23 January 2013

Charles Edwin Winter

1870 — 1948

Biographical Material

Judge Charles Edwin Winter.

Judge Charles Edwin Winter is leaving the impress of his individuality upon the judicial history of the state by reason of his marked capability and his unfaltering devotion to duty.  He is now serving on the bench of the sixth judicial district which comprises the three counties of Fremont, Natrona and Converse, and he makes his home in Casper.

Iowa claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred in Muscatine, September 13, 1870, his parents being William and Wilhelmine (Fiegenbaum) Winter, both of whom were natives of Germany.  They came to the United States in childhood, however, with their respective parents, who located in Missouri, where both Mr. and Mrs. Winter were reared.  Their marriage was celebrated in that state and subsequently they removed to Chicago, where Mr. Winter became connected with the Methodist ministry. 1   He afterward rode the circuit in Illinois and in Iowa in an early day.  He was also a veteran of the Mexican war and throughout his entire life was actuated by a spirit of the utmost loyalty and devotion to his country. 2   He died in Davenport in 1881 at the age of fifty-six years, his widow long surviving, her death occurring in Nebraska, March 16, 1917, when she had reached the age of eighty-three years. 3 

Judge Winter was reared under the parental roof, his home influences being such as led to the development of the highest standards that have guided him in all life's relations.  After attending the public schools he became a student in the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant and also continued his studies in the Nebraska Wesleyan University at University Place, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1892, winning the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy.  He then went to Omaha, where he entered upon the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1895.  The following year he became clerk of the county court in Omaha and occupied that position for four years, or until 1900, when he entered upon the private practice of law.  Two years later, or in 1902, he removed to the new copper mining camp forty-five miles from a railroad, known as Grand Encampment, in Carbon county, Wyoming.  There he entered upon law practice, in which he continued until January, 1913, when he took up his abode in Casper. 4   During the closing days of the state legislature in 1913 the sixth judicial district of Wyoming was created and Mr. Winter was appointed to the bench by Gov. Joseph M. Carey.  In the election of 1914 he was chosen by popular suffrage for the office for a six years' term, so that he is the present incumbent.  He ran as an independent candidate and the republican and democratic parties placed no candidate in the field, it being a generally conceded fact that Judge Winter was the right man for the place.  He had won for himself very favorable criticism in his law practice for the careful and systematic methods which he followed.  He displayed remarkable powers of concentration and application and his retentive memory often excited the surprise of his professional colleagues.  As an orator he also stood high, especially in the discussion of legal matters before the courts, where his comprehensive knowledge of the law was manifest, while his application of legal principles demonstrated the wide range of his professional learning.  All these things indicated him to be a logical candidate for the office of district judge and his record upon the bench is identical with his record as a man and lawyer, distinguished by the utmost fidelity to duty and by a masterful grasp of every problem presented for solution.

On the 11th of June, 1896, Judge Winter was united in marriage to Miss Augusta P. Hutchinson, of Omaha, and to them were born three sons, Stanley T., Warren H. and Franklin C.  The wife and mother passed away in Casper, April 29, 1913, and on the 25th of February, 1915, Judge Winter married Miss Alice R. Maltby, of Spokane, Washington. 5 

Since his college days Judge Winter has taken an active interest in politics as a supporter of the republican party and has done much campaign work, making public addresses on party issues in each campaign up to 1912, when on the progressive ticket he became a candidate for congress.  Since taking his place upon the bench, however, he has not been an active party worker.  He was an alternate delegate to the republican convention that first nominated Taft in Chicago in 1908.  In all things he is actuated by a public-spirited devotion to the general good and he is widely known as the author of the state song of Wyoming, which was adopted and published in 1905.  In 1907 he published a novel of Wyoming, under the title of "Grandon of Sierra," which is now in its sixth edition.  He published his second story of Wyoming in July, 1917, under the title of "Ben Warman."  6 

Judge Winter is a prominent Mason, belonging to Casper Lodge, No. 15, F. & A. M., while in the Cheyenne Consistory he has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite.  He is also connected with the Korein Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. 7 

In presenting the history of Judge Winter to our readers we record the life activities of one who is acknowledged to be a foremost and honored resident of the state.  Gifted by nature with keen mentality, he has won for himself a notable position in judicial and literary circles.  His decisions on the bench indicate strong mentality, careful analysis, a thorough knowledge of the law and an unbiased judgment.  In the discharge of his multitudinous delicate duties he has shown himself to be a man of well rounded character, finely balanced in mind and of splendid attainments.

Source: History of Wyoming. Edited by Ichabod Sargent Bartlett. 3 volumes. (Chicago, Illinois: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1918) v. 3, pages 261-262.


  1. Wilhelm Winter and Maria Wilhelmine Fiegenbaum were married on 18 February 1850 at Warrenton, Warren County, Missouri. About 1852 they moved to Louisa County, Iowa. While it is true that Wilhelm became a pastor in the German Methodist Episcopal Church, the statement that they lived in Chicago may not be accurate; this needs to be confirmed.

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  2. Wilhelm served as a private in Captain G. deKorponay's Company B, Third Regiment, Missouri Mounted Volunteers. He enlisted and was mustered into service on 21 May 1847 at St. Louis, Missouri and was honorably discharged on 13 October 1848 at Independence, Missouri. Like many veterans of this conflict, the government awarded him land in Iowa in recognition of his military service.

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  3. Charles' father, Wilhlem Winter, died on 21 February 1882; not in 1881.

    An obituary for his mother, Maria Wilhelmine (Fiegenbaum) Winter, was published on 17 March 1917 in the Beatrice Daily Sun, of Wymore, Nebraska:

    Mrs. Wilhelmina Winter, a pioneer resident of Wymore, died at the home of her son, Dr. F. W. Winter, at Wymore Friday evening after a brief illness, the cause of death being pneumonia.  The deceased was about eighty years of age.  She was one of the charter members of the Wymore Methodist Church.  She leaves a number of children.  The remains were taken to Lincoln today, where interment will be made in the Wyuka Cemetery.

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  4. During at least part of his sojourn at Grand Encampment, Wyoming, Charles was in partnership with Spencer Eugene Phelps, another native of Iowa, in the law firm of Phelps & Winter.

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  5. Certificate of Marriage Number 18422 issued at Spokane, Washington records that Charles E. Winter, of Casper, Wyoming, age 44, a lawyer and judge and widowed, and Alice R. Maltby, of Spokane, age 26, a nurse and single, were married on 23 February 1915, not on the 25th. This was Charles' second marriage and Alice's first. Hester A. Maltby and [initial?]. J. Simpich signed the certificate as witnesses.

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  6. In addition to published speeches delivered as a member of the Masons, of the Wyoming State Bar Association and of the U.S. House of Representatives (for Wyoming in the 68th-70th congresses, 1923-29), Charles wrote Four Hundred Million Acres: The Public Lands and Resources (Casper, Wyoming: Overland Publishing Company, 1932).

    Among his works of fiction were Grandon of Sierra (New York, New York: Broadway Publishing Company, 1907); Ben Warman (New York, New York: Printed for the author by J. J. Little & Ives Company, 1917) (this was the basis for the 1920 silent movie Dangerous Love, directed by Charles E. Barlett); and, Gold of Freedom (San Antonio, Texas: Naylor Company, 1944).

    A poem Charles wrote in 1903 was set to music in 1920 by George E. Knapp, professor of music at the University of Wyoming. It was popularly regarded as the state song of Wyoming almost immediately and was officially designated such by the 33rd Wyoming Legislature in 1955.

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  7. A.A.O.N.M.S is an abbreviation for the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, commonly known as Shriners, an appendant body to Freemasonry based in the United States.

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photographic portrait of Charles Edwin Winter

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Charles Edwin Winter

Charles E. Winter, judge of the Sixth Wyoming Judicial district; attorney and author; (Prog.); b Sept 13, 1870, Muscatine, Iowa; s. of Rev. William and Wilhelmine (Fiegenbaum) Winter; educ. pub. schls. Springfield and Beardstown, Ills., and Davenport, Iowa; H. S. Wymore, Nebraska; student Iowa Wesleyan Univ., Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, 1886-9; grad. Nebraska Wesleyan Univ., Lincoln, 1892; studied law and served as clerk of the county court at Omaha, Neb., 1892-5; admitted to practice, Omaha, 1895; practised in Omaha, 1900-2; located in Grand Encampment, Wyoming, 1902; practiced law there from 1902 to Jany., 1913 when he removed to Casper; author, "Grandon of Sierra," Wyoming novel, published 1907; chief clerk, county court, Omaha, 1895-1900; appt. by Gov. Carey as judge of the newly created Sixth judicial district, March 3, 1913; term expires Jan. 1915; elected 1914, as judge same district for term 1915-21; Progressive Party candidate for Congress, 1912; pres. Nebraska League of Republican Clubs, 1897-1900; mem. executive committee, National Republican League 1897-1900; mem. 32 deg, Mason, Shriner. Address: Casper, Wyoming.

Source: Peterson, C. S, compiler, Men of Wyoming: The National Newspaper Reference Book of Wyoming Containing Photographs and Biographies of Over Three Hundred Men Residents (Denver, Colorado: C. S. Peterson, 1915), page 264.

WINTER, Charles Edwin, a Representative from Wyoming; born in Muscatine, Iowa, September 13, 1870; attended the public schools and Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant; was graduated from the Nebraska Wesleyan University at Lincoln in 1892; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1895 and commenced practice in Omaha, Nebr.; moved to Encampment, Carbon County, Wyo., in 1902 and to Casper, Natrona County, Wyo., in 1903; delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1908; judge of the sixth judicial district of Wyoming 1913-1919; resigned from the bench and resumed the practice of law at Casper, Wyo.; elected as a Republican to the Sixty-eighth, Sixty-ninth, and Seventieth Congresses (March 4, 1923-March 3, 1929); was not a candidate for renomination in 1928, but was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate; attorney general of Puerto Rico in 1932 and 1933, and served as Acting Governor; resumed the practice of law; died in Casper, Wyo., April 22, 1948; interment in Highland Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005: the Continental Congress, September 5, 1774, to October 21, 1788, and the Congress of the United States, from the First through the One Hundred Eighth Congresses, March 4, 1789, to January 3, 2005, inclusive (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2005), page 2,187.

Brief Genealogy

Charles Edwin Fiegenbaum's family

Augusta Pittman Hutchinson's family

Winter - Hutchinson family

Edwin's 1st marriage

Alice R. Maltby's family

Details of the birth family of Alice R. Maltby ( ? - ? ) are not currently known.

Winter - Maltby family

Edwin's 2nd marriage

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