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James T. Bawker

Born and reared in Jo Daviess County, Illinois and orphaned by the death of a devoted father at the age of nine years, James T. Bawker, now of Weston County, Wyoming, has passed almost his whole life in rural pursuits and has been dependent on himself since an early period. He first saw the light of this world on December 8m 1841 and in 1850 his father went under the great excitement of the time to the promising gold fields of California, dying on his return home after a career there of varying success. His name was Ira Bawker, being a native of New York, who as a young man had come to the great prairie state of what was then the far West, with his bride, nee Rebecca Borthwick, also a native of the Empire state and had there engaged in farming until the gold fever took him far from his home and family never to return alive. His widow survived his loss until 1891 and until her death, continued the farming operations he had begun. Their son, James T. Bawker, remained at home until he was fifteen years old, attending the public schools of the neighborhood and assisting on the farm. He then started in life for himself by hiring out as a farm hand near his home and passed the next four ears of his life in this occupation. In 1861 he removed to Goodhue County, Minnesota and at the breaking out of the civil war soon after he enlisted as a member of the Third Minnesota Infantry in defense of the Union, following his convictions and the flag of his country through three years of bloody strife, seeing much of the hardship and arduous service of war in its worst form, returning in 1864 to his former Illinois home with an honorable discharged from the army and the consciousness of having maintained on every field and in every crisis the good name of the American citizen soldiery, which has been won in every war in which it engaged. He remained and farmed in his native county until 1871, in that year going to Mitchell County, Kansas, where he took up land and continued farming operations until 1884. In June of that year he sold out and came to Wyoming locating in Crook County and beginning a prosperous and expanding business in the stock industry near Sundance. Two years later he transferred his vase of operations to his present ranch on skull creek, twenty-eight miles northwest of Newcastle and has since been fully occupied there with his stock and farming interest. His ranch consists of 640 acres of excellent land, with sufficient variety of altitude and quality to form a very desirable estate and yield the best results in agricultural products and grazing features. A large portion is under irrigation and in a high state of cultivation, while the improvements are suitable in character and sufficient in scope fir the purpose of the ranch. They are modern in style, convenient in arrangement and substantial in structure. On this pleasant and productive estate Mr. Bawker has resided for half a generation of life in company with the wife of his youth, who still abides with him, and with whom he married on October 11, 1866, in Jo Daviess County, Illinois where her parents, as well as his, were pioneers and substantial farmers. Before her marriage she was Miss Catherine Brickler, a daughter of Anthony and Elizabeth (Rindsbacher) Brickler, the former a native of Canada and the latter of Switzerland. The Bawkers have three children, Ira S., a prosperous farmer and stockman of Weston County, mentioned on another page of this work, Ernest A. and Nellie A., now Mrs. Davis. Mr. Bawker is a Republican in polities, but not an active partisan. He is one of the oldest settlers in this section, who has contributed essentially to its growth.

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