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W. W. Peay

The multiform activity of the human mind and its great functional adaptability, provide a genius for every sphere and architect for every needed structure an artisan for every piece of work that human life and human history requires. In the wide diversity of duties involved in the building of a state or conducting any sort of complicated enterprise every man and every form of human capacity can find scope for to some are given one work and to others another. In the social and civil economy of Wyoming and other portions of the Northwest, it fell to the lot of W. W. Peay to employ both the talents nature gave him and the attainments he had secured by study and practice not in unveiling hidden stores of mineral wealth, in operating gigantic commercial establishments no by inaugurating and developing great industrial enterprises although he has been more or less concerned in all of these but his special function seems to have been to lay out the land and definitely fix its metes and bounds for the protection of public and private interests and aid in administering the laws which govern both. He is the county surveyor of Bighorn County and has been occupied with civil engineering and surveying of one kind or another in various places from his early manhood. The place of his nativity is Little Rock, Arkansas and he was born there on June 29, 1853. His father Gordon N. Peay was a native of Kentucky and his mother whose maiden name was Olive Montgomery was born and reared in Arkansas. In 1860 they moved to Wilson County, Kansa and there reared and educated their son, his academic training being received mainly in the public schools and his professional education coming almost wholly through his own private study and through active practice. In 1880 he came to Wyoming and locating at Laramie was employed at civil engineering on government surveys under Downey & Grant. In 1883 he opened an office at Rawlins for the practice of his profession as a civil engineer and surveyor and soon after was elected county surveyor of the county in which he had settled. He filled this office until 1887 and at the end of his term came to the Bighorn locating on the river three miles below basin and in 1889 he moved to Bonanza, where he remained two years. In 1891 he homesteaded a portion of the land which now forms his residence and since then he has been engaged to a limited extent in the cattle business. In 1898 he was appointed a commissioner of District Court a position which he still holds and in 1900 he was elected county surveyor of Bighorn County and reelected in 1902. He has also served four years as justice of the peace and for a long period as member of the school board. But while busily occupied as a surveyor fixing the boundaries of district and counties as well as the limitations of private holdings at the same time establishing the forms and putting into beneficent activity the forces of civil power, he has not neglected commercial interests. He is a stockholder in the Bonanza oil fields and is connected influentially with other mercantile enterprises of magnitude and value. He is a freemason in fraternal relations being enthusiastic in his devotion to the order. He was married in Kansas in 1879 to Miss Lissa Thayer a native of Minnesota and a teacher in the public schools of that state. They have seven children, Shirley, wife of W. A. George; Elda Anna, Rolland W., Mabel, Paul and John. Mrs. Peay has been postmistress at Jordan since December 1900, and has discharged her official duties with credit to herself and satisfaction to the patrons.

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