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Rose Divider Bar

The lumber industry has long been one of the most considerable and important in this part of the world, and the enterprise which has been put into it and the enormous sweep and volume of its operations have been among the most productive factors in building up the country and adding to its wealth. A great corporation engaged in this business is therefore always an object of interest, and the men who manage its affairs, local or general, are prominent figures in the business world and civil life around them; for they put and keep forces in motion that give employment to many persons, and help by their trade and productiveness to augment all the currents of mercantile and industrial progress.

B. R. Wasson, the manager of the Atlantic branch of the great Green Bay Lumber Company, is therefore justly entitled to the high place he occupies in the esteem of the business world on account of his position, and he ably maintains it by his enterprise and mercantile ability, while by his elevated character and useful citizenship, he has won and holds the personal confidence and good will of all classes. Mr. Wasson was born in Warren county, Iowa, on January 21, 1867, and is a son of John C. S. and Julia A. (Spry) Wasson, the former a native of Highland county and the latter of Logan county, Ohio.

The father was a merchant, and in 1854 moved his family to Iowa, making the journey with teams through the wilderness of much of the intervening country, where roads and bridges were almost unknown, and swamps and forests, with their deadly enemies to human life, were numerous. He located at Hartford in this State, and there opened a general store which he conducted until 1875. He then moved to Des Moines, where he lived until his death on March 12, 1897. His widow is still living. Their family comprised three sons and three daughters, two sons and one daughter being alive, and in various ways are adding to the consequence and wealth of the country. The father was a valiant soldier for a year and a half during the Civil War, until disabilities incurred in the service occasioned his discharge. In 1861, in obedience to one of the first calls for volunteers, he raised Company B, Thirty-fourth Iowa Infantry, and was at once commissioned its first lieutenant. His company was not immediately called into active service, but it was also a part of the assailing or defending force in numberless minor engagements. On being discharged from the service the elder Wasson returned to Iowa where he passed the remainder of his days. His father, James Wasson, was a native of Pennsylvania, a farmer by occupation, and one of the early emigrants to Ohio, where he died well advanced in life.

B. R. Wasson grew to maturity in Warren county, of this State, and obtained his education in the public schools and at the Iowa Business College in Des Moines. After spending three years as shipping clerk in the wholesale grocery of Charles Hewitt at Des Moines, in 1888 he entered the employ of the Green Bay Lumber Company in Des Moines. Some time afterward he was transferred by the company to Harlan, this State, and later was made manager of the business at Mapleton, retaining the position eight years. In 1898 he was placed in charge of the company's branch at Atlantic, founded in 1885, and is now the oldest business enterprise in the county in continuous activity.

Mr. Wasson was married at Harlan, in 1890, to Louise M. Gillespie, an Iowan by birth. They have five children, Cecil M., Fred G., Mary L., Catherine C., and Margaret D. The father has been a lifelong Republican and is now a member of the Atlantic City Council. In fraternal circles he is connected with the M. W. of A., the Order of Elks and Blue Lodge Masonry. While his attention to business is close, it does not militate against his diligent performance of the duties of social life and good citizenship.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 537-538.

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