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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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ORLANDO B. BALYEAT, one of the most enterprising young farmers of Williamsburg township, Phelps county, Nebr., was born in Van Wert county, Ohio, November 9, 1853.

His father, Aaron Balyeat, also a native of Ohio, was born March 15, 1827, and is a farmer by occupation. He has been deacon in the Baptist church for many years, and has always lived an honest, upright life. The mother of the subject of this sketch bore the maiden name of Martha La Rue, and she, too, was a native of Ohio, having been born in 1828. She was a member of the Baptist church and died in 1864 in full confidence of the faith she professed.

The paternal grandfather, Jonas Balyeat, was a Pennsylvanian by birth, and emigrated to Ohio in an early day, settling in Richland county. He removed to Van Wert county, Ohio, where he died in 1886, aged ninety-one years. His wife lived to the age of eighty-four, and was the mother of eighteen children, fifteen of whom were reared to manhood and womanhood. The Balyeat family are of German extraction and are a very hardy race of people.

Mr. Balyeat remained with his parents until he became of age. He attended the common district school during the winter months and became quite proficient in the common branches. In 1878 he attended the Lebanon (Ohio) Normal School for one year, and then taught four terms in Van Wert county.

Mr. Balyeat came to York county, Nebr., in July, 1881, remaining in the town of York for some time; he then engaged in farming for about two years. In 1883 he came to Phelps county, Nebr., and purchased a farm in Williamsburg township. The first county seat was located near where he settled, but had been moved to Phelps Center a short time before.

Mr. Balyeat was married, July 10, 1880, to Miss Nancy Webber, a native of Van Wert county, Ohio, who was born April 26, 1853. Her parents are both natives of Ohio. To Mr. and Mrs. Balyeat have been born three children — Leola, born August 29, 1882; Mary, born February 2, 1884 (deceased); May, born February 28, 1890.

Mr. Balyeat has a farm of one hundred and sixty acres well improved, which yields an abundant crop each year.

He is an active member of Mount Pleasant Grange, No. 27, and is a firm believer in a close union among farmers, he has served as assessor of his township four years in succession, which is a good evidence that he is the right man in the right place. He was appointed postmaster April 25, 1887, and is yet performing the duties of that office.

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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

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