Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JAMES. L. COLWELL is the
present capable and genial incumbent of the postoffice in Twisp.
He received his appointment from President McKinley and has since conducted
the office in a very satisfactory manner to all the patrons. Mr.
Colwell owns the building where the office is at present and in addition
to attending to the duties of that department handles a confectionery and
school supply store. He also has a fine residence in town and a good
farm a few miles out.
James L. Colwell was born in The Dalles, Oregon,
on February 3, 1856, the son of Lafayette and Elizabeth (Hansel) Colwell,
natives of Indiana and Illinois, respectively. The father crossed
the plains with oxen in the rush of forty-nine and settled in Oregon.
He participated in the Indian wars of the fifties and remained in the Web-Foot
State until his death, which was caused by a bear, which he wounded.
The bear caused injuries which resulted in his death in 1863. The
mother is still living in Gilliam county, Oregon. Our subject received
his education at The Dalles and remained there until he was nineteen.
He learned the saddler's and blacksmith's trades and established himself
in Lone Rock, Oregon, where he conducted a harness shop and later a blacksmith
shop. He also handled a band of sheep. In 1889 Mr. Colwell
located at Wenatchee and opened a blacksmith shop, it being the second
building in the town. For a year and more he continued at the shop
and then sold and entered a mercantile establishment. In due time,
Mr. Colwell located in Okanogan county, taking a homestead three miles
west from Twisp. He brought in forty-nine head of range horses but
had the misfortune to lose forty-two of them the first winter. After
three years had been spent on the ranch, Mr. Colwell opened a shop in Twisp
and continued blacksmithing for three years when he was compelled to abandon
it on account of rheumatism. Then he received the appointment to
the postmastership of Twisp and in this capacity he has continued since.
Mr. Colwell is also interested in several mining propositions and has some
promising property. He is a member of the W. 0. W. and the F. 0.
A. and has held several of the important offices in these orders.
When twenty-one, Mr. Colwell married Miss
Carrie Barton, at Lone Rock, Oregon, the date being March 1, 1877. On March
14, 1880, she died and Mr. Colwell continued single until 1885, when he
married Miss Jennie M. Ingram, at Lone Rock. To this union, two children
have been born, Cecile L. and Harley H., Mrs. Colwell's father is John
Ingram. Her mother died when this daughter was young. Mr. and
Mrs. Colwell are well esteemed and respected people and have many warm