Among the capable and successful business men of Nez Perces County we are constrained by force of right to mention this gentleman, whose name initiates this paragraph, and who is well known as a merchant at Spalding and an orchardist.

James H. Wann was born in Lawrence County, Missouri, on November 11, 1849, being the son of Daniel and Sarah J. (Hague) Wann. The father was a farmer, born in Tennessee, in 1815 and died in 1850. He was one of the very first settlers in Lawrence County, Missouri, was County commissioner and chairman of that body. The mother was born while her parents were crossing the ocean from Scotland to the United States, in 1818. Her parents were both Scotch, the father being born in Edinburgh, a descendant of highlanders of note, and himself being a graduate of Edinburgh University. Our subject remained at home until of age. The mother came to Cass County in 1856 and to Kansas City in 1862, she having married a second time a gentleman by the name of A. J. Farmer.

At the time of his majority, James went into the mercantile business with his brother, Dr. J. B. Wann, in Lawrence County. Ten years were spent there and then he went to Halltown and started a store and a drug store in Mt. Vernon. In 1881 he sold the entire business interests there and came west and in company with his brother he went to farming extensively in Garfield County, Washington. Later our subject went to Pataha and embarked in the hardware business on his own responsibility. He did well and remained there until 1887, when in October of that year he went to Camas prairie. He took up the mercantile business there and m the fall of 1892 he was elected County assessor and tax collector of Idaho County on the Democratic ticket. From 1888 to 1896 he was engaged in raising sheep and cattle, which he sold and bought a fruit ranch in the vicinity of Spalding. He now handles this in connection with a general merchandise store and assistant postmaster.

In 1871 Mr. Wann married Miss Sarah F. Neil, in Greene County, Missouri. Her parents, Benjamin A., and Nancy (Wallace) Neil, were natives of Tennessee and the mother of Scotch extraction. Mrs. Wann has one sister and three brothers, named as follows: B. G. Neil, Prior, David B., Jane West. Mr. Wann has two brothers, John B., a physician in Missouri; Daniel J., at Pullman, Washington. The following children are the fruit of this marriage: Charles A., merchant at Mohler, Idaho; William D., at home; Loren B., in Culdesac; Delia O’Conner, in Spokane; James Norman, at home.

Mr. Wann is a Mason, having taken the highest degree obtainable. He is a notary public, handles cattle in addition to his other labors and is an active Democrat, and good man. His brother, William M., was killed in the Civil War.

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