N. JESSE CONVERSE.
N. Jesse Converse, owner of the Converse building of Laramie and one of the representative business men of the city, was born in Anamosa, Iowa, October 5, 1861, a son of Jesse R. and Mary (Peck) Converse. The father was a native of New York, his birth having occurred in Rensselaerville, while the mother was born at Schenectady, New York. They removed to Iowa in early life and the father enlisted for service in the Civil war in 1861 and was killed in 1863 at Memphis Ridge. Tennessee, while making a charge. The widow was married again in Anamosa, Iowa, to Levi T. Wilcox, who with the family removed to Wyoming, in the summer of 1867, coming by team from Iowa. From Omaha travel was by ox team via the overland route and the family settled about eight miles west of Laramie, on the Big Laramie river. Mrs. Wilcox passed away in Laramie in 1900 at the age of sixty-three years. In their family were three children: Mrs. George B. Gabbott, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, who has passed away; and one who died in infancy.
The youngest member of the family was N. Jesse Converse, who in his boyhood days attended the public schools of Laramie, passing through consecutive grades to the high school. When his textbooks were put aside he began learning the jeweler's trade under the direction of his stepfather, Levi T. Wilcox, and for thirty-six years he was prominently identified with the jewelry business in Laramie, ranking with the leading merchants through more than a third of a century. His establishment, one of the old landmarks, contributed in substantial measure to the commercial development of the city. Mr. Converse also became a director of the First National Bank and was the builder of the Converse building, a modern structure for office and store purposes which was erected in 1910 and is one of the finest business buildings of the state. He has been president of the Laramie Building & Loan Association since 1914 and thus in many ways has contributed to the city's substantial progress.
On the 5th of October, 1887, Mr. Converse was married to Miss Catherine Reynolds, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William A. Reynolds. He ranks with the honored and representative men of Laramie and has figured prominently in various public connections. He is a republican in politics and by popular vote was called to represent his district in the state legislature. He has taken all of the degrees of Masonry and is identified with several other fraternities and he is president of the governing board of the Ivinson Memorial Hospital. His activities have been various, far-reaching and resultant, the city benefiting in substantial manner by his cooperation in all well defined plans and projects for its good. Honored and respected by all, he occupies a most enviable position in financial circles not alone by reason of the success which he has achieved but also owing to the straightforward policy which he has ever followed.