« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
"home," was beautifully and faithfully illustrated by the fact that he took up, as a pre-emptor, a piece of wild land nine miles from Omaha. This claim had for his youthful eyes an irresistible charm. It was wild, wooded, and well watered. There were slopes, miniature valleys, and mimic hills covered with an undergrowth of straggling oaks and hazlenut brush and adorned here and there with a fairly well-grown elm or hickory tree. Early in 1855 the major" determined to make this tract of land his permanent home. It became to him a sort of fetish. There was nothing which could tempt him to give it up, to abandon its im. provement, or to relinquish the idea that he was finally to settle down upon that particular tract of land as a practical and contented farmer. This was the dream of his life. His estimable wife,--formerly Miss Susie Mack, also of St. Lawrence county, New York,--vied with him in his love of rural life. His affectionate regard for his family and his fidelity to them and to this dream-home by the Papillion, are indices of his steadfastness in all things. No sum of money could have purchased the farm. Perhaps no other character in the early history of Nebraska better illuminates the fact that a man who strongly and intensely loves his home is necessarily an ardent lover of his country. The home is the unit of the republic; the republic is the concrete of the home. Therefore, when the war between the states began, the homes of the country furnished the best material for the preservation and maintenance of the flag and its honor and the constitution and its protection.
Next after his love of family and home, Major Paddock's strongest, most active, intense, and dominant characteristic was patriotism. There is no prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic or of the military Order of the Loyal Legion who has been at its gatherings in various states in company with Major Paddock who will ever forget the fire of his eye, the fluency of his voice, the strength of his utterances upon those occasions of reunions between veterans of the war. Without ostentation, Major Paddock was an accomplished, an honest, and an attractive gentleman. Without effusion or protestation he was a firm and unyielding friend.
The surviving members of his family are Mrs. William E. Annin, of Washington, D. C.-wife of the famous correspondent of the Daily Ledger of Philadelphia, Daily Tribune of Salt Lake, and the Daily Journal of Lincoln, Neb.--his widow, and his son, Ben Paddock, of Chicago. He left to his true and loving wife, the competent mother of his children, and to his son and daughter a name and a memory fragrant of good deeds and generous impulses.
His record for ability, fidelity, and integrity in civil, and his career of self-sacrifice and courageous patriotism in military life, are a legacy which in all time to come will be valued beyond price by his descendants and his countrymen.
SKETCHES OF MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE OF 18.55.
By Hon. Samuel E. Rogers.
OMAHA, January 12, 1897. Mr. Jay Amos Barrett,
DEAR Sir: I had fully made up my mind to attend the meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society this evening, but owing to the snowstorm now prevailing have changed my mind. I herewith present recollections, briefly stated, of each member of the legislative council of 1855, hoping that this may in some measure make up for my absence. I also enclose, in compliance with your request, a statement in regard to F. Davidson, of the house of 1855. Yours truly,
SAM’L E. ROGERS.
SAMUEL E. ROGERS was born February 11, 1822, in Fleming County, Ky. Married October 14, 1841. Graduated July, 1848, at Wabash College. Was licensed to practice law in supreme court of Illinois in 1853. Was a member of the city council of Havanna, Ill., in 1853 and 1854. Also postmaster under President Pierce at Havanna, Ill. Visited the townsite of Omaha August 27, 1854, went back to Illinois for his family, and crossed Iowa with wagons and teams and arrived in Omaha October 28, 1854. Was twice elected to territorial council, in which he
served in 1855, 1856, 1857, and 1858. Was one of the original proprietors of Brownville, in which he had a one-fourth interest. He went to Cincinnati in the spring of 1855 and had a sawmill built for Brownville by Hallabird & Co., which he shipped by steamer on May 3, 1855.
George Ferguson and wife and two children, in company with Rogers and his wife, took passage on the same steamer. Ferguson was a competent engineer and mechanic, who was employed to set up and run the mill at Brownville, where the mill and two families landed in June, 1855. Rogers opened up a private bank on Douglas street in 1856, which was well patronized, deposits running up to $125,000, and otherwise prosperous. The panic of 1857 set in in the autumn of that year and the then village of Omaha was at once almost deserted; the population of about 2,000 was rapidly reduced to about 500 by the spring of 1858, by which time nearly all business was suspended.
From this time on until the State Bank of Nebraska was organized, he was engaged in handling real estate and in mercantile business. Becoming one of the principal stockholders of the State Bank, he succeeded Enos Lowe as its vice president, which position he filled until the State Bank corporation was succeeded by the Merchants' National Bank in the year 1882, of which he is now and has been its vice president since the date of its organization.
J. C. MITCHELL, a blonde, small in stature, all fire and tow, was erratic, impulsive, fiery in speech, hot-headed, and aggressive. His dear Florence was his only hobby. He was ready to trade, buy, sell, or swap, if he could thereby get advantageous legislation for his Florence townsite. He was eloquent in the descrip: tion of his townsite, its happy location as a future railroad town. He declared with emphasis that when railroads from the east should seek connection with a future Pacific road up the Platte valley, Pigeon creek was the most feasible route through which railroads from the east could approach the Missouri river.
A. D. JONES was a fearless speaker on all questions. He was not given to diplomacy, but spoke right out whatever was on his mind boldly, without fear or favor. In argument he was forceful and often eloquent. He was not a schemer, a wire puller, but always open-handed and candid; you could always know just where to find him on all questions. There was not a bit of intrigue in him. Partisan feeling ran high as between north of the Platte and south of the Platte interests, but he manifested no sectional feeling; at the same time he was a strong supporter of Omaha on the question of the location of the capital.
M. H. CLARK was a man of no mean ability, quiet in his deportment, a plain but effective speaker; he seldom took the floor in debate, but was, nevertheless, a busy worker for the interests of his constituents. In appearance he would have been taken for a good, plain farmer. When the question of capitai location was before the legislature many members were wrought up to an intense degree of excitement. Not so with M. H. Clark; he was as cool and deliberate as if a very ordinary question was before that body.
RICHARD BROWN was a hard worker in his quiet way, a good conversationalist, but a debater of only ordinary ability. He was a true and candid man, a perfect gentleman, but had not the cheek to push himself to the front. As the proprietor of Brownville, Nemaha county, in order to get such legislation as he desired he several times cast votes with his north of the Platte friends, notably on the capital question, as did others from the extreme southern part of the territory. Bellevue, Omaha, Florence, Plattsmouth, and Nebraska City were each candidates for the location of the capital, hence members from the extreme north and south of the territory were often found voting with members from the north Platte.
H. P. BENNET, active, impulsive, a ready off-hand speaker, commanded the respect of his colleagues and the good will of
all members of the council. He was of medium stature, light hair, his complexion varying from pale to florid to fit the state of his varying intensity of feeling in debate. He was pleasant, sociable, and affable with his associates. He was a strong worker for south of the Platte and for the best interests of his constituents.
H. BRADFORD, rotund in habit, with a wholesome farmer look, was an active member of the council, a man of good sound common sense; his squeaky voice was peculiar, sharp, and without compass; at the same time he was a good debater, intensely sectional, so much so that he seemed to have but little care for any other part of the territory than Otoe county, Nebraska City, and the south of the Platte. This feeling, I must say, however, was by no means confined to any one member of the body.
T. G. GOODWILL: Never a better man set foot on Nebraska soil; honorable, refined, and genial in his deportment; no man in the legislative council had more influence than he. He was tol. erant, broad-ininded, and generous. He was not a gifted public speaker, but he had the power to make impressive arguments, and statements so clear that he at once had a following; open and candid, he despised small intrigue; he was cool and dispassionate in times of greatest excitement over the capital location and other questions.
BENJAMIN R. FOLSOM was a plain, honest man, brusque in his manners, full of energy and tact, strong in his likes and dislikes, one of the very best workers in the council, a strong north Platte partisan. His strength was not in speech-making, but rather in laying plans and wire pulling. In order that Burt county might be represented in the first legislature, with wagons and teams he took with him voters to his favorite county of Burt, which was then destitute of voters, and at the first territorial election had himself elected by a unanimous vote to the first legislative council.