Submitted by Marrie Miller
Young, energetic, ambitious, straightforward, independent and systematic, with a good store of the self-reliance and resourcefulness born of necessity and cultivated in the face of actual difficulties, William D Rooney. of the Wildcat Creek region of Crook county, Wyoming is justly entitled to the high place he holds in the regard of his fellows as a progressive ranchman and cattle grower, an influential citizen and a capable and successful business man. And, whatever he is as a leading man and productive force in the community, he is all the result of his own natural endowments, brought out and trained by circumstances. He was born on October 29, 1871, in Buffalo county, Neb, and when he was three years old his father died, leaving him to the care and nurture of an excellent mother, who had, however, but slender resources for rearing her family. His parents were Dennis and Margaret (O'Connor) Rooney, natives of Ireland, who came to America soon after reaching years of maturity and settled in Wisconsin. In 1865 they removed to Nebraska, and. finding an agreeable location near Fort McPherson, they there "stuck their stake" and engaged in raising cattle. They were among the first settlers in the neighborhood, where they remained until the death of the father, in 1874. Two years later the widow removed her family to Sidney, Neb, and there made her home. What opportunities for attending school her son. William, had were presented to him here and at Crawford, in the same state. At the age of eleven years he began riding the range as a cowboy, and he continued to serve a number of the large outfits in this capacity for years on the Platte River in western Nebraska and Wyoming, mastering the business in every detail, and having in his experience many thrilling adventures, narrow escapes and tests of his courage and endurance. His permanent residence in Wyoming began in 1886. Three years later he began a two years' service of range-riding in Johnson county, and, in 1891, he settled in Crook county, where for ten years he worked for the Western Union Beef Co. In November, 1901, he bought his present ranch on Wildcat Creek, thirty-three miles north of Gillette. He then determined to abandon the life of an old-time cowboy and became, as far as he could, a representative and successful cattleman. In this aspiration he has found a congenial field for his energy and capabilities, has built up a business of magnitude and high character and has enlarged and intensified his hold on the confidence and regard of the people. On February 14. 1901. at Gillette, Wyo. Mr Rooney was united in marriage with Miss Effie Brown, a native of Arkansas and a daughter of Thomas and Felicia (Taylor) Brown, natives of Indiana and Nebraska. Her father was a railroad man until 1876, when he took up a homestead in Sumner county, Kan, and there died in 1880. Mr. Rooney is a Republican in politics, and. while firm in his party allegiance, is not either an office seeker or a partisan of the kind that would forego any general good for his community for the sake of a party advantage.
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