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Wm. & Emma (nee Witte) Sprong


Posted By: volunteer transcriber
Date: 3/19/2004 at 22:58:44

William Sprong who passed away in 1910, when seventy-six years of age, was the pioneer dairyman of Lincoln, establishing a milk route here in 1864. Before coming to Nebraska he had been engaged in whaling on the Arctic ocean for twenty-two years and had many exciting adventures in the north seas. A native of New York, he was born in Norwich in October, 1834, and was reared and received his education in his native town. When sixteen years of age he ran away from home and on reaching New York shipped on board a whaler as cabin boy. For twenty-two years he followed the sea and during that period made four trips around the world.

During the greater part of that time he was harpooner on a whaling vessel and developed great skill in the performance of his difficult task. At length, as his eyes were giving out, he quit the sea and came to Lincoln, Nebraska, where in 1864 he opened a dairy business, the first in the city. He bought and sold milk and cream and proved so successful in the management of his business affairs that after fifteen years he was able to retire from active life with a competence that insured him comfort. He continued to reside in Lincoln and passed away there in 1910. Mr. Sprong was married, on the 6th of October, 1897, to Mrs. Otto Webb. Her father, Henry Witte, was born in Germany, but emigrated to America and settled in Clayton county, Iowa, at an early day.

He purchased a farm and subsequently bought two additional farms in Clayton county. In 1863 he came to Lincoln and opened a grocery store at the corner of Fourteenth and O streets, retaining the ownership of that business after turning his attention to real estate dealing. At the time of his death he owned forty-two pieces of property in Lincoln, a section of land near Tecumseh, Nebraska ; a section near Hallam, this state; four hundred and eighty acres on section 27, Stockton precinct, Lancaster county; a section and an additional forty acres near Martell, and sixteen lots in Nebraska City.

He was united in marriage in Clayton county, Iowa, to Miss Dora Werger, and to them were born twelve children, of whom five are still living. Their daughter Emma was born near Garner Willow, Clayton county, Iowa, on the 31st of December, 1855, but was reared and educated Lincoln. She was here married in 1872 to Otto Webb, who followed carpentering for some time, but subsequently engaged in farming near Waverly, and still later on section 26, Stockton precinct.

To this marriage were born four children. Minnie, who is thirty-two years of age, gave her hand in marriage to L. O. Bluhm, a farmer operating one hundred and twenty acres on section 26, Stockton precinct. They have four children, Louisa, Melvin, Marvin and Wilma. Clara, thirty years of age, is the wife of Everett Rupert, who is engaged in the moving picture business at David City, Nebraska; Myrtle, who is twenty-six years old, resides with her mother on the home farm. Emma, who is twenty-four years of age, is the wife of William C. Werger, a farmer living near Martell, this state.

Mr. Sprong supported the republican party at the polls but was not active in public affairs. Fraternally he was a Mason, belonging to a lodge in New York. His religious faith was that of the Lutheran church. During the many years of his residence in this city he gained a wide acquaintance and there were many who sincerely mourned his demise. His wife owns three residences in Lincoln, which she rents, and also has one hundred and twenty acres of land near the city, on which she lives and the operation of which she supervises. She has seen much of the development of Lancaster county, as there were still many evidences of pioneer life here when she came. She has at all times performed well the duties that fell to her hands.

- source: "LINCOLN The Capitol City and Lancaster County, Nebraska" Published Chicago, Illinois; The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; 1916

- transcribed by Kathie Harrison
Coordinator, Lancaster Co. NEGenWeb Project
(posted to the Clayton co. IAGenWeb with her permission)


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen


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