Judge Charles Edwin Winter is leaving the impress of his individuality upon the judicial history of the state by reason of his marked capability and his unfaltering devotion to duty. He is now serving on the bench of the sixth judicial district which comprises the three counties of Fremont, Natrona and Converse, and he makes his home in Casper.
Iowa claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred in Muscatine, September 13, 187o, his parents being William and Wilhelmine (Fiegenbaum) Winter, both of whom were natives of Germany. They came to the United States in childhood, however, with their respective parents, who located in Missouri. where both Mr. and Mrs. Winter were reared. Their marriage was celebrated in that state and subsequently they removed to Chicago; where Mr. Winter became connected with the Methodist ministry. He afterward rode the circuit in Illinois and in Iowa in an early day. He was also a veteran of the Mexican war and throughout his entire life was actuated by a spirit of the utmost loyalty and devotion to his country. He died in Davenport in 1881 at the age of fifty-six years, his widow long surviving, her death occurring in Nebraska, March 16, 1917, when she had reached the age of eighty-three years.
Judge Winter was reared under the parental roof, his home influences being such as led to the development of the highest standards that have guided him in all life's relations. After attending the public schools he became a student in the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant and also continued his studies in the Nebraska Wesleyan University at University Place, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1892, winning the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. He then went to Omaha, where he entered upon the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1895. The following year he became clerk of the county court in Omaha and occupied that position for four years, or until moo, when he entered upon the private practice of law. Two years later, or in 1902. he removed to the new copper mining camp forty-five miles from a railroad, known as Grand Encampment, in Carbon county, Wyoming. There he entered upon law practice, in which he continued until January, 1913, when 'he took up his abode in Casper. During the closing days of the state legislature in 1913 the sixth judicial district of Wyoming was created and Mr. Winter was appointed to the bench by Gov. Joseph M. Carey. In the election of 1914 he was chosen by popular suffrage for the office for a six years' term, so that he is the present incumbent. He ran as an independent candidate and the republican and democratic parties placed no candidate in the field, it being a genera-ally conceded fact that Judge Winter was the right man for the place. He had won for himself very favorable criticism in his law practice for the careful and systematic methods which he followed. He displayed remarkable powers of concentration and application and his retentive memory often excited the surprise of his professional colleagues. As an orator he also stood high. especially in the discussion of legal matters before the courts, where his comprehensive knowledge of the law was manifest, while his application of legal principles demonstrated the wide range of his professional learning. All these things indicated him to be a logical candidate for the office of district judge and his record upon the bench is identical with his record as a man and lawyer, distinguished by the utmost fidelity to duty and by a masterful grasp of every problem presented for solution.
On the 11th of June, 1896, Judge Winter was united in marriage to Miss Augusta P. Hutchinson, of Omaha, and to them were born three sons, Stanley T., Warren H. and Franklin C. The wife and mother passed away in Casper, April 29, 1913, and on the 25th of February, 1915, Judge Winter married Miss Alice R. Maltby, of Spokane, Washington.
Since his college days Judge Winter has taken an active interest in politics as a supporter of the republican party and has done much campaign work, making public addresses on party issues in each campaign up to 1914, when on the progressive ticket he became a candidate for congress. Since taking his place upon the bench, however, he has not been an active party worker. He was an alternate delegate to the republican convention that first nominated Taft in Chicago in 19o8. In all things he is actuated by a public-spirited devotion to the general good and he is widely known as the author of the state song of Wyoming, which was adopted and published in 1905. In 1907 he published a novel of Wyoming, under the title of “Grandon of Sierra,” which is now in its sixth edition. He published his second story of Wyoming in July, 1917, under the title of “Ben Warman.”
Judge Winter is a prominent Mason, belonging to Casper Lodge, No. 15, F. & A. M., while in the Cheyenne Consistory he has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. He is also connected with Korein Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S.
In presenting the history of Judge Winter to our readers we record the life activities of one who is acknowledged to be a foremost and honored resident of the state. Gifted by nature with keen mentality, he has won for himself a notable position in judicial and literary circles. His decisions on the bench indicate strong mentality, careful analysis, a thorough knowledge of the law and an unbiased judgment. In the discharge of his multitudinous delicate duties he has shown himself to be a man of well rounded character, finely balanced mind and of splendid intellectual attainments.