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Hon. Charles D. Cazier

No roster of Wyoming’s Progressive Men, not even a partial one, would be complete without an honorable mention of Hon, Charles D. Cazier, one of the foremost citizens of Uinta County, who has a well-improved and highly-cultivated farm adjoining the town of Afton, where he exemplifies, from day to day, the fidelity to duty, earnest interest in the affairs of the community which he was one of the first to form, active and prudent zeal in commercial enterprise and exalted devotion to the welfare of his church. Mr. Cazier was born in Kentucky, on January 21, 1837, the son of William and Pleasant (Drake) Cazier, natives of Virginia, who both descended from old Colonial Families that bore there part courageously in all the struggles of their country and section, whether on the field of battle or in the arduous but productive pursuits of peace. The father was a cooper by trade and worked at that craft and also farmed in Kentucky for years, the removed to Iowa, and from there, in 1851, to Utah, where he died in 1878, aged seventy-eight years, the mother having passed away in Iowa in 1846. The family consisted of ten children, of whom Charles was the ninth. Only four are living, three sons and one daughter. To Charles D. Cazier fate denied the advantage of a scholastic education gathered in the schoolroom, but well supplied the deficiency by thorough teaching in the hard but effective school of experience. When he was but fourteen he encountered the daily peril and nightly apprehension, the hardships, the privations and the wearying toil of a journey across the plains with his parents, making the trip by means of ox teams. And on his arrival in the land of there chosen residence he was at once obliged to take as a workman on the farm to aid in subduing the wilderness to which they had come, and give of his best endeavors to making it fruitful. He continued farming in Utah until 1879, when he removed to Idaho, thence, in 1880, he came to Wyoming, but soon returned to Idaho, where he remained until he came again to Wyoming, with the intention of remaining, and, taking up a place adjoining the unpeopled site of Afton, began to improve it and build it into a home. He was one of the first nine householders to settle in the valley, and he has contributed his full share to the inspiration and the work necessary to make the lonely and uninhabited region, in which they first pitched their tents, the populous progressive, highly improved well developed section it has become. His home is one of the choice ones of the valley, and all that there is appertaining to it of comfort, convenience and artistic adornment, is the result of his industry, enterprise, intelligent husbandry and judicious taste. His excellent judgement and store of wordily wisdom have won him the confidence of his people, and, in 1880 he was appointed postmaster at Afton, being the first official of that class in the valley. In 1894 he was elected to the State Senate from his county and made a credible record in the Legislature. In church affairs he has been active from his early manhood. He was the first Bishop in the Mormon Church of all this country, and held this office for a number of years. He is at present (1902) the President of the High Priest’s Quorum and Patriarch of the Stake. To the duties of these responsible and important positions he gives the most careful and conscientious attention. On June 12, 1858, in Utah, he married with Miss Harriet Gates, a native of Michigan and a daughter of Samuel and Lydia (Downer) Gates, the former born in New York and the latter in Vermont. Twelve children, six sons and six daughters, have blessed their union, but only six are now living. These are: Charles, William, Samuel and George, all married and living in Uinta County; Sarah E., now the wife of Charles C. Leavitt, of Afton; Willard O., who is still one of the parental household. Those deceased are: Lydia, Margaret and Evelyn, the latter of whom died at Nephi, Utah, in infancy; Harriet, former wife of A. B. Call, of Mexico, who died in that country at the age of twenty-two years, leaving one child; Miranda; Artello, who died in Idaho in childhood. Mr. Cazier's life has not been one of entire calm, for he saw dangerous service in all the early Indian wars of this section, and for years, like others of the people, carried his life in his hands from day to day. Many times he was in desperate situations, many times he narrowly escaped a cruel death at the hands of hostile savages, many times he was compelled to endure great privations from hunger, thirst and from exposure to the fury of the inclement elements. Through all these vicissitudes, as through his periods of enjoyment, he bore himself bravely, even cheerfully, and now finds that the recollection of trials past but sweetens the enjoyment of rest and comfort thereby secured.

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