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 Co., 1904.
SYLVESTER R. WESP was born on
December 25, 1847, in Jefferson county, New York. His father, Frederick
J. Wesp, was born in Germany and came to the United States when six years
of age. He was raised in New York and then came to Wisconsin and
after that to Iowa in which latter place he remained until his death in
1891, being then sixty-six years of age. The mother of our subject,
Mary (Davis) Wesp, was born in New York and died in Iowa in 1896 aged seventy.
Sylvester is the oldest of the family of eleven children, all living but
one. He came with his parents to Richland county, Wisconsin, where
he was educated, completing his studies in Wisconsin upon graduating from
the Richland Center high school. Then the family moved to Chickasaw
county, Iowa, and our subject studied some in the Bradford Academy.
After that he spent some time in teaching in Iowa and on June 23, 1873,
married Miss Mary E. Graves, a native of Stephenson county, Illinois.
Her parents, Christopher and Catherine Graves, died in Chickasaw county,
Iowa. Our subject served as assessor in his township for several
years, being elected on the Democratic ticket. In the fall of 1880,
he came to Colusa county, California, and one year later, via San Francisco
and Portland, he journeyed to Walla Walla. After teaching some time
in that vicinity, he came on to Sprague and in the fall of 1883 was one
of the six men who made the first location in the Coeur d'Alene excitement.
He was with Mr. Prichard in the discovery on Prichard creek and did the
recording of the claims there located. For two years, he labored
in the Coeur d'Alene mining districts, then came to Lincoln county and
located a homestead where he now resides, three miles northeast from Harrington.
Since locating here, Mr. Wesp has given attention to farming and school
teaching. He now owns two hundred and forty acres of fine grain land
all under cultivation and supplied with a good residence, large barn, fine
bearing orchard, plenty of water and other improvements. He has also
sufficient stock and implements for use on the farm and is a prosperous
To Mr. and Mrs. Wesp five children have been
born, Sidney P., who owns land adjoining his father; Gertrude E., wife
of Charles Cameron; Guy, in Alaska; Mabel, wife of Daniel Shriner, of New
Hampton, Iowa, and now deceased and Carrie I.