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John Cameron

Enjoying distinctive prestige as one of the representative farmers and stock-raisers of Laramie County, Wyoming, and standing as a leading citizen of the community in which he resides, Mr. John Cameron owes his success entirely to his own efforts and is clearly entitled to the proud American appellation of self made man. The story of his life is easily told, for into his career have entered no thrilling experiences, his every action standing open to the closest scrutiny and most critical judgement of men, not an eventful life, but one that has not been denied a goodly harvest. John Cameron hails from far-away Scotland, and is a notable example of the wholesome influence, which the sturdy Scotch element has exercised upon our industrial and national life. His father, James Cameron, was a forester of Perthshire, dying in Scotland in 1884. The maiden name of the mother was Elizabeth McAntish; she also lived and died in Perthshire, where her son John was born, on May 14, 1856, and he received his early educational discipline in such schools as his neighborhood afforded, growing up amid the bracing air of outdoor life, strong of body and independent of spirit and until his eighteenth year he remained under the parental roof, contributing his share to the family’s support. In 1874 he was enabled to carry out a desire of long standing and bidding farewell to the romantic scenes of his childhood he turned his face to the New World and entered upon a new destiny. Reaching the United States after an uneventful voyage, young Cameron proceeded at once to San Francisco, California, thence to Los Angeles, near which city he soon secured employment on a cattle ranch. After remaining on the Pacific coast until 1880, he went to Larimer County, Colorado, where he followed agricultural pursuits about six years, thence removing to Wyoming, of which state he has since been an honored resident. On coming to Wyoming Mr. Cameron made a judicious selection of land on the North Platte River, twenty miles east of Fort Laramie, taking up and buying 564 acres, admirably situated for agricultural and grazing purposes. He has reduced a part of his ranch to successful cultivation, besides making a number of valuable improvements, his place and the buildings in general comparing favorably with the leading properties of the kind in this part of the state. He has made commendable progress in the stock industry, and from the beginning his career presents a series of continued successes until he stands today among the leading cattle men in the county of Laramie, being a practical man of progressive ideas and supervising with the greatest of care his large interests. He bears the highest reputation for enterprising methods and is widely esteemed by the stockmen of this section and all other classes of people with whom he has relations. He manages his affairs on strictly business principles, is systematic and methodical and close attention to details, capability and fair dealing have brought to him not only a high degree of success, but the confidence of the public. Mr. Cameron has read much and is a close student of current and political questions, especially those bearing on state and national legislation. He is the recognized Democratic leader of the precinct in which he lives and has long been in close touch with the management of the party throughout the county. His deep interest in local and state politics has brought him to the front as a successful party worker and in number of campaigns he has done much to promote the success of the ticket. From 1896 to 1898 inclusive he served as a justice of the peace while for four and one-half years he was the popular postmaster at Torrington, holding the office until the railroad was completed, when it was located in a station bearing the same name. In promoting and carrying to successful completion public enterprises, especially those affecting the material development of the country, Mr. Cameron has been a leading spirit. He helped organize the Torrington Ditch Co., which has proved such a benefit in irrigating and reclaiming a large part of Laramie County, and for ten years has been secretary of the corporation and one of its largest stockholders. He has assisted to the limit of his ability other measures for the general good, and his influence is invariably exerted in behalf of any enterprise calculated to improve the moral and social conduct of the people and advance the standard of citizenship. While on a visit to his native land in 1878, Mr. Cameron was initiated in the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masonry and had been an active worker of the mystic tie ever since, belonging to Scotts Bluff Lodge, No. 201. He was reared rather rigidly in the strict faith of the Scotch Presbyterian Church and has always been loyal to its teachings and precepts. He and wife were members of the church and active in the good work of the congregation with which they are identified. Mr. Cameron entered marriage relations at Fort Collins, Colorado, on June 2, 1883, with Miss Mary Watson, also a native of Scotland and daughter of John and Jane (McKenzie) Watson, both her parents living and dying in that country. Two children came to their marriage, Paul and Jane McKenzie Cameron. Mrs. Cameron died of consumption after a lingering illness, on June 7, 1902, and she was interred in West Lawn cemetery at Gering, Scottsbluff County, Nebraska, passing over to those activities which have no weariness with the cordial love and blessings of an unusually large number of personal friends, who highly prized her many excellent traits of character.

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