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The student of history cannot carry his investigations far into the records of Cowley without recognizing the fact that Jesse Crosby has taken a most active and prominent part in bringing about modern day development and improvement, for he is one of the prominent sheep growers of Big Horn county, is a stockholder in the Cowley State Bank and a stockholder and director of the Crosby Trading Company, while at the same time he holds valuable oil interests.
He was born in Panguitch, Utah, on the 27th of September, 1888, a son of Jesse W. Crosby, Jr., who came to Bighorn county in 1900. The father was one of the leading and prominent men of the western country and for several years was regarded as a most influential figure in both the lower and upper houses of the territorial and state legislatures of Utah. Subsequent to his removal to Wyoming his ability was recognized and he was sent to the Wyoming legislature. He was one of the few men who came to his section of Wyoming in 1900 with-money and with a firm purpose. That purpose was to become a factor in the development of the wild prairie country, for he believed that there were many possibilities here. He was a dominant factor in the building of the Sidon canal irrigation project, which waters some twelve thousand acres immediately surrounding the town of Cowley. He believed in the future of the country and as an evidence of his faith he invested his money in development work. During the period in which the canal was being constructed there were some lean years for the pioneer settlers and to relieve the financial distress of the community Mr. Crosby secured railroad and other contracts which brought thousands of dollars, through labor, into the pockets of the needy settlers and thereby kept the community together. He thus assisted in upbuilding what promises to be one of the garden spots of Wyoming and one of the state’s most important little business centers is the town of Cowley. Mr. Crosby, however, died before the completion of the magnificent structure for which he had builded so wisely and well. So substantial. however, was the foundation which he had laid and he had contributed so much in means and in organization work, that the project could be carried steadily forward to success. He passed away in February, 1915, and the canal project and other important interests of the state remain as monuments to his public spirit, his business ability and his devotion to the interests of the community.
Jesse Crosby, whose name introduces this record, was educated in Provo, Utah, at the Brigham Young University, in which he pursued a four years’ course. He then spent two years abroad, finishing his education by travel, which a noted lecturer has said is equal to a four years’ college course. His training therefore was most thorough and comprehensive, for he had the technical training of the schools and through observation he added much to his knowledge. He returned to the United States on the steamer Mauritania. He saw both the steamers Olympic and Titanic launched at Belfast, Ireland, while there. After his return to Cowley he concentrated his energies for a time upon the sheep business but has constantly broadened the scope of his activities. He was one of the organizers of the Cowley State Bank in July, 1916, and he is also a stockholder in the Wyoming-Montana Oil Company and in the Montana-Wyoming Exploration Company, and he likewise has stock in the Geyser Oil Company, three of the most important oil development companies of the state. He has recognized the possibilities of Wyoming in this direction and has become identified with a movement that is contributing in marked measure to the wealth, progress and prosperity of the commonwealth.
In June, 1913, Mr. Crosby was married to Miss Iva Welch, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and they have became the parents of two sons, Jesse W., Jr., and Rodney W. The parents are members of the Mormon church.
Mr. Crosby is a republican in his political views and although he does not seek nor desire office, is well informed concerning the questions and issues of the day and stands at all times for progress and improvement in community affairs. He is one of the leading and representative men of Cowley, his business interests contributing much to the upbuilding and development of Bighorn county. He is a man of determined purpose, never stopping short of the successful fulfillment of his plans, and the methods which he pursues are such as will ever bear the closest investigation and scrutiny.