Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
CHARLES KOLB, secretary of the electric light company of Wilbur, was born October 8, 1866, in Fayette county, Iowa. His father, Christian Kolb, was born in Germany, and came to Chicago, Illinois, when that city was a mere hamlet of a few houses. After a few years here he removed to Fayette county, Iowa, being one of the first settlers in the county, Dubuque, eighty miles distant, being his nearest trading point. He is still living there in his seventy-fourth year. Mr. Kolb's mother, Catharine (Becher) Kolb, also was born in Germany, and came to Chicago in early life, and was there married. She is still living at the age of sixty-eight.
Mr. Kolb is the fifth in a family of six children. Their names are; John Jacob, John N., Wilson H., Christian and Albert; all of whom, with the exception of the subject, and Christian, who lives in Spokane, are still living in Iowa.
After passing through the public schools, Mr. Kolb attended the Upper Iowa University, being later graduated from the commercial course of that school. As a young man he also learned the carpenters trade. He worked at his trade, did contracting, and conducted a grocery business while in his native state, before coming west in the fall of 1895. He worked at contracting and building in Lewiston, Idaho, Asotin, Northport and Spokane, Washington, before finally settling in Wilbur in 1897. Since coming to this town he has erected some of the principal business buildings and residences of the city. In 1903 he was one of the incorporators of the Wilbur Electrical Company, and for a time was its president, but is now its secretary and manager, and is one of the largest stockholders in the company. They have a one hundred horse power engine in their plant, and a dynamo of fifteen hundred light capacity.
Mr. Kolb is at the present writing vice-grand, and noble grand-elect of the Wilbur lodge of Odd Fellows, and is also a member of the Fraternal Army of Loyal Americans. He is widely known and highly respected in his home city as being a good citizen and an honorable, conscientious man.