when he moved with his family to Gibbon
He was accidentally killed in a clay pit
along Wood river in 1872 when he was getting clay with which to make the
brick for the first courthouse of Buffalo county.
His wife continued to reside upon the
homestead and in five years proved up on the place and received the patent
in her own name.
In 1882, she married S. R. Traut. They
continued to live on the farm until Mr. Traut passed away a number of years
She moved into Gibbon in 1903.
Mrs. Brady was a charter member of the first
church established in Buffalo county
the Presbyterian church of Gibbon,
organized in 1872.
In the early days the church passed
through many difficulties and would have been disbanded had it not been for
Mrs. Brady and three others, who attended a meeting of the presbytery and
prevailed upon them not to disband the church.
WILIAM W. GIBSON
Born in Lawrence county, Pa. in 1845.
Spent 6 months in the Union Army at the end
of the Civil War
He returned home to farm until 1871 when he
and his brother A. F. joined the Soldier's Free Homestead Colony
He lived a mile north of Gibbon
William remained a bachelor for many years,
“having too much regard for the
tender feelings and gentle nature of the opposite sex to ask any woman
to share with him the hardships and
privations which fell to his lot in the earlier years.”
He prospered and the area became more
settled, he decided after 7 years here, it was time to marry.
So he went back to his home in PA and
married a childhood friend in 1878.
She had 1 sisters and a brother who
also came to Buffalo County.
Dillon P. ASHBURN
Probably one of the best known men, not only of the township, but of the
county and state.
Native of Ohio - farmer and also a carpenter.
His original homestead here was about a mile west of Gibbon [which puts it
in Shelton Township].
At first he was mainly engaged in contracting and building, and farming.
He worked for the UP during the
grasshopper and drought years of the mid-1870’s.
In 1879, he move into Gibbon and began a grain trade and built a grain
elevator, which he later sold.
In 1881 he built the Gibbon creamery
Served in several public offices
1. Justice of the peace of Gibbon
township for a term in 1871-2.
2. Ran against Buffalo Bill Cody for
He got the
most votes but the returns from Franklin and Harlan counties were sent to
the city of
instead of the county seat of Lincoln county (North Platte), as the law
so it appeared that he lost.
contested, producing the missing returns to prove he won.
26, included all of the state west of a line extending through the state
on the east
boundary of Buffalo and Kearney counties.
3. Buffalo Co. delegate to the
convention which proposed measures for the redoing the township laws
of the convention.
Sent as a
delegate to urge the legislature to pass their proposed measures.
9 of 12 were
passed and became laws.
4. Active in behalf of the dairying
interests of the state –
the State Dairymen's Association at one time.
5. He served on the county board of
6. On the Gibbon town council.
In January, 1889, he was admitted to the Buffalo county bar and practiced
In July, 1889, he was appointed postmaster at Gibbon, an office he was still
holding 28 years later.
Isaac D. LABARRE
Born in 1834 in New York and was brought up
as a sailor on Lake Champlain, the Hudson river and off the coast of New
Both his and his wife’s ancestry dated back several generations in that
Like so many who came west, he became dissatisfied with the over-crowded
condition of things in his own state and wanted to get into a new country,
where opportunities for getting on in the world were better.
The first man to sell a dollar's worth of
goods in the town of Gibbon, in mercantile business
He opened his first store in a
He had brought his stock of goods
with him and began selling the day after his arrival.
As soon as the town site was located
he secured a lot and built a store house and moved in.
Went out of business in 1874 - the
hard years of grasshoppers and drought came remained out
till the return of good crops.
Postmaster at Gibbon during Grant's administration --the only position of a
public nature he ever filled.
GEORGE H. SILVERNAIL
He was a native of Ohio, born in 1845.
At 16 he had just moved to Wisconsin in 1861
when war broke out so he joined the Union army, serving until the end of the
The following six years he lived in Wisconsin
He, his brother, John, and two friends, came
together in 1871.
They agreed to get homesteads as
close to each other as possible,
so only one, George, put his name in
to draw order of choices.
They took claims on the south side of
Wood river, a short distance west of Gibbon,
Did not like the soil there so they
moved to the north side of the river.
First precinct assessor for Gibbon Township (elected in the fall of 1871)
Helped organize his school district and then served several years on the
Later George moved 4 miles north which put him in Valley Township
Served as clerk of the township board.
Those Who Came Later
Born in Cornwall, England in 1830. He
immigrated to Canada in 1847 with his parents.
After about a year they came across into "the
states," and settled PA.
Mother died. Father came with William to Nebraska in the fall of 1871.
William homesteaded 3 miles north of Gibbon.
He raised horses - Norman and Clydesdale
thoroughbreds and other high-grade.
His son in the horse raising
Amos D. GEORGE
He was born in New Hampshire in 1836, the third generation from there.
He came to Buffalo county in September, 1872,
He was one of 8 children, most of
whom came to Nebraska also.
As a boy he had clerked in a store in Mass. before going to Boston where he
worked for several mercantile businesses.
Then he established his own business
in men’s clothing.
He also started a laundry business
which grew to be one of the largest in the East.
Ill-health brought him west.
For 11 years be lived on his homestead 1 mile east of Gibbon, farming and
He came with no experience with
farming but was eventually successful.
It is not surprising that in 1879 Mr. George purchased an establishment
mercantile business in Gibbon.
He was very strong on the issue of temperance and also against the use of
He believed that many men lured into
drunkenness started with smaller vices
which led to their ruin without their realizing what is happening.
So he never sold tobacco in his store
although it is a profitable item in the mercantile business.
He was one of the organizers the First Baptist church of Gibbon.
While the State Baptist seminary was located at Gibbon, he was treasurer of
During the last term it was in
operation he bore the entire expense of running it.
He married in 1859 but his wife died in 1869 leaving 1 child.
A short time later he remarried. “By this marriage he has an interesting
family of children.” [not listed]
[according to census records]
Had 4 children by 1880.
In 1900 he was widowed, living in
Omaha doing stove repair.
WILLIAM T. BEATTY
Born in Ohio, tried mining in California in
Fought in Civil War.
Wounded, returned, wounded 3 times in
a battle and left behind. Taken prisoner for a year.
After war, returned home, sold farm and moved to Indiana, then to Gibbon
Purchased a hotel, operated about 3 years;
Also took a homestead 5 miles northwest of Gibbon.
Sold hotel and homestead (did not keep it 5 years to prove up)
Moved to farm 1 ½ mile east of Gibbon (put s him in Shelton Township).
he was born in 1823 in western New York.
After marrying a neighbor girl in 1845 he
farmed for a short time there in western New York.
Then he moved west, alone, and settled in
When the Civil War was being fought, he
After the war he returned to Illinois and
farmed there until the spring of 1874, when, he decided to move further
Came to Gibbon. He purchased the tract of
land known as "Boyd's Ranch."
Although his biography says he moved from New
York to Illinois alone, his family must have followed soon afterward.
He had 8 children born in 1846, 1847, 1849,
1852, 1854, 1857, 1859, 1861, and 1866.
Philip E. FOXWORTHY
Came of an ancestry that faced the hardships
of the frontier and westward movement
His father, a native of Virginia, went to Kentucky as a young man, married
Then moved to Indiana in its
Here he married Philip’s mother,
whose father had also moved from Kentucky to Indiana.
She died in September, 1843, two weeks after Philip was born.
Philip had just turned 18 when the civil war started so, of course, he
He remained until the end of the war.
Then he returned home and got married
about a year later.
Brought his family to Buffalo county in June, l876, and rented a place north
of Gibbon for a month.
Then he moved to a location on the lower bottomland of the Platte river,
which part of the old Fort Kearney
He squatted there since the
reservation had not been opened to settlement yet.
As soon as it was opened in 1878 he
filed on his land.
Since his farm more suitable for grazing and hay-making than for
agricultural crops, he raised cattle and hay.
When the Foxworthys first reached the county
they had $18.00 and a limited amount of household goods and wearing apparel.
Then they were faced with the last and
hardest year of the grasshopper season. But they survived and prospered.
DR. M. V. CHAPMAN
Veterinary surgeon and farmer,
came from New York where he was born in 1834.
His father was killed by the
explosion of a steamboat boiler while returning from New Orleans, in 1840.
He first went to Indiana.
After serving in the Civil War he
returned to farming in Indiana.
He came to Buffalo County in 1878 and purchased land north of Gibbon
When he was young he liked horses and became interested in veterinary
read books and "doctored" his own and neighbors' horses.
Through the years with more knowledge
and experience, became a veterinary surgeon.
He was also interested in Buffalo
county real estate and was a stockholder in the state bank of Gibbon.
HORACE P. SMITH
came to Buffalo county in October, 1878,
looked over the country, went back home and returned the following spring
and bought land 3 ½ miles southwest of Gibbon.
Grandfather career military man fought in
Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
A great grandfather also fought in the
Revolutionary War, and was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill.
Married Mary L. Mercer in February, 1881.
Mary Mercer is a daughter of Vernon and Nancy
Mercer, who came here in 1871.
Vernon filed in 1871, Mary filed in
the following year.
Joseph W. HARREL
Joe was 25, married, settled in Gibbon in
started "at the bottom round of the ladder."
He went to work for Amos George, a mercantile
At the end of 6 years he had saved enough to
begin business for himself.
He opened a grocery store in Gibbon
in the spring of 1885.
Became a successful business man
Most of these men came out here, many with very little, and built their
own success through hard work and a little luck. But Holloway did not fit
C. C. Holloway
He came to Gibbon in May, 1886 to take charge
of investments made in Gibbon previously by his father who was one of the
founders of the State bank of Gibbon which had been organized the year
He became the one who managed the bank on a daily basis while holding the
office of cashier.
Before coming to Gibbon to tend to his father’s business he had been a
Tribute to the Women
Each of these men was married.
I’ve not mentioned the wives but do want to
recognize them for their hard work.
They worked daily at all the household duties
that had to be done by hand, all the while bearing anywhere from one to
In each of these biographies they are named
and in some cases a little information about their parents is given. –
better than some of our records which do not even give them a name at all.