(Articles 14 - 22)
Transcribed by Lee Zion <firstname.lastname@example.org>, October 2001.
The Buildings Comfortable Structures and the Ministers Full of Zeal.
An indication of the christian moral spirit that inspires the community can be found in the six churches of Wray and the large congregations they attract from both the city and the country each Sunday. The influence exerted by these temples of worship is far reaching, tending to eradicate evil and purify the thoughts and lives of all classes and conditions of men.
(Photo of church)
The First Presbyterian church of Wray was organized in 1887, with a membership of about fifty. The membership embraced the territory south and west of Wray, for several miles, including the Vernon district. About twelve years ago the members who lived in the Vernon section of the county withdrew from the Wray church and established another church at Vernon. About fourteen years ago the Wray congregation erected a comfortable church building at a cost of $1,500 and in 1900 an attractive manse was erected at a cost of $1,400. The church has a membership of about sixty now and it is entirely free from debt. Rev. E.B. Gramelio, a gentleman of much more than ordinary ability and one who displays zealous devotion in the work of the Master, is the present pastor of the church, and he is doing a grand, good work in rescuing the perishing.
(Photo of church)
The Wray Church of Christ was organized on April 28, 1901, under the direction of Leonard G. Thompson, secretary of Colorado state missions, and J.P. Lucas, an evangelist of Colorado City, with thirty charter members. The fact that the church erected a new house of worship at a cost of $2,500 and dedicated it on June 22, 1902, speaks louder than words of the earnestness of the newly formed band of worshipers. Since then the church has made marked progress, having more than doubled its membership. From the beginning the church has contributed liberally to general missionary activities, the ladies of the organization doing very effective service. An enthusiastic Christian Endeavor society was organized a few months ago. Judging by its past, this church has a wonderfully useful future before it in the work of redemption. Since October 11, 1903, Elder G.C. Johnson has been pastor and he is proving an earnest and devoted minister. The gentleman, who is a native of Ohio, graduated from Bethany college, West Virginia. Before coming here he was pastor of a Nebraska church for nearly four years.
(Photo of church)
The Wray branch of the Reorganized church of Latter Day Saints was organized in June 1892 with a membership of eighteen. Elder E.D. Bullard was chosen pastor and he faithfully served the church until 1902 when Elder A.E. Tabor, the present pastor, succeeded him. Elder J.B. Roush, who had been president of the Eastern Colorado district of this religious organization for many years, resides at Wray and since he was compelled to abandon that work owing to illness, he has been assisting in the pastoral work at Wray. For several years the congregation of this church worshipped in school houses in the vicinity of Wray, but in 1901 the present house of worship was erected at a cost of $800 and dedicated, free from debt, in September of that year. The present membership of the church is fifty-three. This branch of the Latter Day Saints has no connection or sympathy with the Utah Mormon church. On the contrary, it is an uncompromising opponent of the latter, holding plural marriages and other disreputable features of the Utah Mormon church in utter detestation.
The Wray M.E. Church was organized in 1892, with a membership of six. Services were held in the Presbyterian church for about seven years, but in 1899, under the pastorate of Rev. George R. Groff, the church erected a house of worship of its own. The building was completed under the pastoral charge of Rev. S.E. Ellis. In 1902 a new parsonage was erected while Rev. C.W. Cunningham was pastor. A short time ago, while Mr. Cunningham was on his way to visit friends in the East, he died very suddenly in Chicago. He was succeeded by Rev. Edward E. Hick as pastor of the church. Mr. Hick is a native of West Virginia, having finished his education at the Mt. Union (Ohio) college and was ordained to the ministry at the Wesleyan University of West Virginia. He is a gentleman of pronounced ability and his zealous devotion to the work of his church cannot fail to accomplish good results. This church has a membership of ninety-four now.
This is the first church that was organized in Wray. At first services were held in private houses, but in 1888 a comfortable church was erected in which the congregation has worshipped regularly up to the present time. The parish is not able to support a resident priest, but Rev. Father Robertson, of Brighton, is the pastor in charge, holding regular services at stated intervals. Father Robertson was formerly professor of philosophy in the Catholic college at Portland, Oregon, and he is distinguished because of his profound learning, as well as his zealous tabors in behalf of his church and people. In addition to English, the gentleman's high educational attainments extend to Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, French and Spanish.
(Photo of church)
The Seventh Day Adventist church was organized on December 22, 1900, with a membership of twelve. The new church building was dedicated on March 9, 1902 and it was entirely free from debt when it was opened for worship. Since its organization this church has made cheering progress and now it has a membership of forty earnest, christian people. Elder George O. States is pastor; B.E. Parkins, first elder; B.E. Lewis, deacon; Mrs. Anna Morton, clerk, and Lilly Dorman, librarian. A.M. Dorman is superintendent of the Sabbath school and Minnie Dorman, secretary. There is an average attendance of thirty at the Sabbath school.
The barber shop conducted by O.A. Courtney on the corner of Chief and Kiowa streets in Wray is one of the most popular in Eastern Colorado. The gentleman owns his shop and two lots on this valuable corner, and he has every convenience and comfort to make his place of business an inviting one. He has two chairs and only first-class barbers are employed in the establishment, with cleanliness as a pronounced feature. Those who patronize this shop are assured of a first-class hair cut and a smooth shave.
Mr. Courtney is a native of Carningville, Ill., where he was born twenty-five years ago. His parents moved to Nebraska when he was only five years of age, and there they remained for one year. Then they came to Colorado and located in Yuma county, where they filed on a homestead, a pre-emption and a timber claim, amounting to 480 acres, a short distance from Wray. Mr. Courtney spent his boyhood days on the farm, but seven years ago he moved to Wray and learned the barber's trade. Shortly afterwards he engaged in business for himself and his spirit of industry has been rewarded by the most generous success. The young gentleman is well and favorably known, and this, in connection with his pronounced skill as a barber of more than ordinary ability, has won for him a large and constantly increasing patronage. Mr. Courtney takes a deep interest in the progress of Wray and gives his generous aid to every measure calculated to promote the welfare of the city and county.
(Photo - The Wray Mills)
Undoubtedly there is no other single factor in the commercial and business pursuits of Yuma county that is doing so much to enhance the progress and prosperity of the community as the Wray Mills, and in the recent career of this flourishing industry is illustrated to a remarkable degree what the untiring energy, persevering industry and business sagacity of one man can accomplish in restoring confidence in a discredited institution and making of it an active, progressive leader in diffusing general prosperity.
The mills, which are situated in the eastern part of Wray, on the north fork of the Republican river, were erected by J.W. Pickle and L.M. Butts in 1892, the city having donated them a considerable bonus for establishing the industry. A very substantial building was erected and the work was characterized by skilled workmanship in every detail. It was designed for a Plansifter mill, with a grinding capacity of seventy-five barrels of flour per day. It was fitted with the latest improved Barnard & Lease machinery and everything required to make it first-class in every particular, the entire cost being $14,000. The power is supplied by the Republican river, a never-failing and abundant stream of spring water having a fall of thirty-two feet a mile. The mill was perfect, the most prolonged drouth did not affect the water power and the supply of excellent wheat was ample, but, unfortunately, the mill displayed an infirmity of management which culminated in blasted hopes and business disaster. The business methods pursued were bad, the quality of flour produced was worse, and the dissatisfaction of the mills' patrons became most pronounced. The management changed repeatedly, and with each new change better results were promised, but the mills continued to produce the same old inferior quality of flour. Finally public disgust with the products of the mill became general and the patronage became so small that the owners were forced to suspend operations and close the mills.
Such were the discouraging conditions when N.D. Beaver, the present proprietor, came from Kansas and bought the mills in November 1901. Only those who can realize how hard it is to inject life into a physical corpse can comprehend how difficult it is to revive a decayed industry and inspire confidence in its frequently discarded products. Indeed the people of Wray and Yuma county had acquired almost as much platonic affections for the output of the Wray Mills as they entertain for a pesthouse or a building covered with smallpox signs, when the young man from Nebraska commenced his "campaign of education" in "the enemy's country."
B.R. Stickley, a gentleman who enjoyed a well merited and flattering reputation as a first-class miller for many years was placed in control of the manufacturing department of the mills, and he commenced producing a superior quality of flour at the very beginning. Then day after day, Mr. Beaver vigorously engaged in the work of creating a market for his flour. He placed it on sale with business men on condition that unless the consumers found it to be exactly as represented, payment would not be expected. Day after day he gave farmers dozens of sacks of flour, with the proviso that if it was found of good quality to pay for it and if not satisfactory to feed it to their hogs free of charge. He continued this policy of enlightenment for several months, during which time he distributed many hundreds of sacks of flour, and the results were more than gratifying. At first he ran the mills only one day in the week, but the excellence of the flour he continued to manufacture was reflected in the rapidly increasing demand for it and within six months he found a ready market for all the flour the mills could produce, its superior quality receiving general recognition.
The mills manufacture two kinds of flour, the winter wheat and spring wheat products. The best quality of winter wheat flour is the "Golden Rays" brand, and the best quality of spring wheat flour is the "Sunshine" brand. They make another grade called "Standard" and a third grade bearing the "Up-to-Date" brand. In addition, the mills manufacture very fine qualities of corn meal and graham flour, as well as large quantities of feed for stock.
The mills are running full time and how firmly the superior quality of its products is established is indicated by the fact that the Wray Mills supply more than 90 per cent of all the flour used in Yuma county, besides making regular shipments to many towns of the railway line west of this county and to Nebraska towns east of here. The entire output of bran and shorts is sold at home.
The Wray Mills buy all kinds of grain, paying such good prices that Wray is now recognized as a first-class market. The result is that farmers within a radius of forty and fifty miles, extending into Nebraska, market their produce at Wray. Mr. Beaver, too, pays the highest figures for hogs, of which he feeds an average of 200 all the time and ships one car-load a week to the Denver markets. In addition he keeps over three hundred chickens, geese and ducks.
Since he purchased the mills a little more than two years ago, Mr. Beaver has expended over $3,000 in improvements, including twenty acres of land adjacent to the mills, which he purchased for yards, hog pasture, etc., and he is contemplating the erection of an elevator and large warehouse at an early date, in order to accommodate his rapidly increasing business. And now a few words about the personality of the gentleman who has accomplished so much for himself and Wray during the last two years.
A Personal Sketch
Mr. Beaver, who is thirty-three years of age, is a native of St. Charles, Madison county, Iowa, where his father was a practicing physician. When he was ten years of age, the family moved to Seward, Neb., and after three years to Colby, Kan., where he completed his common school education. Then he attended the Salina normal university and after graduating he returned to Colby to face the realities of life. First he was employed in a large lumber and coal yard in that town for three years, when he resigned to accept the management of a similar business at Selden, in the same state. After two years of faithful service, he moved to Oberlin, Kan., where he assumed charge of another large lumber yard, and there he remained until he came to Wray.
In the Kansas campaign of 1898, the Republicans of Decatur county, who were "shy" a candidate for clerk of the district court, implored Mr. Beaver to accept the position, then considered an empty honor, as the Populists had a majority of 500 in the county. Finally the gentleman accepted the nomination and after a display of his "hustling" qualities in the campaign, he was elected by a majority of more than one hundred, indicating the great esteem in which he was held by the masses.
On January 1, 1899, Mr. Beaver married Miss Grace Stickley, the brilliant and accomplished daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B.R. Stickley, then of Oberlin, Kan., but now popular residents of Wray. Mrs. Beaver utilized her marked ability and bright intellect by discharging in a most creditable manner the duties of district court clerk during the term her husband had been elected the previous autumn. As an efficient district court clerk the lady won general commendation in that county.
In Yuma county the activity and political shrewdness of Mr. Beaver soon received recognition, and he is now secretary of the Republican county committee. Fraternally, the gentleman is a member of the Masonic lodge, Royal Arch Chapter, Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen.
Mr. and Mrs. Beaver own a cozy home in the eastern part of the city.
Only those who have witnessed the untiring energy, persevering industry and business acumen of Mr. Beaver during the past two years, and more, can fully realize the discouraging obstacles he surmounted, and the signal benefits he has conferred on Wray and Yuma county. He has not only converted the idle and despised Wray Mills into an active, appreciated and popular industry, which is diffusing prosperity in the entire community, but he has established a grain and hog market at Wray that attracts a large volume of business to this city. It is no exaggeration to affirm that hundreds of farmers who seldom, if ever, visited Wray before Mr. Beaver bought the mills, now sell all their produce here and make this city their regular trading point.
Not only does the gentleman display wonderful activity and zealous devotion to his own business interests, but in every movement calculated to promote the welfare of the city and county he is equally energetic, contributing generously of his time and means to aid local advancement and prosperous conditions. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that the genial gentleman has already won a degree of general esteem and confidence in Yuma county that is but rarely bestowed on an individual who has spent a life-time in well doing.
Note - Since the above was in type Mr. Beaver has sold the Wray Mills to Nebraska parties and he is now manager of the Wray Telephone Co.
Good Buildings, Modern Appliances and Experienced Teachers Employed.
(Photo of Wray Public School)
The public school system of Colorado is worthy of this great state. In providing generously for the sustenance of the public schools, the people display a true conception of what constitutes one of the most attractive features of the Centennial State. Realizing that true education - mental, moral and physical - leads to good citizenship and the perpetuity of the government, our public school system is recognized as one of primary importance, and for no other purpose are the people more liberal in the expenditure of money.
The County Schools
From the early settlement of Yuma county the education of the rising generation has been kept in the van of progress, as a result of which the county can now present most creditable educational attractions. The school buildings are substantial, comfortable structures, well ventilated and lighted and generously equipped with modern appliances necessary for efficient school work. The school sites, too, are carefully selected, with due regard for healthful surroundings. In providing for the education of their children our citizens believe in supplying every possible comfort to promote health and aid in the development of the youthful intellect.
The county has a scholastic population of 1,141 and the total revenue for educational purposes this year is $17,716.85, of which amount the teachers are paid $13,849. There are fifty-nine school districts in the county employing sixty-eight teachers, and the value of school property amounts to $22,099. Miss Minnie Cunningham, a brilliant and highly educated young lady, who has been a very successful teacher, is the present county superintendent of schools, and the educational interests of the county are making encouraging and very satisfactory progress under her efficient supervision.
Have Earned a Flattering Reputation Because of Their Efficiency.
In their efforts to promote the material advancement of the city, the people of Wray have always realized the importance of the public school. They have exerted every effort to create an institution that would prove beneficial to their children and a credit to their town, and the flattering reputation as a superior educational institution acquired by the school in Eastern Colorado, is no mean reward for their energy and zeal in well-doing. The history of the Wray public school began with the early settlement of the town, one of the first public movements being the organization of a school district, which was supplemented by the erection of a school building. This structure soon became inadequate for the growing population when it was sold to the town for a city hall and the present school building erected. The latter soon became too crowded with pupils, and in 1901 an additional building was erected for the accommodation of the primary department. And still the capacity of these buildings is so insufficient that there is a strong public sentiment in favor of the erection of a large brick school house at an early date.
In 1898 the course of study was extended to embrace the first year of the regular high school work. At the present time it includes the full high school course work as required by the Colorado state university, to admit it to the accredited list of that institution and it is anticipated that the school will soon be so admitted.
The high school course embraces five departments - English, Mathematics, History, Science and Latin, with the privilege of substituting four years of Commercial for the four years of Latin work, at the option of the student.
The English work, includes English grammar, word analysis, rhetoric and English composition, American and English literature, a through course in mathematics - including work in arithmetic, algebra and plane and solid geometry - and an equally thorough four years' course in Latin. These three departments of the high school work are being very efficiently conducted by Miss Mary Collins, of the Baker university, Baldwin, Kansas.
The work in History includes a through course in general history, with special work in English and American history and United States and state civics. The Science work includes biology, physical geography, physics and chemistry. The four years Commercial work embraces one year each in commercial arithmetic, correspondence, bookkeeping and business practice and business law. These three departments are conducted by the principal, Prof. Simon S. Dow, who has been in charge of the school for six years and to whose executive ability the school owes much of its material advancement.
This year vocal music was added to the course and it is in charge of Miss Letita Scott.
The school has always been popular with the pupils of the rural districts and the percentage of non-resident students enrolled each year is a credit to the institution. These pupils receive every possible encouragement from the patrons and board of education in Wray and their efficient work as students has repaid the board for the very moderate tuition fee charged. Some of the best pupils in the high school come from the country.
The fact that not less than one-third of Yuma county's teaching force are either graduates or undergraduates of the Wray school, is sufficient evidence that the standard of work is high. Of the present corps of teachers, numbering seven, four are members of the alumni. Evidently the very general rule that "Prophets are not without honor, save in their own country," does not apply to Wray or the product of its school in the teaching profession is above the average.
One of the noteworthy features of the school, outside of the regular work, is the maintenance by the pupils of the high school and grammar department of a good library, which is under control of the Wray Public School Library Association. This library contains about three hundred volumes and it is receiving constant additions of desirable literature. The association has provided the school with physical and chemical apparatus, also. Other features are the literary society work and the annual essay contests, which have been important factors in developing the literary side of the education of pupils who have taken an active interest in them.
The present enrollment of the school is about 200 pupils, of whom forty-five have been enrolled in the high school department. The present corps of teachers is composed of Simon S. Dow, principal; Mary E. Collins, assistant principal; Flora Finn, grammar; Grace Chapin, intermediate; Ida Hedrick, intermediate; Rola Cunningham, primary, and Mrs. Letitia Scott, vocal music.
The board of education is composed of William Heindel, president; W.K. Fisk, secretary, and W.W. Cunningham, treasurer.
The present school year has been one of the best in the history of the school, and the prospects are good for a continuation of the good work. Wray's schools have been prominent factors in the progress of the city and they will mean more and more as the years roll on. Settlers who come to locate either in the city or country are assured of first-class school facilities for their children.
Among the solid and progressive business men of Yuma county, who have achieved a generous measure of success, the above gentleman stands high.
Mr. Lepper is a native of northeast Missouri, where he spent his boyhood on a farm in Munroe county. After attaining manhood he engaged in the farming and stock industry, his energy and industry being rewarded with fair returns for the labor involved. In 1892, however, Mr. Lepper came to Colorado and located at Wray where he engaged in general merchandise which he continued all these years. Making integrity of purpose and courtesy to customers fundamental principles of his business, Mr. Lepper inspired confidence from the beginning, his trade expanding day by day until it has reached gratifying proportions. One year ago the gentleman erected a handsome brick store on the corner of Chief and Kiowa streets which he occupies at the present time. It is well stocked with dry goods, clothing, shoes, groceries, etc., which are sold on very close margins.
In addition to his business block, Mr. Lepper owns a cozy home in the city and his admirable qualities as an honorable business man and good useful citizen have won for him general esteem in the community. The gentleman is a member of the Odd Fellows and the local tent of the Maccabees. See his advertisement in another column.
(Photos of Dr. McGill's office and residence)
[Some of this article was unreadable. Missing words are indicated by underlines.]
Perhaps there is not in eastern Colorado a gentleman who is more widely known and held in such general esteem as the subject of this brief article. Although yet in the morning of manhood, his worth as a progressive private citizen, his surpassing skill as an eminent physician and surgeon and his ability in the public affairs of life have already commanded a pronounced recognition that is usually achieved only by a life time of earnest endeavor.
Dr. McGill, who is a native of the Saginaw Valley, Michigan, is only thirty-one years of age. When a young boy, he accompanied his parents to Denver, Colo., where they located and there he attended the public schools. He was given those generous scholastic advantages which his brilliant young mind coveted and finished his education in Denver and Chicago. In 1897 he obtained his diploma from the University of Colorado, where he graduated in both the allopathic and homeopathic schools of medicine, and commenced practicing in that city. The ability and skill of the young graduate soon attracted attention and he was in the county hospital, and, also, was appointed physician for the Denver Union Water company. In these positions he enjoyed an invaluable experience in the treatment of almost every conceivable kind of disease and surgical operation, which proved of inestimable benefit in subsequent years. After serving two terms in the hospital, Dr. McGill resigned and moved to Yuma, this county, in 1898, where he commenced practicing medicine. Six months later he came to Wray, where he found a broader field in which to exercise his well known _n__w_ and zeal for his profession. The gentleman's fame as a successful physician had preceded him and that, in connection with his genial, happy personality, won public confidence and esteem from the beginning. As a result he now enjoys an extensive and quite lucrative practice, which perhaps exceeds that of any physician in eastern Colorado. In 1890 the gentleman established the drug store now conducted by Dr. Barr and did a large and growing business until one year ago when the demands of his increasing practice compelled him to sell it to its present proprietor.
In 1891 Dr. McGill was appointed state medical inspector by the Colorado state board of health. He was appointed health officer for the counties of Yuma and Arapahoe, as well as for the city of Wray, and he is the local medical examiner for the old line insurance companies and all the fraternal organizations.
Three years ago Dr. McGill was elected coroner of the county on the Republican ticket, by an overwhelming majority. A significant feature of this election, indicating the personal esteem in which Dr. McGill is held was the fact that the vote cast was two to one in his favor, although on strict party lines the county has a handsome Democratic majority. In 1901 Dr. McGill was elected chairman of the county central Republican committee, and displayed marked ability in directing the campaign.
In 1902 the Republican legislative convention for the district composed of the counties of Yuma, Phillips, Sedgwick, Adams, Denver, South Arapahoe and part of Washington nominated Dr. McGill as Republican candidate for representative in the state legislature. It was a keenly contested campaign in a Democratic district, but as a result of the magnetic personal qualities of their candidate and the general confidence in his ability and honesty of purpose, the Republicans won by over one hundred majority. A feature of this election which speaks louder than any words could regarding the standing of Dr. McGill where he is best known, is the fact that he received a majority in every voting precinct in Yuma county.
While Dr. McGill is a firm believer in the principles of the Republican party, as a state legislator entrusted with important interests which his constituents confided to his charge, he did his own thinking and was governed by his honest judgment regarding the matters under consideration and his sworn duty to those he represented. As a result, the political wise-acres who are found in every party and assume almost divine intuition as to the future and the full right to dictate to their colleagues, found in Dr. McGill a poor subject on whom to operate. The gentleman introduced many bills in the legislature, two of them being in reference to public roads. One of the latter was vetoed by the governor after its passage in both houses, and the medical bill, in which he was interested, shared the same fate. But the act whereby the eastern part of Arapahoe county was added to Yuma county, by which the size of the latter county was more than doubled shall ever remain an enduring monument of Dr. McGill's devotion to the best interests of his constituents. He introduced the measure in the house and it became a law in defiance of strong opposition, largely through his energy, ability and personal magnetism.
The gentleman was a member of several important committees, and while he did not seek oratorical notoriety on every pretext, as so many do, he was a hard worker and gave every measure presented his best thoughts and honest judgment, accompanied by the courage of his convictions. He made a business record in the legislature, which evoked the warm commendation of his constituents.
Among his large property interests in the city Dr. McGill owns a beautiful residence, desirably situated and with elegant surroundings that make it an ideal home. Recently he completed a handsome brick office on Pawnee street, in the business section. It is 20x25 feet in size and contains a general reception room, a special treatment room and a general consulting and operating room. Each of these apartments is elegantly furnished and the office is generously supplied with all modern medical appliances and surgical instruments used in the profession. Indeed, it is save to assert that there are but few other physician's offices, if any, in eastern Colorado, that are so inviting in appearance and so well supplied with necessary appliances and comforts.
Recently the gentleman purchased a H____ automobile, the first and only one owned in this section of eastern Colorado. With this modern method of road travel he can reach remote parts of the county to visit patients, ____, and to emergency calls requiring the prompt presence of a physician or a surgeon, in one-third the time possible with the ordinary conveyance. At Denver in 1896, Dr. McGill married Miss I.V. Nay of Morrison, Colo., an estimable and accomplished lady, who has proved a charming acquisition to Wray social circles. The union has been blessed with two interesting children, increasing the joys and contentment of the happy home.
Since Dr. McGill's arrival in Wray, he has proved one of the most enterprising of our citizens. While he is modest and unassuming in his intercourse with men, he is one of the most affable of gentlemen. Honorable in his aspirations, generous in spirit and progressive in his ideas, he is always ready to aid in the development of the resources of the city and county or to contribute liberally towards any other worthy cause. The architect of his own success his pronounced popularity in Yuma county is based on his admirable qualities as a skilled physician, an honorable gentleman and a useful enterprising citizen.
Galveston Leaman, one of Yuma county's contented farmers, is a native of Indiana, where he was born in 1858. In the Hoosier State, he followed farming, threshing and the saw-mill industry. In March, 1888, he came to Colorado and located on a homestead nine miles north of Wray. Subsequently he relinquished this and filed on another homestead southwest of the city where he engaged in farming pursuits. After many years he sold this homestead and he is now living six miles north of Wray. He devotes his principal attention to stock and dairying, of which he is making a pleasing success. He owns fifteen horses, a herd of thirty cattle and thirteen milch cows. He owns, also, a well bred shire stallion.
In 1900 Mr. Leaman married Miss Emma Clark, an excellent lady, and they have one child.
The gentleman is delighted with Yuma county and its possibilities, and he could not be induced to engage in farming in the East again. He is an industrious citizen who merits his prosperity.
It is conceded that the condition of its banking institutions furnishes a true index of the progress and prosperity of a community, and in this respect the Yuma County Bank is a most worthy representative of the city of Wray and Yuma county. While it is now only one year old, it is one of the strongest financial institutions in Eastern Colorado and it is making gratifying progress into public favor. The bank was organized over one year ago and it opened its doors for business on May 7, 1903, with the following stockholders; M.B. Holland, Thomas Ashton, W.T. Auld and P.J. Sullivan, the officers being M.B. Holland, president; P.J. Sullivan, cashier, and M. Finch, assistant cashier.
Mr. Holland is a wealthy retired lumber dealer of Orleans, Neb., where he is engaged in the banking business. He is not only one of the most extensive property owners in that section of the state, but his long and honorable business career has won for him a most enviable reputation for integrity of purpose in every pursuit of life.
Mr. Ashton, whose beautiful home is situated ten miles east of Wray, is one of the pioneers of Yuma county. As a result of his good judgment and untiring industry, he has achieved remarkable success and he owns vast tracts of excellent ranch land and great herds of cattle. It is conceded that the gentleman is the wealthiest individual in Yuma county, as well as one of the most honorable.
Mr. Auld is the president of the City National Bank of Lincoln, Neb., where he resides. He is also a heavy stockholder in the First National Bank of Wymore, Neb., the State Bank of Red Cloud, Neb., and a couple of other banking institutions in that state. He owns large cattle and ranch interests, also, and has spent twenty years of a most successful and honorable career in the banking and cattle business.
Mr. Sullivan, the affable cashier of the bank, is a native of Ohio. When a boy he moved with his parents to the vicinity of Friend, Neb., where he was educated and engaged in farming pursuits after he grew to manhood. Subsequently he moved to Colorado and engaged in the cattle business, in which he has been very successful. He and his brother own an extensive ranch twenty miles southeast of Akron, in Washington county, and another valuable ranch in Morgan county, immediately adjacent to the town of Brush. The gentleman's honorable past career is exceedingly creditable, inspiring the utmost confidence in his future.
Mr. Finch, the assistant cashier of the bank, is a native of Ohio, but his parents moved to Iowa during his infancy and he spent his boyhood days in the Hawkeye State. He has devoted his attention to the banking business since an early age, principally in Nebraska, where he was connected with the Red Cloud State Bank for ten years. He received a careful training in correct banking methods and his through knowledge of the business renders him an invaluable feature to the Yuma County Bank.
It may be seen that the Yuma County Bank commenced business under the most favorable circumstances, liberally endowed with the essential attributes necessary to inspire confidence in its integrity and stability, and the uniform courtesy of the cashier and assistant cashier are pleasing and popular features of the institution. It is doing a large and steadily increasing business.
The Bank and Its Methods.
The Yuma County Bank does business in its own building, a commodious structure situated on Chief street in the business center of the city. It is furnished with a burglar proof steel safe, with time locks, and in addition to this safeguard, it carries a heavy insurance against burglars in the Fidelity and Casualty Co., of New York, thereby rendering the deposits of its customers absolutely safe in this respect.
In financial and commercial circles the Yuma County Bank enjoys a confidence in keeping with its financial strength and splendid management. Its business principles are founded on broad experience and ripe judgment, while its methods are progressive, yet conservative. Its officers are gentlemen who understand financiering in its minutest details and while they are ever ready to extend to customers all courtesies commensurate with good banking, they are conservative enough to preserve the stability of the institution to an invulnerable degree. The value of such a bank to any community is hard to estimate and Wray was fortunate in securing such a worthy promoter of prosperity. Its influence is not only manifest in the local neighborhood but it gives to the city a standing conferred by no other institution, and its support means success to any legitimate local enterprise.
J.J. Eastin, who came to Yuma county in 1900, is a native of Illinois, to which state his parents went from Kentucky. He settled on a homestead twenty-five miles southwest of Wray and engaged in the cattle business. He came here with money and his ranch is already stocked with 100 well bred cattle. He has the utmost faith in the future of Yuma county and he feels fully convinced, from his experience and observation since he came here, that it presents possibilities - especially for a poor man - that surpass those found in any other section of the country. Recently the gentleman purchased the Ashley ranch of 800 acres, which is a valuable property.
In 1870 Mr. Eastin married Miss A. Brayton, an estimable Missouri lady, and thy have three children, to who they have given an excellent education. Mr. Eastin is a genial gentleman, who is popular with all who know him.
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