Robert H. Homer

    Robert H. Homer, a prominent figure in banking circles and a gentleman of liberal culture, "well descended and well bred," is president of the Albany County Bank of Laramie and in other connections has been a leading factor in the development and progress of his adopted city and state. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, May 16, 1849, and is a representative of one of the oldest families of that state of English lineage. The family was founded in America by Captain John Homer, who came to the new world in 1672. He owned a sailing vessel and on board his ship came from Great Britain to the new world when twenty-five years of age. He took up his abode in Boston and his descendants have since been found in Massachusetts and have also scattered to other sections of the Union. He married Margery Stephens and passed away in Boston, November 1, 1717, leaving six sons and two daughters.
    The father of Robert H. Homer was the late Peter Thatcher Homer, who was born in Boston, February 22, 1804, and was a successful dry goods merchant and importer of his native city. At the age of twenty-one years he became a member of the dry goods firm of B. F. Adams & Company and spent many years in England as the representative of that firm, purchasing goods direct from the mills and otherwise looking after the foreign trade. He thus became intimately acquainted with many of England's leading manufacturers and representative people. In time, through changes in the personnel of the firm, the style of Homer, Adams & Company was assumed and their house was one of the leading commercial enterprises of New England. Mr. Homer was also prominent in railway building in that section of the country, was actively identified with manufacturing interests and was the founder of a large number of corporations which contributed in marked measure to the business development and substantial progress of his city and state. He was a stanch democrat in politics and was at one time a candidate for congress as the opponent of Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, who was elected. During the third term of Governor John A. Andrews, in 1863, Mr. Homer was made a member of Governor Andrews' council and thus served through the Civil war, representing the first Massachusetts district as councillor. He was very active in affairs bearing upon the welfare of state and nation and became widely known throughout the entire country. He died in 1886 at the age of eighty-two years and his remains were interred in Mount Auburn cemetery in Boston. His father was a soldier of the War of 1812 and witnessed the fight between the Shannon and the Chesapeake. He, too, was active in affairs which had to do with the upbuilding of commonwealth and country. The mother of Robert H. Homer bore the maiden name of Caroline Bunker and was a daughter of William J. Bunker, of New York, a representative of one of the old families of the Empire state and of English descent. Mrs. Homer passed away three months prior to the death of her husband. In their family were four children, three of whom are still living: Anna B., who is a resident of Boston; Margaret, the wife of Charles Davis, of that city; and Robert H., of this review. One son, William Homer, is deceased.
    Robert H. Homer obtained his education in the public schools of Boston, which he attended until he reached the age of seventeen years and then started out in the business world in connection with the dry goods trade, representing the firm of Harding, Converse & Gray, with which he continued for three years. He next went abroad and was in France during the period of the Franco-Prussian war. On his return from Europe he removed to the west, settling in Albany county, Wyoming, in August, 1871. Here he turned his attention to the business of stock raising and ranching and he became one of the most prominent ranchmen of the state. He is the owner of Flag Ranch, one of Wyoming's finest ranch properties, splendidly equipped. The exceptionally attractive residence thereon, shown elsewhere in this work, was planned and constructed under the personal direction and supervision of Mr. and Mrs. Homer. It was built entirely of home products, constructed of materials found on the ranch, save the windows and doors, and is artistic in design, workmanship and furnishings. Mr. Homer has witnessed many of the events which figure on the pages of Wyoming's history in early times and has vivid recollection of those trying and turbulent border days. His reminiscences of the state during its formative period are most interesting. Not only did he become prominently connected with ranching and stock raising, but has extended his efforts into other fields with good results. He became one of the incorporators of the Laramie National Bank and was at one time president of the Wyoming Bank of Laramie, both of which have since been absorbed by the First National Bank of Laramie. Mr. Homer became president of the Albany County National Bank in January, 1901, and has since occupied that position, covering a period of sixteen years, during which time he has largely shaped the policy of the institution. He has ever recognized the fact that the bank is most worthy of support which most carefully safeguards the interests of its depositors, and in the conduct of his business he has furthermore displayed keen discrimination and sound sagacity. On the 26th of February, 1888, in Providence, Rhode Island, Mr. Homer was united in marriage to Miss Belle Stuart White, a native of Dorchester. Massachusetts, and a descendant of Peregrine White, the first child bom after the landing of the Pilgrims from the Mayflower, while through the Stuarts she comes of an old New England family of Scotch lineage, being a descendant of Maria Stuart. Her grandmother in the maternal line was Susan Moies, who at the time of her death was the oldest member of the Congregational Board of New England and a confrere* of Dr. Constantine Blodgett, a noted Congregational divine. Mrs. Homer is a lady of refinement, cultured and well bred, whose education has been supplemented by extensive travel, bringing broad general information. She has readily adapted herself to western life and during her long residence in Wyoming has become endeared to hosts of warm friends, Mr. and Mrs Homer occupying a very enviable position in the leading social circles of their section of the state.
    Mr. Homer gives his political endorsement to the democratic party and served as a member of the legislature of Wyoming from 1877 until 1883, or for three terms of two years each, during which he gave thoughtful consideration to all the vital questions which came up for settlement and left the impress of his individuality and ability in large measure upon the laws of the state. He is prominently known in club circles throughout the country, holding membership in the Somerset Club of Boston, the Boston Athletic Club, the Boston Country Club, the Reform Club of New York city and the Rocky Mountain Club of New York city. He holds membership in the Unitarian church in Laramie and he is interested in all those forces which have to do with the uplift of the individual and the betterment of the community.
    He is interested in those things which have cultural value in the lives of men and he has greatly enjoyed travel, with the opportunities which it brings. In company with Mrs. Homer, he has traveled extensively over Europe and in fact has visited almost every country on the face of the globe, making several trips around the world and having personal acquaintance with the distinguished men of many countries. He was a national commissioner in Paris during the World's Fair held there in 1900. His ranch home, which he occupies, nine miles south of Laramie, contains a rare and valuable collection of art and other treasures gathered from all parts of the universe, suggesting the artistic tastes of both Mr. and Airs. Homer. This is a source of great interest and pride to the owner and to the citizens of the community.
    Mr. Homer is indeed a most highly cultured gentleman of innate refinement, is a magnetic speaker and is widely known for his lovable character. He has the faculty of placing all at ease in his presence and there is one point in his career to which the old settlers refer with pride–that as a financier or business man he has always been the same genial, courteous gentleman whose ways are those of refinement and whose word no man can question.

* a fellow member of a profession; a colleague.

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