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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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WILLIAM E. HYMER, cashier of the Holdrege National Bank of Holdrege, Phelps county, was born near Rushville, Schuyler county, Ill., November 11, 1853. He is a son of John B. and Mary A. (Newberry) Hymer, both now residents of Holdrege, this state. Mr. Hymer was reared in his native county and grew up on his father’s farm, passing his earlier years like most country lads in the alternate pursuits of his duties as a farm hand and attending the district schools. He followed farming in Schuyler county till 1878, when, having married and seeing a young family start up around him, he decided to move to the more fruitful prairies beyond the Mississippi. He came to Nebraska that year and settled at Sacramento, Phelps county, embarking in the mercantile business at that place. It is needless to say that even as late as 1878 was an early day for Phelps county. There was at that time only two post offices in the county, and they were kept at farm houses; one of these was 18 miles from where Mr. Hymer settled, and the other 24 miles away. In 1880 he put up a hardware store at Phelps Center, that place having started in the meantime, conducting his Sacramento and Phelps Center stores till the fall of 1883. He than moved his building at Phelps Center to where Holdrege now stands, that town having been projected on the line of the Burlington and Missouri railroad upon its completion into Phelps country. At this time, however, there was no town there. Mr. Hymer was the first merchant in the place. He saw the town staked off, attended the first sale of lots and witnessed the beginning of what has since become the proud and prosperous little city of Holdrege. He continued in the mercantile business till 1886, when he closed out all his interests of this nature and began to handle real estate. From the brokerage business he glided easily into the loaning business and a year later opened in Holdrege a private bank, called the Bank of Holdrege, which he conducted a year, organizing at that date the Holdrege National Bank, with which he has been actively connected since. There have been some changes in the working force of the bank since its organization, but it has remained under the same general management. A. Yeazel is its president, F. Hallgren, vice-president, and Wm. E. Hymer, cashier. It has a paid up capital of fifty thousand dollars and a surplus of six thousand dollars. It has added 4 per cent, to its surplus every six months since its organization and has declared a dividend of 5 per cent, every six months. Its stock sells at one dollar and thirty-three cents. It is recognized as one of the solid financial institutions of the town of Holdrege and Phelps county, established upon a firm financial basis and doing a safe conservative, banking business. Its board of directors is composed of men of established reputations as financiers and men of unimpeachable integrity. With its affairs Mr. Hymer has been actively identified since its organization and it owes much of its success to his wise and judicious management. In addition to his banking interest, Mr. Hymer is also largely interested in real estate in and around Holdrege and has taken a leading part in the building up and improvement of the town. He has erected a number of business and residence buildings, and is continually buying, building and selling. His present place of business occupies one of the handsomest brick blocks in the town of Holdrege and stands in striking contrast with the primitive one-story frame building in which he entered on his business career in Phelps county twelve years ago, his old store building still standing in Holdrege not far from its more pretentious successor, being kept by Mr. Hymer as a souvenir of his earlier years. Mr. Hymer has never aspired to public life. He has found his chief employment and his chief pleasures in the pursuit of his own affairs, yet he no been honored with public trusts having been a delegate from his county to every state convention for the last 10 years He is a republican in politics, an able exponent of the principles of his party and an efficient worker at the polls. He is a man who is warm in his nature and steadfast in his friendships. He is highly regarded as a man of business and respected and esteemed as a citizen. He married April 1, 1875, the lady whom he selected to share his fortunes being Miss Mary E. Dunlavy, of Schuyler county, Ill. This union has been blessed with five children — Otis, Katie, Clarence, Alphia and Bertie. Mr. Hymer and his wife are both zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal church and generous contributors to all charitable purposes.

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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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