Historical Details

Brewster, Charles and Julia Family History

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 11/09/2020


by Inez Brewster Kelly

Charles Logan Brewster was born in Collingwood, Canada, on Lake Ontario  He came to Lead City, S.D. in 1888 when he was 13 years of age.

His aunt, Mrs. Eliza Bryant, owned the Bryant Hotel in Lead, which she opened in 1876 the first hotel operated in Lead City. This hotel, and another one in Lead which she managed, was filled with gold miners and prospectors and many of them had re­cently "struck it rich".  It was said that Mrs. Bryant had grub-staked more people to prospect for gold than any single person in the Black Hills. Gold nuggets were plentiful and jubilantly displayed. Logan attend­ed school weekdays and helped in the hotel weekends and evenings, but he was eagerly awaiting the day when he would be old enough to get a job in the gold mines.

When he was 17 he went to the Belle Fourche country to work for his brother-in­ law, Carrick "Red" Hill, who was running cattle on the Belle Fourche River. Mrs. Hill, Red's mother, was first cousin to George F. Hearst, father of William Randolph Hearst, noted American newspaper publisher.  Mrs. Hill had confidence that "thar's gold in them thar hills," and financed her cousin by teaching school, while he went prospecting for gold. Mrs. Hill's husband, "Missouri" Hill, filed on a homestead on the Belle Fourche River, within a mile of where Belle Fourche is now located.  It was here years later that Logan Brewster got his first experience in cattle raising.   When Mr. Hearst became owner of the famous Homestake gold mine he built Mrs. Hill, his benefactress, a $10,000 home in Los Angeles, Calif. on a street afterward named Hill Street.    She also received from her cousin $100.00 a month for life and in his will, Mr. Hearst left $10,000 to each of her four children.

When Logan was 18, he came back to Lead and got a job as driller in the Home­stake mine. At that time they drilled the hard way, with hammer and drill. Later, compressed air drills were installed.  Logan still had his old iron candlestick that could be hooked onto his cap or stuck in rocks or timbers.

In 1895 Logan became contractor in the mines and in 1897 was married to Julia Inez Hogg, eldest daughter of John T. Hogg and Harriet Lucy Hogg, sister of the Hogg brothers.

Julia Inez Hogg was born July 16, 1872 at Point Pleasant, W. Va. Most of her childhood was spent near Point Pleasant, on her father's farm. She attended school with her three brothers and two sisters at Pine Grove School until she was 12 years old.

When the family moved to Point Pleasant she attended Point Pleasant Academy and from there to Barboursville College in West Virginia where she completed her fine arts course.

In 1896 she came to Wyoming with her parents, brothers and sisters. Mr. Hogg filed on land near his eldest son Will, who had preceded the family to Wyoming several years earlier, and whose ranch was at the head of Lance Creek and the Cheyenne River.

Later the family moved to Edgemont, S.D. - approximately 45 miles from their ranch - so the younger children could at­ tend school.

It was in Edgemont that Inez met Logan Brewster, and after their marriage they moved to Lead City where their oldest son, Byron was born.

The following year, Will Hogg, the pioneer, the blazer of trails for the Hogg family, came to Lead City to visit his sister and brother-in-law. His enthusiastic talk of the great state of Wyoming and its bright possibilities struck an answering spark in the adventurous spirit of Logan Brewster. That fall he and Will went to Orin Junction, where Logan purchased a bunch of Texas Longhorns - having been shipped there to be sold. He and Will trailed them to the H.O.G. Ranch, where the cattle stayed until the following Spring of 1899 - when Logan, Inez and baby son came to Wyoming to live.

Logan filed on a homestead on Lance Creek - but afterward sold his land to Elmer Brown, his brother-in-law, who had married Elvira, Inez's younger sister.

Logan and Inez Brewster then located near the mouth of Old Woman Creek where they established their own ranch which is known as the -X-Ranch.  Here the family resided and three other children were born to them-­ Ardis, Inez and Stanford.

In 1906 Logan sold his cattle and entered the sheep business, which business he stayed in for a number of years. He gradually increased his bands. At this time there were few fences--mostly open range.

Soon though, homesteaders moved in, filing on much of the land and soon fences became a necessity. Also for the rancher more land became a necessity - and Logan Brewster, as did the other pioneering ranchers, purchased land from some of the homesteaders who were ready to give up - others in the family filed on land - until there was nearly enough land even though it had to be fenced­ to do for awhile.

But let it be said here that I do not think there ever was a Wyoming rancher who felt that he had enough  land. Always ready to buy up more if possible. Always needing more.

During these years, the Brewster children attended school near the ranch, at a community school - sometimes walking the two or three miles to school, other times via horse and buggy.  Later there were several winters in Denver, Colo. attending school then back to the ranch for the summer.

Then Mr. Brewster decided to purchase a house in Edgemont, S.D. 30 miles from the ranch - to have his family closer during the school months.  This second home was kept for a number of years, until the sons and daughters married. Ardis married, making her home in Denver. Inez married and made her home in Edgemont.   After marriage Byron and Stanford built their homes on their land adjoining the home ranch and started ranching in their own right.

After a few short years of marriage, Ardis became ill and soon the Brewster family lost their beloved daughter and sister. Her age was just 25.

Soon after this, Logan and Inez Brewster moved back to the ranch, selling the house in Edgemont. Most of their time from then on was spent there. They built on to the ranch house, modernized it and Mrs. Brewster gradually made the large yard of that home a place of beauty. Her love for trees, flowers and shrubs - and her green finger - turned it into a blaze of color. Lilacs, roses, petunias, many other beautiful flowers thrived there.  Her fingertips turned everything to beauty.

Mrs. Brewster was an understanding and wonderfully devoted wife and mother.  Everyone knowing her and those meeting her for the first time marveled at her wonderful zest for and enjoyment of the new and beautiful facets of living, and also her love of the old treasured traditions.   This interest in the variance of living kept her vitally and beautifully active and was reflected in her artistry in oil painting, for in this art Mrs. Brewster showed great talent and genius - and her paintings are indeed treasured.

About 1940 Mr. Brewster starting buying white-face Herefords - then in 1946 went out of the sheep business, bought more cattle, including a bunch of Black Angus - and remained actively and successfully engaged in the cattle business for the remainder of his life.

During these last years, Mr. and Mrs. Brewster spent many winters in Long Beach, Calif., where they resided with their daughter Inez and their grandson and his wife, Neale and Peggy Sprague and young daughter Suzanne.

During the year 1958 Mrs. Brewster gradually failed in health and on Monday Sept. 15, she quietly went to sleep at the age of 86.

Mr. Brewster stayed on at the ranch, not caring to leave his home and his land with the memories there--and especially Wyoming, the state that he really loved.

His daughter Inez visited him several times and his sons were nearby.  But just one year and one month after losing his wife and companion for so many years - he too, went quietly to sleep in November 1959 at the age of 86.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Brewster, Charles (03/14/1875 - 11/15/1959) View Record
Obituary Brewster, Julia (07/16/1872 - 08/31/1959) View Record
Obituary Brewster, Phillip (11/05/1933 - 03/17/2021) View Record