Submitted by Marrie Miller
For firmness of fiber, flexibility of function, mental and physical, self-reliance, readiness in resources and all around utility in every manly way, take the man who with a good constitution and determined spirit was thrown on his own capabilities early in life and has had to depend on them for all he has achieved, without the aid of fortune's favors or adventitious circumstances. Such a man is John Pearson of Eothen, Crook county, Wyoming, a prominent and successful rancher, stockman and real estate owner. His birth occurred on February 17, 1849, in Sweden, the home of the Norsemen and the prolific source of a thrifty, skillful, industrious and law abiding class of emigrants to the United States. His parents were natives of Sweden, and there he grew to manhood and was educated. In 1869, when he was twenty years old, he came to the United States, arriving in Kansas City, Mo, in the summer and remaining there about a year. From that place he went to Colorado and accepted employment for nearly a year on the Union Pacific Railroad. After that he entered the service of a sawmill company doing an extensive business near Denver, thus forming his first acquaintance in this country with an industry which he has successfully followed since then, with some intermissions, and has raised almost to the dignity of an art. Thereafter he worked in stamp mills in the mining districts of Colorado, passed a few months in the southeastern part of Kansas near Columbus, where he invested in land, passed a year in California and Oregon prospecting and mining. In 1878 he located in the Black Hills and worked in a stamp mill and sawmills near Deadwood until 1882, gradually acquiring first an interest in them then complete ownership, and in the year last named moving them into Crook county, Wyo, planting a sawmill near the site he now occupies. In 1886 he sold the old mills and purchasing new and improved machinery of much greater capacity, he erected new mills on the south fork of Hay Creek, six miles from Aladdin, now a terminal of the Wyoming & Missouri River Railroad. His location is twenty-six miles north of Sundance in one of the most picturesque regions in this part of the state, bounded on three sides with hills heavily timbered with a valuable growth, on the east looking over and opening into the valley through which Hay Creek winds in graceful curves like a thread of silver in a warp of verdant tapestry. The business planted here has been watched with care, developed with energy, conducted with skill and has grown great with steady and symmetrical progress, being now the most extensive in this section of the country, and the mills at which it is carried on are the largest and best equipped in the northern part of the state. Mr Pearson has also engaged in the stock business extensively, running a large number of cattle and some horses, and has invested heavily in ranch and timber land, owning at this writing (1902) about 5,000 acres. He has city property at Belle Fourche, S D, and valuable holdings elsewhere. His career affords a fine illustration of what is possible to energy, intelligence and thrift in this land of boundless opportunity. On April 14, 1884, at Spearfish, S D, Mr Pearson was married with Miss Augusta Johnson, also a Swede. They have five children, all living at home: Charles A, Frank O, Maggie E, Nelson and John. In politics the head of the house is a Republican, but has never sought office. He has, however, as a business convenience and for the benefit of the community consented to serve as postmaster at Eothen since 1887, being probably the oldest postmaster in the state. He has also been a justice of the peace. His married life, which began in 1884, ended with the death of his wife on December 10, 1898. She was buried in the family cemetery on the home ranch.
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