C.A. Ready
A man of multiple identities, Charles Ready first appears in the Census records in 1880 at 15 in Gold Township, Illinois. Gold township is mostly farming communities near the Iowa border. He is the of nine children. His father Robert was born in Virginia, his mother Jane was born in Illinois. His location for the 1890 census is unknown, but in 1900, he reappears at the age of 35, now in Hayes County, Nebraska. He is married to twenty-three year old woman named either Tiberia M or Florence Neveren, an immigrant from Bohemia. They have two children, Blanche, who is four years old, and Gretta who is 2. He is employed as a clerk in a law office in Hayes Center. In 1910, C.A. Ready is listed as divorced, but no mention of the location of his wife can be found. The girls, Blanche and Gretta are fourteen and twelve respectively. They are listed as speaking English and attending school. Ready owns his own home and has no mortgage on it.

In 1920, Fifty-four year old Charles Ready has married forty-nine year old Bertha Ayer (née Hansen) from Illinois. Her youngest daughter, Ruth, age 20, lives with them and works as a clerk in the post office. They also have a boarder with them. By 1930, Ruth is dead, and only sixty-four year old Charles and fifty-nine year old Bertha are listed as living in Hayes Center.

He is a predominant person in Hayes Center. On the front page gossip column, he or members of his family are frequently mentioned. His purchasing an automobile and being seen motoring around the county in 1916 is often cited in the papers. He often helps the local judge in professional matters. He has studied law, and gives a talk at a local medical school that is about to open about the legal aspects of medicine in 1916. He also works as editor of the Hayes Center Times Republican and as the County Prosecutor for Hayes County. He is also on the Republican Board for the State of Nebraska by 1930. He served on the state board of agriculture, reporting the growing conditions for Hayes Center. He appears to be party to many of the important events in the Nebraska area, and his importance may have led to the attention that Fields’ trial received. Charles A. Ready is listed as having died on February 12, 1932 and is buried in the Hayes Center Cemetery.

Sources: U.S. Census
Hayes Center Times Republican
Nebraska Blue Book - http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/resources/OLLibrary/Blue_Book/1920/pages/bb200378.htm
History of Hayes Center - http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/resources/OLLibrary/SCHofNE/pages/schn0245.htm