My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JACOB L. BLUE, M. D., hotel proprietor, Nantasket, Nebr., was born in New Market, Middlesex county, N. J., February 24, 1826. His father, Henry Blue, also a native of New Jersey, was a manufacturer of shoes at one time, but afterwards became a merchant. He married Miss Mary, daughter of Harmon and Charity Staley, both natives of New Jersey and of German and French descent, respectively. Harmon Staley was a farmer and he and family were highly respected in the neighborhood in which they lived. To the union of Henry and Mary Blue were born twelve children — nine girls and three boys — the subject of these lines being the fifth child. Henry Blue died in his native state in 1861. Jacob L. Blue was educated in the common schools of New Jersey, and at the age of fourteen years began learning the trade of millwright, at which he continued four years. He then went to an uncle, a practicing physician at New Brunswick, N. J., and with him as preceptor studied medicine, was admitted to practice and became a partner or assistant to his uncle and preceptor. In 1844 he purchased a farm and was married. He followed agriculture about three years, then sold and went to Orange, N. J., where he entered mercantile trade, together with building and dealing in real estate. Three years later he sold out all his possessions and moved to Ohio, where for two years he followed farming, and then for a year practiced medicine. Again returning to New Jersey, he resumed the real estate business and was appointed marshal of Orange.

September 3, 1862, he was enrolled as a private in Company G, Twenty-sixth New Jersey volunteers. For nine months he was on detailed duty as recruiting officer, and after the regiment was fully organized he was appointed librarian. But in a short time the regiment became actively engaged, and Mr. Blue was compelled to abandon the library and follow his regiment, which had been ordered to Washington, where it was assigned to the Sixth army corps. He was a participant in some of the most memorable battles of Virginia, in which state the greater part of his duty was performed, and he served gallantly until the close of his term of enlistment. On one occasion, he was detailed to take pontoon boats out of the Rappahannock river; the night being very very dark he was caught between two boats and was badly crushed, and from the internal hemorrhage caused by this accident he has never fully recovered — neither has the government recognized his claim for a pension. He was treated for his injury in the hospital at Washington, and after re-enlisting was employed in that institution during his convalescence, but was stricken down by typhoid fever, and had therefore to be treated for the complication of two disorders. He recovered sufficiently, however, to return to his post of duty, but soon after received his discharge. After a brief stay at home he revisited Washington, where he was employed for a month as guardian of public property; resigning, he joined Gen. Grant’s engineering corps; but a short time afterwards returned to Washington and was re-instated in his former position, which he held until the close of the war.

After another brief visit to his native state. Dr. Blue bought a farm in Maryland, on which he resided two years, practicing medicine. He then sold out and returned to New Jersey, where for a year he engaged in merchandising; then for three years he filled a position in the state asylum, and, after that, passed nine months in the West. On his return to his native state, he sold out all his effects, raised a colony, and in April, 1876, again started for the West. His first visit to Nebraska was in 1875; his second coming, as intimated above, was less than a year later. He, his family and colony, numbering forty-three in all, settled in Buffalo county, in Buckeye valley, which, since its organization, is known as Valley township. He pre-empted a quarter-section, and, like the rest of the colony, began the work of improvement. For three years he followed farming and the practice of medicine, then sold out and went to Burgh, where he practiced medicine and held the offices of postmaster and justice of the peace for three years; and in September, 1882, he moved to Gibbon, where he lived ten months, then settled in Garfield township, where he located his homestead in the northwest quarter of section 22, township 12, range 14. He here, after two years, relinquished the regular practice of his profession — attending only old friends and patients — and devoted himself to the development of his farm, on which he lived five years, proved up his claim and still owns. In the interval, he purchased a hotel property in Nantasket, and is now making his home in that town. He has been dealing to some extent in real estate the past few years, and besides his hotel property he owns over twenty-eight town lots and also owns and conducts a flour and feed store.

Dr. Blue was first married, in 1844, to Olivia Stetson, daughter of Stephen Stetson, a hat manufacturer of Orange, N. J. To this union six children were born and named in the following order: Alonzo, Caroline, Melissa, Susan, Stephen and Martha. The mother and two of the children (Stephen and Martha), died in 1866, while the doctor and his family were residing in Maryland. The doctor afterwards married Miss Alice, daughter of Charles Crampton, of Rockaway, N. J. To this union have been born six children, viz.— Ella (deceased), Lizzie, Amos (deceased), Clarence, Lucinda and Albert.

While living in New Jersey, Dr. Blue was a member of the Baptist church, but on reaching Nebraska, finding no congregation of that denomination here, he united with the Presbyterians, and has always since been a faithful member. He has always taken great interest in the moral training of the young and has devoted much time to this purpose since he took up his residence in Nebraska. While living in Buckeye valley he established a union Sabbath-school at Burgh, and has been prime mover in establishing seven other Sabbath-schools. For three years he has been superintendent of two of these schools, and is director of a day-school. He is now an elder of his church and has also held all the more important offices thereof, including those of treasurer and secretary. In civic matters he has filled the office of justice of the peace; and is at present the deputy postmaster at Nantasket, the post office being in his own store and his son-in-law being the postmaster. Mr. Blue is a member of the society of American Mechanics, as well as of the G. A. R., of which last-named body he is chaplain. Mr. Blue has purchased a building in Nantasket, which he furnishes for church privileges, never charging anything for rent. It is needless to make any comment upon the career of so progressive a man as Jacob L. Blue.

In politics, Mr. Blue is an active prohibitionist, striking hard blows for the cause, wherever he lives.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Buffalo County, Nebraska family biographies here: Buffalo County, Nebraska Biographies

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