Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
GUSTAVE PLIGER was born in Detmold,
Germany, November 16, 1855, was a member of a family of six children, and
at the age of fourteen was thrown upon his own resources for a livelihood.
Prior to that time he had acquired some education in the common schools
and immediately after learned the shoemaker's trade, which had been the
vocation of his father. He followed his trade in Germany until coming
to America in 1883, when he located first in Chicago and later in southern
Illinois, where he made shoes and farmed until removing to Iowa in 1885.
In that state he located first at Rockwill City where he followed shoemaking,
and also operated a farm near by. In 1889 he came to his present
location one mile east of Paha and filed a homestead. Owing to times
being hard he was compelled to do some outside work in order to support
his family and improve his claim, so he spent the following seven years
employed most of the time by the Northern Pacific railroad. He has
continued since coming here to acquire land as he became able to do so,
so that now he has three thousand acres, two thousand of which are in wheat
and the balance he uses for pasture for his stock, of which he has one
hundred and fifty horses and twenty-five cattle. All of his land
is under fence and his buildings are among the best to be found on any
Big Bend farm.
Mr. Pliger is the son of Adolph and Lena (Erkman)
Pliger, both of whom were born and both died in Germany.
In 1882 Gustave Pliger was married to Pauline
Busser, daughter of Henry and Caroline (Coffer) Busser, native Germans.
Her father was a surveyor for the German government, and her grandfather
was a soldier in the Russian war of 1806. Her family numbered four
children. To this union have been born six children, Lena, Freda,
Gustave, Mary, Rudolph and Paul.
Mr. and Mrs. Pliger are members of the Lutheran
church. In politics Mr. Pliger is an independent voter, casting his
ballot for the man of his choice regardless of the candidate's political
creed. He has repeatedly held office on his local school
In November, 1902, in company with his daughter
Mary, Mr. Pliger went on a prolonged visit to his old German home, returning
the following year, leaving the daughter in the old country to return later.