George Powell is a retired rancher of Douglas and a
business man of marked ability, his enterprise and intelligently
directed effort placing him among the most substantial residents of
Converse county and his section of the state. His life record
indicates clearly what may be accomplished through perseverance and
determination. He was born in Fairfield, Jefferson county, Iowa, on
the 22d of February, 1847, a son of Enos and Catherine (Harper)
Powell. The father was a native of Kentucky, while the mother was
born in Indiana, to which state Mr. Powell removed when a young man
and there he met and married Miss Harper. They subsequently took
up their abode in Iowa, being numbered among the pioneers of that
state, and there through their united labors they developed a fine
farm and won prosperity, continuing their residence in Iowa until
called to their final rest.
George Powell was the third in order of birth in their family. He was reared on the old homestead farm in Iowa and continued his residence there until 1865, enjoying the educational advantages offered by the primitive schools of the district. He afterward struck the long trail across the plains to Denver, Colorado, and soon after his arrival there engaged in freighting, in which business he continued for two years. For two years longer he was employed in logging operations in the mountains, sixty-five miles west of Denver. On the expiration of that period he came to Wyoming, where he entered government employ in the civilian service, remaining for a year in that connection at Fort Laramie. He afterward spent a few months in lumbering in the Elk mountains and on the expiration of that period took charge of a bull freighting outfit. He was thus engaged for eight years and during that time almost daily had trouble with the Indians. During one year when the red men were particularly troublesome he participated in various skirmishes and exchanged shots with them at frequent intervals, a number of both whites and Indians losing their lives in these encounters. Mr. Powell afterward engaged in freighting on his own account until 1877, meeting with varying success in his endeavors but laboring diligently and persistently. He located on his present ranch in 1877 and at once began its development and improvement. In 1879, however, he purchased another freighting outfit and for two more years he again followed that arduous vocation. From that time until the present he has given his attention to his ranch and stock interests. However, for the past few years he has lived practically retired. He has over seven hundred acres deeded land under irrigation and well ditched and he raises immense crops of wheat, oats, alfalfa and he runs large bands of cattle and sheep in his pastures. He has substantial and comfortable buildings upon his place and also good barns and sheds. His home is an attractive modern bungalow which has just been completed.
On the 27th of March, 1878, Mr. Powell was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Skogland, by whom he had two daughters. Maud, the wife of T. P. Hutchison, resides in Converse county and has five sons and two daughters, while one child passed away in infancy. Gertrude, the younger daughter, became the wife of Hubert Coppock and resided at Long Beach, California, but passed away after six months of happy married life, on the 21st of July, 1915.
In politics Mr. Powell is a republican and is a public-spirited man, interested in all that has to do with the welfare and progress of the community in which he lives. His life record constitutes an inspiring story, showing what may be accomplished through persistent and indefatigable effort and energy. Those who know him, and he has many friends, rejoice in what he has accomplished, recognizing the fact that his prosperity is the direct and merited reward of persistent, earnest labor. He has been closely associated with Wyoming during the period of its pioneer development and has borne his part in work that has contributed to its later upbuilding and progress. He met all the hardships and privations of pioneer life, met them bravely and courageously, and his memory forms a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present.