Sunday, November 24, 2019

Maiden family was among Dawes County pioneers

(Editor's Note:  The following story is among the many chronicled in "A Compendium of History, Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska," an illustrated book published in 1909 by the Alden Publishing Company of Chicago.

William H. Maiden holds a prominent place among the foremost agriculturists of Dawes county, Nebraska. His home is on section 5, township 34, range 47, where he has been located for many years past, and his well appointed home and well cultivated fields bespeak the man of taste and progress, and no one stands higher in the estimation of his fellowmen and associates than he. He is among the leading old settlers in this region who has take an active part in the development of the section from its very beginning, and richly deserves the success which has come to him.

William H. Maiden family - ca. 1900
Mr. Maiden was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, in 1848. His father, George Maiden. was a farmer and old settler in Illinois, and was one of those who lived in that section of the country at the time of the Black Hawk massacre. He married Sarah Templeton, American born, of Scotch blood.

In 1856 the family moved to Tama county, Iowa, and there our subject grew to manhood, remaining at home with his parents up to the time of his twenty-first birthday, assisting in the farm work, and attending the country schools, where he received a fair education, for those early days. He left home in 1877 and came into the Black Hills, working for different freighting outfits in that vicinity, and part of the time being manager of the mail route from Fort Pierre to Deadwood, remaining here up to 1880. He then returned to Iowa, where he was married to Miss Dora E. Derrick, whose father, John C. Derrick, was a farmer of German descent, and her mother was Adelia Kellogg, raised in New York state. One son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Maiden, William J., now twenty-one years of age and living on a farm adjoining that of his father.

Mr. Maiden and his family lived in Iowa up to the spring of 1886, farming there in Carroll county, then came to Dawes county, Nebraska, and settled on his present homestead, landing here on March 8th. This farm was located in section 5, township 34, range 47, and he at once began to build up a home, putting up a dugout, in which they lived for two years, then built a better house of the same kind and lived in that for nine years. 

During the first years they went through many hard times, witnessing the drouths, and was obliged to work in the roundhouse at Chadron and any odd work he could get to do in order to support his family. He kept on improving his place, however, and has now a ranch of eight hundred acres, about seventy acres of which is in alfalfa and plow land, with the balance in hay and pasture, as he engages extensively in the stock business, raising a large number of cattle and horses for market each season. The ranch is located on White river, and is well supplied with natural timber of all kinds, and he has it well improved, all fenced, and everything in first-class order.

Mr. Maiden is a strong Democrat and an ardent admirer of William Jennings Bryan,and takes a keen interest in local and national politics. He has served as school director for four years, also as school treasurer for five years.