Cross, George Harry (September 15, 1854 - November 28, 1946)
County's Oldest Pioneer,
George H. Cross, Passes Away Thursday Services Held Sunday Afternoon; Came To State In 1875; Helped Organize Converse; Dies At Age Of 92 Years
Unknown - December 5, 1946George H. Cross, beloved and venerable pioneer rancher, scholar and statesman, died Thursday evening, at his ranch home, of pneumonia at the age of 92 years.
George Harry Cross was born in Montreal, Canada, Sept. 15, 1854, of Scotch parentage. His father, Alex Cross, was a member of the King's Council and was Chief Justice for the Province of Quebec. Mr. Cross received his education in private schools, Montreal high school, Upper Canada College and Nicolet College and traveled extensively abroad. He passed up the opportunity to further his education at Oxford University to become a cowboy in the great "Cow Country."
He arrived in Riverbend, Colorado Territory Dec. 1874. He came to Wyoming in 1875, when Indians roamed the country and wild life in countless numbers including the "King of the Prairie," the buffalo, were to be seen everywhere and barbed wire fences were unknown. He camped on Cherry Creek in Colorado with his herd of cattle which he drove up the Texas trail, when Denver was a village, on a spot where now passes one of that thriving city's busiest thoroughfares (Speer and Broadway). For a time he ranged his cattle on Lone Pine Creek in Larimer county, Colo.
He returned to Montreal in 1884, and married Lea Marie LeVasseur. They returned to "Braehead Ranch," named after Mr. Cross's ancestral home in Scotland, where he had resided ever since. With the help of his good wife he successfully built an empire out of the wilderness. He and his sons now own one of the largest Shorthorn cattle ranches in the country.
Although Mr. Cross endured the hardships and struggles of pioneer days he remained a cultured, courtly gentleman to the end. His word was as good as a bond. Sincerity and honesty were written in his every act. He radiated human kindness and brotherly love for his fellowmen. He was always a good neighbor and ever ready to help the less fortunate. He worked incessantly and gave his all for the development and betterment of his adopted land.
He helped to organize Converse county and was one of its three first commissioners. He served as Senator from Converse county in the third, fourth, fifth, ninth and eleventh sessions of the state legislature. He declined the nomination for Governor of Wyoming during the days of the convention system. He was appointed and successfully served as a member of the state board of fair commissioners. He always ardently for the perpetuation of the state fair.
He served as President of the Wyoming Pioneer Association and was always intensely interested in the State Historical Society and while in the Senate he urged setting aside certain lands for the maintenance and support of Wyoming's Historical Society. He always maintained a vital interest in state and national affairs and was an authority on Wyoming history. He was one of the organizers of the Converse County Bank and served as President for many years.
Mr. Cross was the oldest living member of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and has been a member since 1882. As the oldest pioneer of Converse county he was extended the courtesy of Number "1" auto license for a great many years. He was one of the original financiers and promoters for the construction of the LaBonte Hotel.
During the time Mr. Cross was Senator some of our most important laws and amendments in the state __________ him. Among them were - the establishment of a State Board of Health and regulation of the practice of medicine; the requirement of fire escapes from buildings of more than one story in height; the provision for a six month period for redemption of real property sold under execution and mortgage foreclosure; the safeguard of public moneys from becoming a source of profit to the individual officer who is the custodian thereof. The interests of the ranchers and stock growers were always uppermost in his mind. He worked hard for the coal miners of the state and instituted laws which bettered their living standards and working conditions. He introduced a resolution in the Senate that new counties should be named for the Indians and historical values for Washakie and Niobrara counties.
Mrs. Cross preceded him in death in 1940, also his daughters, Margaret, Julia and Elsie, (the latter died one month ago) and his son, Robert, who gave his life for his country in World War I.
Left to mourn him are his sons, Alexander, George and William H. Cross and daughters, Mary, Alzire, Maisie and Emma, and 11 grand children.
His funeral was held at the Congregational church at 2:00 o'clock Sunday, following by cremation at Denver. Interment will be in the Douglas Park Cemetery. The active and honorary pall bearers were the sons of his old time friends and the remaining pioneers who he knew and loved in pioneer days.
Thomas B. Virden, Barry Park, Douglas Leman, Clay Shaw and Clement Ayers. Honorary pallbearers included: C.W. Horr, E.T. David of Denver, Frank S. Knittle of Casper, George Mitchell of Wheatland, Arthur Sims, John Sullivan, Bob Irvine, Eli Peterson, Harry Pollard, Fergie Mitchell of Wheatland, Byron Wilson of Orin, Frank Gore of Laramie, Henry Bolln, Sam Carothers, John Thompson of Cheyenne, Clark Bishop, John Kennedy, Joseph Garst, Dana Browning, Al Rice, U.S. Grant, Frank Curtis, John Burnett, E.D. George, William Taylor of Gillette, Edgar Hawley, Otto Rohlff, Lloyd Froggatt, H.M. Peters, Edward Rowley, Ed Arnold of Lusk, Bert Sanford, J.D. LeBar, John Bansept, D.C. Cook, William Musch and Claude McDermott.