A firm by the name of Ellis and Fairbanks had the contract to supply ties for the railroad company. A large force of men was employed to cut down and trim trees in the mountains, some forty miles above Evanston, place them on the bosom of Bear River and direct their course down to the dam opposite the mill.
In 1870 Jesse L. Atkinson, who had been engaged in getting out poles for the railroad company at Piedmont, bought out Fairbanks and the Evanston Lumber Company was formed. There were changes in the personnel of his partners, but from the time Mr. Atkinson entered the business to the year of his death, 1921, he was at the helm. It is impossible to estimate the value of a life such as that of Mr. Atkinson, in the growth of a new community. He was born in Nova Scotia, and moved to New England in 1857, where lie entered the mercantile business. In 1860 he began freighting across the plains, and in ’68 was hauling goods to Fort Douglas. For many years he was a member of the board of county commissioners. He was the leading member of the Baptist Church as well as a generous contributor to other denominations and to the cause of temperance and reform. His unselfish interest in the upbuilding of the town was shown by the easy terms he made to the builders of homes in selling materials. Fifty years of such a life means more to a place than can be put into words. His religion was unobtrusive and consistent. His reverence for the Sabbath is illustrated by an experience on the plains in his freighting days, when the train in which he was driving arrived one Saturday night at a point in Nebraska, where rumors of hostile Indians being on their trail caused his companions to urge Mr. Atkinson to join them in an early Sunday morning start. True to his principles, he refused. On the following day he came upon a bloody battlefield, where all the rest of the party had met death at the hands of the red men. Throughout the years no policy of expediency ever caused Mr. Atkinson to swerve from what he considered right, though not always was the result so fortunate. Mr. Atkinson is survived by his wife and three children, of whom the oldest, Ben, makes his home in Evanston. He married Christina, daughter of Bishop Brown. Mrs. Atkinson and two daughters live on the western coast.
Among Mr. Atkinson’s partners were the Ellis brothers, George and James, New Englanders by birth. After honorable service :in the Civil War they came west and entered the lumber business. James Ellis went from here to Ham’s Fork, where he was interested in a coal mine. George Ellis went to California.
E. L. Pease was for a while connected with the mill. He represented Uinta County in the first territorial legislature, and again in 1877. The following year he ran for Congress and was defeated by Stephen W. Downey, after which he left for the east.
M. V. Morse came out with a surveying party under William Downey when the western boundary of the territory was definitely determined. He took up some land to the west of the town, where he later built a home, and laid out an addition that is known by his name. Mr. Morse, from the time he came until his death in 1891, was connected with the lumber company. He left a wife and two children, who are well known in Evanston.
The first log drive down the river was run by Charles DeLoney. He had come out to Wyoming after the war, and in 2867 was getting out ties on Green River. He had a barber shop on Front Street in i 87o. He married Clara Burton, daughter of the pioneer baker of the place. Their daughter Clara, Mrs. Jack Mills, is the oldest resident of Evanston who was born here. After several years, during which he was prominent in business and politics, Mr. DeLoney fitted up a store at Jackson, of which place he may be said to be the leading citizen.
On the 22nd of February, 1871, Charles Stone arrived in Evanston with a stock of goods from Bryan. It belonged to a chain of stores financed by Chicago capital, and was under the management of Orlando North, who, with his wife, arrived the following day. The place of business, known as the Red Store, was where the Hotel Evanston now stands. It was there that the first bank, known as the Mutual Exchange, was opened in 1873. The directors were Orlando North, James A. Ellis, A. V. Quinn and C. E. Wurtelle. Money was scarce and loans commanded interest of from one to two per cent a month. In 1876 the bank was moved to a frame building on Tenth Street. The first cashier was a young man named Frank Tildon. He was followed by M. L. Hoyt, now a prominent business man of Big Horn, Wyoming, and he, in 1882, by Charles Stone. In 1880 the brick building, now occupied by the Hatten Realty Company, was erected, and the name of the bank was changed to North and Stone. It was succeeded in 1907 by the First National, and was moved to its present location. Mr. Stone was cashier until 1913, when O. E. Bradbury accepted the position. Since 1899 Otto Arnold, son of F. L. Arnold, has been connected with the bank. Mr. Arnold married Annie Robertson, who came here from the state of Iowa. They have a home on Summit Street, and are the parents of two children, Constantine F. and Margaret, who became the wife of J. F. Wilson, professor of animal husbandry in the California College of Agriculture, located at Davis.
R. W. Gilham, now cashier of a flourishing bank in Benton, Washington, was for several years employed in the North and Stone bank.
Orlando North was f or many years an active man in the affairs of Uinta County. In 1876 he was appointed treasurer of the territory, and he held the position of probate judge. He had large ranch interests in the west and spent most of his later years in Nevada. He died in 1896, and his widow makes her home in Palo Alto, California.
The Stone brothers, John and Charles, were from Ohio. As early as 1868 John Stone came west as far as Cheyenne. He worked for a time in the Red Store at Bryan and later went to Corrinne, Utah. In 1873 he came to Evanston, and four years later he brought here his bride, Alice Kelsey, of Indianapolis. He was for several years county clerk and clerk of the court. The removal of the family to Indianapolis in 1893 was a loss to the community. The only son, Charles, died in 1818, and Mr. Stone the following March. Mrs. Stone and her daughter Mary are now living in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Charles Stone came to Bryan at the age of nineteen. Since his arrival in Evanston he has lived here continuously, and is still connected with the First National Bank. He married Elizabeth Arnold, and they make their home in the house built by John Stone on Sage Street.
Connected with the Red Store was Tames Smith, a native of Ireland, who came west to Echo in 1871, and moved to Evanston in 1874. In 1876 he married Miss Alice Grace from the state of New York. There were three children in the family. The daughter Florence became the wife of George Heitz, and lives in Salt Lake City. Of the two promising sons the eldest, Frank, died in 19o5, three months after graduating from the University of Wyoming. Jack A., a graduate of the same institution, has been employed by the Union Pacific Coal Company of Rock Springs, where he is now safety engineer. During the World War he entered the military training school, at the Presidio, and crossed to France with the rank of first lieutenant. Two days before the signing of the armistice he was made captain. James Smith died in Evanston in 1 g21. His widow is a frequent visitor in Evanston, where lives her sister, Miss Sarah E. Grace, in the home built by Patrick Murray on Sage Street.
Mr. Murray was an early employee of the railroad and now lives in Ogden. There are five children, all of whom are living in the west, except the daughter Molly, who is remembered as a teacher in our schools, and who married William Durburough of Philadelphia, a newspaper man who was widely known as a press correspondent during the war.
Ashael C. Beckwith was one of the prominent men of Wyoming in the first thirty years of its history. Coming west from New York in an early day, he engaged in the lucrative business of freighting across the mountains to Salt Lake City. In 1867 he went to Cheyenne, where he put up the first store in the town. In a letter written to Ariel Hanson, a nephew, then in New York State, he describes the wild surroundings of that frontier place, for which he predicts a prosperous future. In 187o he moved to Echo, Utah. Successive steps in his mercantile career are traced in the story of the store which started in a freight wagon, was later moved to a tent and then to a frame building. In 1872, with a partner named W. H. Remington, he came to Evanston and moved into the building formerly occupied by Brown. Soon afterward the erection of a fine brick building diagonally across the street was begun. A Canadian by the name of William Lauder bought out Mr. Remington in 1873, and the firm of Beckwith and Lauder was organized. It did a thriving business until the death of the senior partner in 1896, after which Lauder and Sons took over the business. Mrs. Beckwith was a native of Ohio, and a lover of books, and some of her well-chosen volumes are on the shelves of the Uinta County library. Mr. Beckwith had a son and a daughter by a former marriage. Dora Beckwith Mertzheimer is a graduate nurse and holds the position of dean of women in the high school of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Her daughter became the wife of M. E. Sisson, assistant to the general manager of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad. John Beckwith died in Idaho in 1924. There were two sons from Mr. Beckwith’s second marriage ; Fred, a business man in Idaho Falls, and Frank, who is engaged in the newspaper business in Delta, Utah.
William Lauder was married in Echo to Miss Jane Gunn of Coalville, Utah. The Lauder family lived here for many years, and two of the sons are still in the state, Frank, who lives in Laramie, and Call, who is employed by the Rock Springs Mining Company. David married Mary Nelson, daughter of one of our early engineers, and they live in California. Margaret became the wife of Dr. Sayer, Annie has achieved success in her chosen profession of teaching and lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Sarah is the wife of Rev. Robert Lahue in the university town of Norman, Oklahoma.
E. W. Hinchman, who was bookkeeper for Beckwith and Lauder from 1886 to 1894, lived in the house built by Robert Ross on the comer of Sage and Twelfth Streets. He moved to Denver with his little daughter, his wife having died in 1893.
Well remembered in Evanston is the Goble family. George
Goble was a bookkeeper with the Beckwith-Quinn store in the ’80s. Mrs. Goble is the daughter of O. C. Smith, one of the early residents of Rock Springs, and they made their home there for many years. She has the distinction of having been the first woman elected as school trustee in the city of Spokane, where they now live. She was also regent of the Daughters of the Revolution of the State of Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Goble have three daughters.
A banking institution known as Beckwith and Company, Bankers, was organized in 1873 and continued in business on the site of the First National Bank building until 1906, when it dosed its doors.
The mining camp of South Pass attracted many men in the early ’60s, who, with the waning of the mining excitement in the next few years, began to seek other locations. In April, 1872, Dr. Harrison returned to Evanston with a friend named R. K. Morrison. They opened a drug store on Front Street, of which Mr. Morrison had charge, while the doctor continued the practice of medicine. Mr. Morrison sold out in 1875, and various partners succeeded him, prominent among whom was George Solomon, who built the house on the corner of Sage and Thirteenth Streets that was bought by Mrs. Jennie Douglass. Mr. and Mrs. Solomon are living in South Pasadena, California. In 1922 Thomas Osborne, who had been a member of the firm since 1819, bought out Dr. Harrison. The place of business has for many years been between Eighth and Ninth on Main Street. Mr. Osborne married Miss Julia Vogt, a teacher in our schools.
W. H. Roth was for a time in the drug store with Dr. Harrison, and later had a store of his own in the Beckwith building. He died in Salt Lake City, and his widow was married to C. J. B. Malarkey, a merchant of Portland, Oregon.
John McGlinchy came from South Pass, and in company with a man named L. G. Christie, started a hardware store on Front Street. A few years later Thomas Langtree, who had been engaged in bridge building, formed a partnership with McGlinchy, and soon after took over the business. Mr. Langtree married one of our early school teachers, Miss Lou Houstan, and they built the house now owned by Dr. Harrison.
Another South Pass man, John Anthony, brought the first milk cows and sold their product for twenty cents a quart. He built the house opposite the south corner of the courthouse, and lived there until 1877, when he moved to Idaho.
Another man named John Felter, who had made South Pass a stopping place after an unfortunate financial experience in Denver, came to Evanston about the same time as Anthony. He took up land across the river and sold milk, which was said to lose in quality with the crossing of Bear River. He was sexton of the cemetery, and before the purchase of a hearse in the town the cart from which milk was peddled in the morning hours often bore in the afternoon a casket to its final resting place. He died in I920. The story is told that he gave directions that his body should be placed beside that of his wife in a vault he had built several years before in the Catholic cemetery, and that the side of the vault should be closed and sealed, never to be reopened. Why he who had laid so many to rest in Mother Earth should object to having his own body interred, is a matter of fruitless speculation.
One of the most prominent of the early citizens of Evanston was Charles M. White. He was a native of Michigan, who, with his wife and baby daughter Nina, had come across the plains in 1865. He brought three hundred head of cattle as far west as Fort Bridger and left them in care of some ranchers while the family traveled on to Salt Lake. It was a disastrous winter, and less than fifty head were alive when Mr. White returned to claim them in the spring. When the flume was built on upper Bear River Mr. White moved to Hilliard, and in 1872 to Evanston. He built the adobe house that is now the home of Thomas Painter on the corner south of the courthouse block. Mr. White was of a sanguine temperament and reverses seemed only to stimulate his activities. He brought the first irrigating ditch into town from seven miles up Bear River, laid out additions to the original town and did everything in his power to encourage building. He was among the first to take up land in the valley, and was the first to raise grain in the vicinity of Evanston. It was due to Mr. White that the city cemetery was moved across the river from its first location on the hillside east of town. He was one of the prominent lawyers of the county, served some years as justice of the peace and was twice elected to the territorial legislature. In 1887 the family moved to Cokeville, and from there to Pocatello, Idaho, where the eldest son, Earle, still practices law. William and Edward, who have been eminently successful in the fruit-selling business, make their homes in Lewiston, Idaho. The daughter, Nina, after teaching three years in the schools at Evanston, was married in 1881 to John M. Sheaff of Kansas City, Kansas, and they have three daughters. C. M. White died in 1912 and was buried in the Evanston cemetery, where three of the children were already interred. On Christmas Day, 1921, the body of his universally loved wife was lowered to its resting place by his side.
In 1873 a merchant by the name of I. C. Winslow arrived, with his wife and two little sons. The coming of the Whites and Winslows might almost be said to mark an epoch in the history of the town, for it was the beginning of what some one has called the “foundation of friendship” that has been the ruling spirit of Evanston. Hitherto the population had been largely composed of railroad employes, whose stay was uncertain, and of people who looked upon Evanston as a temporary stopping place in the changing life of the west. Mrs. Winslow was a beautiful singer and a leader in the church and social life. Their home was a center of good cheer, and Mr. Winslow’s store was a veritable social dub for men. It contained books, newspapers, musical instruments, wallpaper and many of the articles to be found in the modern drug store, and he did a thriving business, first on Front street and later on Main. Mr. Winslow died in 1901. His widow continued to occupy the commodious home they built on Sage Street, until the time of her death in 1918. A son, Dr. B. L. Winslow, practices dentistry in Evanston. The eldest son, Linwood, is a railroad man and lives in Salt Lake, and the surviving daughter, Lisle, Mrs. Joseph Roberts, makes her home in Los Angeles.
J. G. Fiero, a native of Michigan, came to the west with judge White, and shared many ups and downs of life with that pioneer. In 1868 he was engaged in drilling for oil at the old Carter well, near Piedmont. On coming to Evanston he established a thriving business as contractor and builder, and some of the best of the old homes remain as monuments to his conscientious work. Mr. Fiero died in 1913, and is survived by his widow, who makes her home here.
Other valuable citizens of this early day were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Priest, who came to Evanston in 1873, with their little daughter Bertha. Mr. Priest was a Grand Army man, and his wife was a sister of Ellis brothers. Mr. Priest served as deputy sheriff under William Hinton, and was employed for many years at the freight house. They built the house on Eleventh Street that is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stanley. In 1899 they moved to Pacific Grove, California, and are now living in Canton, Massachusetts, near their daughter who became the wife. of Hosea Capen.
In 1873 the contract for building the courthouse was awarded to Booth and McDonald. William Durnford, who had learned his trade in England, had charge of the brick work, on which Thomas Widdop was also engaged. A man named McCook had the contract for the carpenter work, and James Baguley, a native of England, who had lived here since early in 1874 and who was known as a skillful artisan in wood, finished the interior. The building, which was one of the finest in the state at the time, still forms the main part of the courthouse, the front having been erected in 19o4. James Widdop moved to Burnt Fork, where his descendants still live. McCook took up the first ranch in Pleasant Valley, which was later owned by Henry Kaack.
A brickyard between Evanston and Almy was started by a man named Hess and was bought by a competent brickmaker by the name of Pugmire. It produced an excellent quality of brick that was found to be fireproof when the charcoal kilns made from it were torn down after more than ten years of use. They had been built by Evanston business men and were for years a source of profit. It is a matter of blessed memory that during their existence, when the banner of smoke was wafted over the town, we were free from the plague of mosquitoes.
Those were the days when every town had its brewery, and a man by the name of Parkhurst put up a brick building for this purpose between the railroad tracks and the river, where it stood for some years before falling into disuse and ruin. A man by the name of Longpree started a brewery the other side of the river bridge, and later moved to Omaha. Many years elapsed before there was another attempt in Evanston to manufacture beer, but the final gasp of the declining industry was made by the Becker Brewing Company shortly before the passage of the eighteenth amendment in the erection of an imposing plant opposite upper Front Street, which is now used for a storehouse.
In September, 1872, three young men by the names of Thomas Blyth, Charles Pixley and Griffith W. Edwards formed a partnership and opened a store on Main Street Three years later Mr. Edwards withdrew to engage in business in Rock Springs, and in 1885 Mr. Pixley decided to devote his entire time to his ranch interests, near Sage. Lyman Fargo, a native of New York State, became partner in the business, which, under the name of the Blyth and Fargo Company,. occupies one of the finest blocks in Evanston, and has extended to Pocatello, Park City, Kemmerer and Cokeville.
Mr. Blyth, who is a native of Scotland, has met with deserved success in business, and has been one of Evanston’s leading citizens. In 1874 he brought from Scotland his bride, whose maiden name was Bella Carmichael, and to this union eight children were born, five of whom are still living. From the unpretentious home on Center Street, where they lived till 1887, the family moved to the beautiful residence on the corner of Tenth and Sage, now the home of the youngest daughter, Mrs. A. P. Thompson, whose husband is a prominent physician. Mrs. Blyth’s death in 1888 was a cause of general sorrow. In 1892 Mr. Blyth married Miss Fannie Anderson, sister of Mrs. Booth. Mr. and Mrs. Blyth traveled widely and their home was filled with objects of beauty from many lands and was a center of social life. Mrs. Fannie Blyth died in 1914. Her husband spends most of his time in Los Angeles, where the eldest daughter, Kate, wife of Dr. J. T. Keith, lives, as does also the son, Charles, who married Laura, daughter of C. D. Clark. Tom, the eldest son, who married Mable LaChappelle, is in business in Aberdeen, Washington. Another son, William, has also moved to the western coast.
James Burdette came to Evanston in 1873, and was for sixteen years delivery man for the Blyth & Pixley Company and its successors. Mr. and Mrs. Burdette migrated to America in 1870, bringing with them Mr. Burdette’s mother and their oldest child, Alma. They were in Piedmont for three years while Mr. Burdette was watchman of the snowsheds, and was also interested in working the Carter oil well near that place. Mr. Burdette resigned his position with Blyth & Fargo to form a partnership with Isaac Dawson in the mercantile business. Later, he and his sons organized the Burdette Grocery, which they still own. Mr. Burdette has always been one of our well known citizens. He was elected county commissioner in 1892, and served on the board for six years. The occasion of the golden wedding of Mr.. and Mrs. Burdette, March 8, 1918, is one to be long remembered, and five years later the fifty-fifth anniversary of their marriage was appropriately celebrated. Thirteen children have been born
to them, of whom there are living two daughters, Mrs. P. G. Matthews and Lorina Burdette, and seven sons, Alma, Ernest, James, Charles, William, Frank and Lorenzo.
Wages were low in those days and the cost of living comparatively high. Men on ranches received from thirty to thirtyfive dollars a month and board. Clerks in the stores and bookkeepers got from seventy-five to one hundred dollars a month, railroad clerks about the same, and engineers were satisfied with the month’s run if it brought them one hundred and thirty dollars, while firemen and brakemen never drew more than one hundred. Board without room was from twenty-five to thirty dollars a month.
There were no dividing social lines and the ties of friendship became almost as strong as those of kinship. During the summer months hunting was the favorite recreation, and poor was considered the marksman who returned from a few hours’ ride in any direction with less than a dozen sage chickens. On holidays parties were formed and the buckboards on the homeward trip were piled high with grouse and sage hens to be distributed about the town. There was a social club that got up dances, where the fair sex was generally outnumbered five to one by the men. Arrayed in the modish “Grecian bend” and ample skirts of the early ’70s, they sailed through the figures of the square dance as called off by a one-legged Irishman known as Pat Hoyt, or glided through the captivating waltzes of the day to such music as came their way. Sometimes it was a violin of a roving minstrel who happened to be stranded in town. It was not until the coming of Arthur Sims in 1878 that the problem of dance music was definitely solved. There was no instrument that failed to respond to his touch, and his appearance at a party with a concertina or his little portable organ, was always a signal for applause. Mr. Sims, who is known as Judge Sims from his long service as justice of the peace, lives with his wife among his flowers on the corner of Center and Fourteenth Streets.
Each church had its entertainments, both musical and dramatic, to which the talents of all were freely tendered. Christmas trees were public affairs, to which everybody brought gifts for families and friends. A censor was a necessity, for practical Jokes were sometimes indulged in, as on the occasion when C. C. Quinn, who was noted for his habit of exaggeration, unwrapped a dainty package that had deceived the watchful eye of the decorators, and revealed to the amused audience a box of concentrated lye.
Never was a town blessed with a finer group of pioneer women than was Evanston. One name among these deserves special mention-Emma Whittier, sister of the postmaster and first cousin of the Quaker poet. She organized the first temperance society called the Blue Ribbon Lodge, and opened a reading room in the schoolhouse in which she was teaching. Here a little public library was started, to which many contributed. Miss Whittier married a man by the name of Caldwell, and from here they moved to Idaho. The town of Caldwell was said to be named for him.