Biography of C. W. Wernicke

C. W. Wernicke
C. W. Wernicke

The County treasurer of Lincoln County, Idaho, C. W. Wernicke, is also the pioneer hardware merchant of Shoshone, and throughout the eighteen years of his residence here has been prominently connected with the various interests which have contributed to the growth, prosper-ity and advancement of town and County. He belongs to that class of progressive German citizens who have severed the ties binding them to the old world in order to seek homes in the land of the free. He was born in Goldburg, Germany, on the 13th of January, 1847, and in the land of his nativity acquired his literary education and learned the tinsmith’s trade. He was a young man of nineteen years when he decided to come to America. Hearing of the advantages afforded by the United States to young men of energy, diligence and ambition, he crossed the Atlantic resolved to try his fortune among new scenes. He had only money enough to pay his passage, and landed in New York city almost penniless, ignorant of the language and customs of the people among whom his lot was to be cast. With resolute heart, however, he started out to seek work and secured employment at his trade in Lyons, New York. Later he worked as a tinsmith in Jackson and in Paw Paw, Michigan, and after a time began business on his own ac-count on a small scale. As the days passed his industry and economy added to his capital, his business was proportionately increased, and for twelve years he successfully carried on operations in that line. The excitement over the gold discoveries at Leadville, Colorado, drew him to that state, and in 1881 he came to Idaho, first locating in Blackfoot, where he carried on the hardware business for two years.

On the expiration of that period Mr. Wernicke came to Shoshone, and as there was not a building in the town he slept in a tent until he could erect the frame structure in which he has since conducted his store. The rough lumber with which he constructed the building cost eighty dollars per thousand feet. As soon as it was completed he put in a stock of shelf and heavy hardware and has since enjoyed an extensive trade throughout Shoshone and the surrounding country, his patronage steadily increasing and bringing to him a well merited success. In addition to his mercantile labors he is also discharging the duties of County treasurer of Lincoln County, to which position he was first appointed, entirely without his solicitation, by Governor McConnell. Since that time he has twice been re-elected by popular vote, and is now acceptably and creditably serving for the third term.

Mr. Wernicke is a valued and prominent member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, has passed the chairs in both branches of the order and is past grand master of the state and past grand representative to the sovereign grand lodge. In politics he has been a life-long Republican, and keeps well informed on the issues and questions of the day, both political and otherwise. His honorable business methods, his trust-worthiness in public life, and his cordial, genial manner have gained him a host of warm friends, who will, we feel assured, gladly read this review of his career.



Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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