J. H. CLAUSE.
J. H. Clause, who has been actively identified with business and public interests in Rawlins for more than a third of a century, is now well known as a merchant and capitalist of this city. He was born in Springfield, Illinois, September 22, 1860, and is a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (McClure) Clause, who were natives of Germany and of Ireland, respectively. They came to America in childhood and settled in Illinois, where the father afterward engaged in farming. He threshed the last crop of wheat upon the site of the present city of Springfield. He afterward bought a farm in Illinois and continued a resident of that state for many years. He died in 1888. Mrs. Clause was called to her final rest May 12, 1882. They were parents of four children.
J. H. Clause, the only living member of the family, attended the country schools, being a student in the Beaver Dam schoolhouse near Springfield, Illinois. He took up the occupation of farming upon the old homestead in that state and continued to work for his father until he attained his majority. The opportunities of the west, however, attracted him and, making his way to Wyoming, he settled in Rawlins, where he arrived on the 22d of March, 1882. Here he turned his attention to the liquor business, first as an employe, while later he bought the place and eventually became owner of the property in which he conducted his business. As the years have passed he has extended his activities into various fields and is now vice president of the Rawlins National Bank and vice president of the Osborn Live Stock Company. He is also the vice president of the Rawlins Mercantile Company and these interests have profited by his sound judgment and active cooperation. In business affairs he readily discriminates between the essential and the nonessential and, discarding the latter, utilizes the former to the best possible advantage. In addition to all of his other interests he is president of the Inter-State Gold Beach and Bar Mining Company of Idaho and Colorado, which controls one of the largest gold mining properties of the west.
On February 3, 1891, Mr. Clause was married to Miss Ella O'Melia, of Rawlins, born in County Kildare, Ireland, in 1872, and who passed away February 11, 1900, her death occurring in Los Angeles, California. She was a daughter of Robert and Julia O'Melia and by her marriage she became the mother of five children. William P., born in Rawlins in 1891, is now with the Rawlins National Bank and is a graduate of the Gem City Business College of Quincy, Illinois. Esther E., the second member of the family, was born in 1893, and was a member of the Rawlins high school of the class of '14. Veronica E. and Vincentia E., twins, born October 21, 1894, are also high school graduates, class '15. James Robert, who was born in Rawlins in 1899 is a member of the high school class of 1918.
In religious faith Mr. Clause is a Catholic and in political belief a democrat. He has held the office of city treasurer for two terms and for six years was a member of the city council, while for five years he has served as mayor of Rawlins. In these connections he has rendered efficient service as a public officer, looking ever to the welfare and upbuilding of the city and district in which he resides. He belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, is serving on its board of trustees and was a member of the building committee which erected the present Elks' building, the finest in the state. He is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is now the president of the state board of sheep commissioners, having been appointed for two years and now serving for his second term through appointment of Governor Kendricks. Mr. Clause may truly be called a self-made man in that he owes his success and prosperity entirely to his own labors. As the architect of his fortunes he has builded wisely and well. He is largely self-educated, the advantages of his youth having been limited, but by a ready recognition of opportunities he has worked his way upward, wisely and carefully directing his business affairs so as to produce the most desired results. His fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have also called upon him for public service and he is justly accounted one of the representative and prominent residents of Rawlins.