Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association

    From Andreas History of the State of Nebraska, Pub 1882, about persons who lived in Miami County Ohio, then went to Nebraska

    Nemaha co, NE: EX-GOV. ROBERT W. FURNAS of Nebraska is of English ancestry, though his parents were both born in South Carolina, which State they left in 1804 because of slavery. They both died of cholera in 1832, when Robert W. was but eight years old. He was born May 5, 1824, on a farm in Miami County, Ohio, and at seventeen, went to Covington, Ky., where he served, to use his own expression, an old-fashioned apprenticeship at the printing business, of four years. Almost his entire education was obtained here, as he had never attended school not to exceed a year prior to this time. When about twenty-three years of age, young Furnas became proprietor and publisher and editor of the Troy, Ohio, Times, a Whig newspaper of which he disposed five years later. He was then consecutively agent and conductor on a railroad and insurance agent until 1856. In March of that year, he came to Brownville, Neb. and commenced publishing the Nebraska Advertiser, which is still published at South Auburn, Neb., and is the oldest newspaper in the State that has never been discontinued or changed name. Gov. Furnas served one year as clerk and four years as a member of the Territorial Council. At an early period in the civil war, he was commissioned Colonel in the United States Regular Army by President Lincoln, and organized the Indian Brigade of three regiments, which he commanded during its service in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and the Indian Territory. Resigning his command he returned, recruited the Second Nebraska Cavalry, and, as its Colonel, served in Gen. Sully's expedition against the Sioux Indians, pursuing them into British Columbia. He was appointed Agent for the Omaha and Winnebago Indians, and held the position for nearly four years. In the fall of 1872, he was elected Governor of Nebraska as a Republican, and served during one term: 1873-74; was then elected Regent of the State University, serving for six years, two years as President of the board. He has served eight years as president of the State Board of Agriculture; also as President of the State Horticultural Society, President of the Nebraska State Soldiers' Union, Vice President of the National Pomological Association, Past Grand Master of the I. O. O. F., Past Grand Master, Past Grand High Priest and Past Grand Commander of the Masonic bodies of Nebraska. He, while a member of the State Legislature, drafted and secured passage of the first common school law and the law organizing the State Board of Agriculture. In addition, Gov. Furnas enjoys the distinction of having organized the first school board in the Territory of Nebraska, and of having presided over the first State Educational Convention. It is entirely within the limits of truth and equity to say that Robert W. Furnas has planted and caused to be planted more trees on the great prairies of Nebraska than any other twenty men in it. His life long motto has been, leave this world something the better for having lived in it, and to this end the best years of his life have been most unselfishly devoted, self and self interests having been subserved to his one grand controlling idea. One of his chief delights has been to witness the results following his efforts to transform the so-called great American desert into a region covered with fruitful farms cultivated by an intelligent community of farmers. To use his own words again, "How successful I have been is for others to say; I have at least gone up head in all I undertook, and have had no time in which to accumulate wealth, believing perseverentia omnia vincil." The Governor has been a member of the Presbyterian Church since he was eighteen years of age. He married in 1845, in Cincinnati, Miss Mary A. McComas, who is still sharing with him their pleasant Brownville home. They have reared five children to manhood and womanhood. The Governor is now actively engaged in farming and fruit-growing on the Furnas fruit farm on the outskirts of the picturesque little city in which he has lived twenty-six years.

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