|NELS H. SMITH.|
Nels H. Smith is justly regarded as one of the most
prominent stockmen of the section covered by Crook and Weston
counties. He resides in the latter county and is proprietor of the
Pride of the Prairie Ranch. whereon he is engaged in breeding and
raising thoroughbred Hereford cattle and Percheron horses.
He was born in Vermilion, South Dakota, on the 27th of August. 1884. and is a son of Peter and Margaret (Larson) Smith, both of whom are natives of Denmark, where they were reared and married. Immediately thereafter they came to the United States, settling in Clay county, South Dakota. Prior to his marriage the father had visited the United States and had won a very substantial competence in the gold fields of California. After his marriage he brought his wife to the new world and purchased a farm in Clay county, South Dakota, where he engaged in general agricultural pursuits and cattle feeding.
Spending his youthful days under the parental roof, Nels H. Smith was educated in the State University of South Dakota, at Vermilion, from which he was graduated with the class of 1904, winning the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In 1905 he went to Gettysburg, South Dakota, where he began his career as a cattle man, and there he remained until the fall of 1909, when he sold his ranch and removed to Wyoming. His brother Louis was in partnership with him and their interests in Wyoming were connected until 1911. They purchased the old Captain Young ranch in Crook county and for some years ranged their cattle, which they shipped to their father in South Dakota, who fed them and prepared them for the Chicago market.
In 1911 Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Marie S. Christensen, a native of Weston county, Wyoming, and after his marriage he severed his partnership with his brother and has since carried on his business affairs independently. He is now the owner of sixteen hundred and twenty acres of deeded land in Crook county and twenty-four hundred and forty acres in Weston county. Since coming to Wyoming he has divided his attention between the raising of horses and the breeding of Cattle. He handles only high grade stock and also buys and sells stock. He is one of the well known stock raisers and breeders of northern Wyoming, controlling extensive and important interests, and his sound business judgment and indefatigable enterprise are salient features in his growing success.
To Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been born two sons. Peter F. and Christ K. In 1914 Mr. Smith was a candidate for the state legislature, but while he led his party ticket, he was defeated in the landslide of the opposing party of that year. While not without that laudable ambition which is so valuable as an incentive for faithful service in public office, he regards the pursuits of private life as in themselves abundantly worthy of his best efforts and he is now concentrating his time and attention upon his ranching interests. He has developed an important business in Wyoming and established an attractive home, where he is surrounded not only with the members of his own family but also has as inmates of his home his father and mother, whom by filial care and love he is repaying for their attention to the needs and demands of his childhood. His father is now seventy-seven years of age but is still hale and hearty, seeming scarcely past the prime of life. The family is one well known and honored in Weston county and the extensive interest of Mr. Smith place him with the leading business men in his section of the state. Mr. Smith is a great hunter and devoted sportsman, making most of his exploits in the Black Hills country and he has to his credit many a bag of large game, while he also enjoys fishing in the true spirit of the keen follower of Isaak Walton.