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Hon. Augustus L. Coleman

To preside over the birth or formative period of a new political entity, to gave shape to its plastic substance and establish its rules of action, to fix the trend of its civil policy and start in motion its educational and moral forces, is a privilege allowed to few men, who possess it are entitled to all honor, if they perform their duties wisely. In this class must be numbered Hon. Augustus L. Coleman, of Bighorn County, Wyoming, a prominent ranchman, stockgrower, legislator and leading citizen, who is now living on his beautiful ranch of 320 acres near Bigtrails. He has been so essentially a leader of thought and mental and political action in this county that he must ever occupy a place of high regard among its people, and be revered as one of its founders. He was connected with the U. S. Survey, which fixed the metes and bounds of much of its land, and he has also performed a considerable amount of other surveying within its limits. He helped to organize the first school district in the county and taught the first school in the Bighorn Basin. In order to qualify as a member of the board for this school district he was obliged to make an eight-days’ trip to Buffalo. He was a member of the first board of county commissioners of the county, and also one of the first justices of the peace. He represented the county in the Lower House of the First State Legislature, and has since represented it in the Senate. For many years he was a deputy U. S. Surveyor, and is now an U. S. Commissioner. In all these capacities he has served the people well, discharged his duties with fidelity and skill and maintained a high standard of official propriety and dignity. Mr. Coleman was born May 23, 1855, in Otsego County, New York, where his parents, Morell and Helen (Curtis) Coleman, were also natives, and where his ancestors on booth sides have lived for generations. He past his childhood and youth in his native county, and from her public schools secured his education in the way of scholastic training. After leaving school he engaged in both farming and teaching near his home until 1885, when he accompanied ex-Gov. W. A. Richards, of the Colorado Ditch Company, to Wyoming, the year coming to his present location, where he began the raising of stock and farming. He was assiduous in improving his land, fitting it up with the necessary equipment for his purposes, beautifying it with a commodious and comfortable residence. He also labored diligently and judiciously in cultivating much of the land, thus making it subserve the requirements of his extensive and increasing herd of cattle, which now number five-hundred head and rank in grade with any in his vicinity. As has been noted, he served in the First State Legislature, and in 1896 he was elected to the State Senate and served four years. In this exalted station, wherein he was associated with a number of the best and ablest men in the state, he was conspicuous for the wide and accurate knowledge which he displayed of the affairs of the State, for the correctness and wisdom of his views and for his skill and vigor in enforcing them. He rendered valuable service to his constituents and to the state at large. He was married in New York, on June 2, 1878, to Miss Irene Slater, a native of that state. They have two children, George and Howard. Mr. Coleman is in all respects a truly representative man of the state, one of its most respected and influential citizens. Mrs. Coleman came to the West in the spring of 1887, and, although not strong physically, and, for the past nine years, almost an invalid, she has labored in the interest of her husband and family untiringly, often beyond her strength. One of the self-sacrificing, kindest and best of the ever noble women of the frontier, she is universally loved in the county where she has done her full share in all matters aiding in the establishment of civilization. Mr. Coleman writes us thus: “ If I have been successful here, either politically or in a financial way, she is certainly entitled to the credit, for, without her loving counsel, I certainly should not have attained to any prominence.”

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