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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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JOHN FRASER, the subject of this sketch, is one of the early settlers of Phelps county, who came in the fall of 1878 and located in the Platte valley, on the northern border of the county when there were only eight families within a radius of as many miles.

Mr. Fraser’s pockets were not lined with “greenbacks” when he came to this new and untried country, but on the other hand he was without means, and consequently had to endure many of the privations incident to the settlement of a new country.

There was plenty of wild game and many a deer has he shot to supply his family and friends with venison.

Mr. Fraser was born in Scotland, June 7, 1856, and came to America in 1873. He is a machinist by trade, and upon arriving in this country went to Newark, N. J., where he worked several years, prior to coming to Nebraska.

His father, Andrew Fraser, came to America at the same time. He was a carpenter by trade and worked in Newark, on his first arrival. He came to Phelps county, Nebr., in the fall of 1878, where he has since lived. He built a sod house, and, although he had no experience in farming in a new country like this, he has succeeded well and now owns a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres. The senior Fraser was married October 15, 1852, to Jane Stewart, who was born in 1826. To this union were born four children, viz. — John, Jessie, Jemima and Elizabeth.

He has held the office of justice of the peace, and is an active member of the Farmers’ Alliance. He and his wife are both members of the Presbyterian church.

John Fraser, concerning whom this sketch is written, was married April 8, 1878, to Eliza Cowans, who is also a native of Scotland. To this union have been born five children, viz. — Jane, John, Eliza, Margaret and Willie.

Mr. Fraser now resides in Cottonwood township, where he owns a farm of eighty acres under a good state of cultivation. He has been assessor for his township three years, has also been justice of the peace for the same length of time, is now a member of the county board of supervisors, and he also organized the Fraser post office and was appointed postmaster in 1884.

He is a prominent and influential man in Phelps county, especially among the members of the Farmers’ Alliance.

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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 Phelps County, Nebraska family biographies here: Phelps County, Nebraska Biographies

View a historic 1912 map of Phelps County, Nebraska

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