The subject of this review is one of the representative men of this reservation country and is now dwelling on a farm four miles west from Nez Perce. Being among the first at the opening, he secured one of the choice pieces and since that date has given his undivided attention to its improvement and cultivation.

Charles B. Wortman was born in Daviess County, Missouri, on December 25, 1859, being the son of Milton L. and Catherine (Spencer) Wortman, natives of West Virginia and Ohio, respectively. The father enlisted in the Confederate army in June, 1861, and fought in Price’s army all through the conflict, being in many battles and skirmishes and also at the surrender. He was sheriff of Daviess County when the war broke out and he was elected again after the war was over. On September 15, 1872, he died from the effects of bone erysipelas. The mother died on July 4, 1876.

In 1873 our subject went to Douglas County, Colorado, but returned to Missouri, whence he again went to Colorado and remained riding the range until 1889, the year in which he came to Latah, Washington. He was here at the day of the opening of the reservation, November 18, 1895, but did not rile until the twenty-ninth. His place is situated on the Nez Perce and Lewiston wagon road and is well fenced and about all under cultivation. Mr. Wortman came here with but little property and is now a prosperous and substantial agriculturist.

On April 1, 1889, Mr. Wortman married Miss Nancy M., daughter of Hathaway and Nancy Masterson. They lived in Carroll County, Missouri, where Mrs. Wortman was born on August 25, 1864. The family went to Benton County, Arkansas. Mr. Masterson was born in Kentucky and commenced to teach at the age of eighteen and continued that with the work of the ministry in the Christian Church until two years before his death in June, 1897, being then aged seventy-seven. His widow now lives on the reservation in her seventy-fifth year. Mrs. Wortman is a member of the Christian Church.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903