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William P. Webster

The first postmaster of Cody, Wyoming holding the office which he still fills continuously from the establishment of the office being also prominent as a merchant machinist promoter and guide in this section. William P. Webster, of Cody in Bighorn County is closely identified with the history of this part of the state as well deserves the popularity and public esteem he so richly enjoys. He is a native of Indiana where he was born in 1850 the son of Richard F. and Rebecca (Shelley) Webster the former being a native of Indiana and the latter of Knoxville, Tennessee. When he was six years old the family moved to Iowa County, Iowa where he grew to manhood and received a limited education in the public schools. As a young man he went to Texas and Mexico strolling leisurely through then for three years and then went to Nebraska, locating in Saunders County where he took up a homestead and engaged in farming for a short time. Tiring of agricultural life he moved to Lincoln in that state and there learned the trade of a machinist and worked at the business for the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad for a definite number of years. In 1880 he was foreman of the shop of this company in Lincoln and in 1881 was transferred to Rock Springs, Wyoming where he was for four years foreman of the machinery department. In 1885 he took up his residence at Lander and there helped to put in milling machinery and the electric light plant, also managing the electric light lines there. In 1893 he removed to Ishawood on the South Fork of the Shoshone River and passed his time in hunting trapping and acting as guide for tourists in the Yellowstone Park. He also took up land in that vicinity. In 1896 he settled at Cody and entered the employ of the Shoshone Irrigation Co., assisting then in their store until late in 1897 when he bought the establishment. After conducting the business for a year he sold it in 1898 to Cody Trading Co., but remained in their employ a year after the sale. In 1896 he was appointed postmaster at Cody being the first person to hold the office and so far the only one, he having served continuously from this establishment. Mr. Webster has extensive mining interests in California, valuable holdings of oil lands in Bighorn county and also town property of value in various places. He was married in Cass County, Nebraska in 1873 to Miss Rachel J. Bird like himself a native of Indiana. They have two children, Della, married to A. R. Kirkland and residing in Fremont County on the Shoshone Indian reservation and Lewis E.; Mr. Webster has lived a life of adventure and has had many thrilling experiences both as a hunter and also with the Indians. In his capacity of guide he has conducted some of the most noted men of this age through the wilds and the park and has won high commendation from every source of intelligent observation. His knowledge of woodcraft is extensive and accurate his perception is quick his vision clear his energy tireless and his acquaintance with the country unsurpassed. No party committed to his care has ever failed to find all the enjoyment the region through which it passed afforded or all of the excitement that is cared for. Whatever was wild strange or novel in nature or hazardous or interesting in experience he would shoe them it was desired and for every emergency of life in the wilderness he was always able to provide with such readiness and completeness as to shield his parties from serious embarrassment.

  • Found in 1880 Census living Midland, Lancaster County, Nebraska.

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