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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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LYMAN M. BRIGHAM. Among those who came to Buffalo county in the early “seventies” and passed through the historic hard times, and who has since accumulated, slowly and honorably, an ample fortune, thus crowning a youth of labor with an age of ease, may be mentioned Lyman M. Brigham, the subject of this biographical memoir. He is a native of New York, having been born in Wyoming county, that state, December 27, 1832. H is father, Jabez Brigham, a farmer by occupation, was a native of Massachusetts. His mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Hart, was also a native of Massachusetts. These were the parents of nine children, of whom the subject of this notice is the youngest. Lyman M. Brigham, in his earlier days, attended the district schools, helped his mother on the farm and entered upon an apprenticeship at the blacksmith trade at the age of seventeen years. He adopted blacksmithing as a pursuit and followed it for twenty years. He started West in the summer of 1874 and got as far as Omaha, when he ran out of money. Being a man of indomitable will, his plans were not to be frustrated by this, and he and his son walked the remainder of the way to Kearney, for which place he had started, a distance of two hundred miles. He took a homestead on the old Fort Kearney military reservation, there located and began farming with a yoke of four-year-old oxen, at the same time opening a blacksmith shop in Kearney, riding back and forth daily from his claim to town. The first year he broke out thirty acres of sod and put it in corn, and also rented sixty acres of old ground, which he planted to corn, wheat and oats. That year the drouth and grasshoppers destroyed his entire crop except twenty-seven bushels of potatoes, which he raised on two town lots. He was forced to boil grass for his two remaining pigs, while he “hustled up” something to keep soul and body together for himself as best he could. This year’s experience served to nerve him for the contest the following year. He had a brother living in Polk county, this state, from whom he had arranged to borrow his next year’s seed wheat and corn. His stock in store at this time consisted of his yoke of oxen, a lumber wagon and twenty-five cents in money. Giving his wife ten cents of the money with which to supply the family’s wants, and taking the other fifteen cents, he started with his team for Polk county, a distance of one hundred miles. when below Grand Island, and about half way on his journey, he ran out of hay, but secured some from a farmer who, on learning that he had only fifteen cents, refused to accept pay. He completed his journey in five days, sleeping in hay-stacks over nights. But worse trials awaited him. On his way back his wagon broke down. There were no shops at hand, and he had nothing to pay for the mending of it if there had been. Still, he was equal to the occasion. He was near the Union Pacific railroad, and as soon as night came on he “borrowed” a tie from the road, and with the aid of a farmer’s ax he hewed out an axle, fixed up the wreck, and started once more on his homeward journey. He got back after an absence of nearly two weeks, and with renewed energy and determination began again to settle the bread and butter problem in the uncertain state of agriculture at that date in Nebraska. Many were the hardships and privations which he underwent; but, like most of the old settlers who stood steadfastly by their choice, he at last succeeded, and today he is one of the well-fixed farmers in Buffalo county. He owns eight hundred acres of valuable land in the county, and a large amount of property in the city of Kearney. It all represents his own toil, pluck and endurance. In 1877, Mr. Brigham raised and marketed seventeen thousand bushels of grain. This will give an idea of the rapidity of his growth as a farmer. In March, 1888, he left his farm and moved into Kearney, where he now resides. It must not be supposed that Mr. Brigham has made his way to the position of comfort and ease that he now occupies unaided and alone. He has been materially assisted in his labors by a most excellent wife. He married, January 13, 1853, the lady whom he selected for a life companion being Miss Catherine Brigham, a daughter of Harry and Sarah (Eggleston) Brigham, both natives of Massachusetts, the father having been born in the year 1800 and the mother in 1804. Mrs. Brigham is the third of a family of six children born to her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Brigham have had born to them a family of four children, three girls and one boy as follows — Emory (now deceased), born October 11, 1854; Luella (now also deceased), born March 7, 1858; Ferado, born April 7, 1860, and Pearl, born August 13, 1870.

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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. 

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