Biography of Wilbert E. Lewis

Spending the earlier years of his life in the Green mountains of Vermont and his later ones in the more rugged and ambitious ones of Colorado, and reared on a farm in the one state and now conducting one in the other, a casual observer would conclude that there has been but little change in the surroundings and pursuits of Wilbert E. Lewis, an enterprising and prosperous ranchman of Garfield county, located eight miles northeast of Carbondale. But while there is similarity in both surroundings and occupation, the conditions in detail are widely different. In his native state the unit of measure for landed estates of magnitude is small compared with that in Colorado, and the soil, climate and other circumstances affecting the business of farming are by no means the same. Mr. Lewis was born in Rutland county, Vermont, on January 29, 1843. His parents, Ethelbert and Pauline (Goodspeed) Lewis, were natives of Connecticut, and settled in Vermont soon after their marriage. They remained in that state engaged in farming until death ended their useful labors, the father dying in 1885 and the mother in 1891. They were loyal members of the Congregational church for many years, and the father was a stanch Republican from the foundation of that party. Their offspring numbered four, Oscar, of Salt Lake City; Cornelia, a resident of Vermont, and Wilbert E. are living. Another son, Jarius, died some years ago. Wilbert was educated in the public schools and at the Troy Conference Academy in his native state. After leaving school he remained at home and worked on the farm in the interest of his parents until he reached the age of twenty-three. He then started out to make a way for himself in the world, and coming to Colorado, passed two years at Blackhawk and Central City, working in quartz mills at five dollars a day. He then returned to Vermont and began manufacturing wagons, which he continued nine years with success and profit. Disposing of his interests in this enterprise in 1880, he came back to Colorado and settled at Leadville. Here he started a hay and grain business which he conducted a year and a half with gratifying prosperity, then sold out at a good profit. On July 28, 1882, he moved to his present location and took up a pre-emption claim, to which he has since added land and he has also disposed of some. He now owns two hundred acres, of which he has fifty acres under good cultivation. The water right to the land is of good proportions and the yield from the tillage is abundant in quality [sic] and excellent in quality. Hay, grain, potatoes and hardy vegetables are raised and a flourishing cattle industry is carried on. Mr. Lewis is a Republican in politics, of pronounced convictions and earnest activity in the service of his party. He was married on February 6, 1886, to Miss Anna Ellis, a native of Iowa county, Wisconsin, the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Davis) Ellis, the father born in New York state and the mother in Wales. They settled in Wisconsin in early life, and were successful in farming and trading. The father was a strong Democrat in political affiliations. They had four children, of whom Mrs. Lewis is the only survivor. The father died in 1860 and the mother in 1901. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have two children, their daughter Pauline M. and their son Oscar W. The parents stand well in social circles and the general estimation of their community; and they are well pleased with the section and state in which they have cast their lot.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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