WESLEY J. NICHOLS.
Since 1899 Wesley J. Nichols has lived retired at Wahoo. Previous to that time he was actively engaged in farming
and his labors were so wisely and capably directed that success in considerable measure attended his efforts, bringing
to him the handsome competence that now enables him to enjoy all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.
Mr. Nichols is a native of New York, his birth having occurred in Mexico township, Oswego county, on the 16th of
August, 1835, his parents being Jared and Matilda (Ray) Nichols, who were also natives of the Empire state. About
1835 they removed to Portage, Ohio, where the mother died when thirty five years of age. The father became a resident
of Branch county, Michigan, in 1848 and there he took up the occupation of farming, which he followed until his
death at the age of fifty years.
Wesley J. Nichols spent his boyhood upon the home farm in Michigan to the age of thirteen years, when he went to
live with an uncle, with whom he remained until he attained his majority. He then started out, working by the month
as a farm hand, his time being thus passed until January, 1861. In the opening year of the Civil war he responded
to the country's call for troops, enlisting as a member of Company F, First Michigan Light Artillery, with which
he served for two years. He then reenlisted in the same company and continued with that command for two years longer,
or until July, 1865, when he was mustered out at Jackson, Michigan. He participated in the battle at Richmond,
Kentucky, and was afterward sent to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he became ill with typhoid fever. He then reenlisted
and participated in the Atlanta campaign. He was shot through the fleshy part of the left arm at Richmond, Kentucky,
- the first battle in which he participated but he never faltered in the performance of duty and after the expiration
of his first term veteranized. His was indeed the record of unfaltering loyalty and throughout his entire life
he has been as true and faithful to his country as when he followed the old flag upon southern battlefields.
Following the war Mr. Nichols engaged in farming in Michigan until 1868, when he made his way to Jesup, Buchanan
county, Iowa, where he soon afterward purchased a farm, residing thereon until 1871, when he sold that property
and came to Saunders county, securing a homestead in Stocking precinct. He filed on one hundred and sixty acres
prior to the passing of the law permitting soldiers of the Civil war to take up that amount of land. After the
law was passed he homesteaded this, the property being three miles southwest of Wahoo. Not a furrow had been tamed
nor an improvement made upon the property when he took possession, but he at once began to break the sod and till
the fields and in course of time gathered good harvests. As the years went, on he continued to improve the property,
which he owned until 1904, when he sold out, but in 1899 he had retired and removed to Wahoo, where he has since
made his home, enjoying here a well earned rest. He has now passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey.
On the 13th of February, 1868, Mr. Nichols was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Kenyon, who was born in Mexico
township, Oswego county, New York, March 15, 1838, and when six years of age was taken by her parents to Coldwater,
Branch county, Michigan, where she was educated and married. She became one of the pioneer women of Saunders county
and has long been an interested witness of the growth, progress and development of this part of the state. Unto
Mr. and Mrs. Nichols were born two children: Fred K., who is engaged in merchandising at Spokane, Washington, and
also has a store in Seattle, married Miss Jennie Booth, a daughter of John Booth, of Saunders county; Myrtle L.
is the wife of M. A. Phelps, mentioned elsewhere in this volume.
Mr. and Mrs. Nichols hold membership in the First Baptist church of Wahoo and he belongs also to John A Andrews
Post, No. 90, G. A. R., of which he is now chaplain, a position which he has filled for ten years. His life has
ever been actuated by high and honorable principles and sterling character worth has gained for him the enviable
position which he occupies in the regard and goodwill of his fellowmen. His example may well serve as a source
of emulation to others, for his are "the blessed accompaniments of age honor, riches, troops of friends."
Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Saunders County, NE
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