Edwin D. Washburn

Edwin D. Washburn. A striking example of what can be accomplished by persistent efforts and honest industry is afforded in the life of this gentleman. He is one of the earliest pioneers of Steele county and makes his home on section 24, in Hope township, and is one of the few farmers of that region who have stayed on their pioneer farms and made a success of their vocation. He is now the fortunate owner of one of the well developed farms of that locality, and despite the discouragements incident to frontier life has gathered about him comforts to be enjoyed in his declining years.

Our subject was born in Oneida county, New York, July 11, 1859, and he and his elder sister were the only children born to Edwin R. and Etheline (Ward) Washburn. His parents are now living in Marshall, Michigan, where the family settled when our subject was a boy. He was reared to farm work and in March, 1881, went to North Dakota in search of a home in the wonderful farming lands of the Red river valley. He worked a season in Cass county and soon filed claim to land in Steele county, then a part of Griggs county. For the first few years he made occasional visits to his property and arranged for some improvements and during the summers of 1882 and 1883 experienced the life of a bachelor in a new country. During the early days hunting was the chief amusement, ducks and geese, antelope and an occasional elk varying the sport. It was our subject's privilege to see the last stray buffalo known in that part of the state and to dine at Tower City on a steak cut from this last of the herd of North Dakota. Mr. Washburn now has a well improved property and every necessary convenience is supplied on his farm.

Our subject was married, in 1884, to Miss Letitia E. Howard, a native of Michigan. Mrs. Washburn is a lady of rare attainments and much of her life has been devoted to educational work. She was a teacher for ten years and is one of the oldest teachers of Steele county. The first school in Hope township outside of the city of Hope, in 1888, was taught by Mrs. Washburn, in a 12x14-foot shanty, and nine scholars completed the roll. A photograph of the building and pupils is preserved in the home of Mr. Washburn as a relic of pioneer times. One son has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Washburn, upon whom they nave bestowed the name of Howard E. Mr. Washburn is a member of the Masonic fraternity and Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Politically he is a Democrat and is an earnest worker for the principles of his party. He is a man who keeps abreast of the times in all public matters of importance and is highly esteemed throughout his township and county as a public-spirited and wide-awake citizen.

Source:  Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota 1900 Page 415

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