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Charles Smith

Prominent among the well to do German American citizens of Laramie County, Wyoming is Charles Smith now one of the leading stockmen of Davis ranch in that state, He is a native of Germany having been born in Strasbourg in the province of Lorraine on May 18, 1855 the son of Charles and Elizabeth (Bart) Smith both natives of Lorraine. His father followed the occupation of farming in his native country up to the time of his decease. The subject of this review received his early education in the schools of the province of Lorraine. When he had attained to the age of seventeen years reports reached him of the wonderful country across the sea in the new World and of the opportunities which were there offered to young men of steady habits and industry and he determined to seek his fortune in America. Arriving here in 1873 he first settled in Pennsylvania where he secured employment in various portions of that state working both as a stonemason and as a farmer. He remained here until 1876 when he joined the stampede to the Black Hills of Dakota where great discoveries of gold had recently been made. Here he located several claims and engaged in mining with varying success until 1878 when he disposed of his interests in the Black Hills and removed to the territory of Wyoming. Here he secured employment on cattle ranches determined to acquire a practical knowledge of the cattle business. He remained in this employment for two years and in 1882 he located his present ranch property on Horse Creek in Laramie County about thirty miles north of the city of Cheyenne. He made a small beginning in the stock business adding to it as his means would permit and also worked on other ranches and also on the railroad for the purpose of earning the money to invest in his business. He continued in this way gradually building himself up and securing a footing in the cattle business until 1887 since which time he has resided continuously on his ranch and has given his entire attention to the management of his own business affairs. His principal industry is cattle raising but he is also the owner of a large number of horses and has now a well-improved ranch of 440 acres of fine land with adjacent range privileges. He is one of the self-made men of the section who by hard work perseverance and frugality have raised themselves to a position of prosperity and standing in the community. On October 14, 1889 at the city of Elgin, Illinois, Mr. Smith was joined in the bonds of holy wedlock with Miss Sophia Schlinsker, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the daughter of Henry and Veronica Schlinsker, natives of Germany. The parents of Mrs. Smith were married in the city of Milwaukee. Her father followed the occupation of farming on that vicinity and also was engaged in the business of making brooms in the city. Subsequently he disposed of his interests at Milwaukee and removed his residence to Elgin, Illinois where he continued to transact an extensive business in the manufacture of brooms up to the time of his decease, which occurred in 1895. The mother passed away in March 1900 and both are buried in Elgin. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, C. Frank, Leo S. and Maria F., all of whom are living. The families are devout members of the Roman Catholic Church and deeply interested in all matters affecting the works of religion or charity in the community where they reside. Politically, Mr. Smith is a stanch adherent of the Democratic Party and takes an active interest in public affairs never seeking office for himself but ever being earnest and loyal in his support of his friends and in the service of his party. He is one of the most respected citizens of his section of the county standing in high esteem.

  • I found a Charles Smith in the 1880 census living at 27th District, Laramie, Wyoming.

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