Wesley Steel is one of the heavy land owners of Nez Perces County, having six hundred and forty acres in the vicinity of Melrose, while he makes his home in Lewiston, where he has a good residence and some business property, being one of the substantial business men and a true type of the enterprising westerner.

Wesley Steel was born in Monroe County, Ohio, on April 1, 1854, being the son of Jabe and Susan (Mann) Steel. The father was born near Philadelphia, and went to Ohio as a pioneer in an early day. He was a stockman and served in the Civil war for four years in the Second Virginia Cavalry. The mother of our subject was born in Monroe County, Ohio, her parents being natives of the Keystone state and pioneers to Ohio.

Our subject left the parental roof when he was fourteen years old and made his way to Tazewell County, Illinois, where he worked on a ranch for five years. Then he went to Van Buren County, Michigan, and dealt in horses until he was twenty-one and also learned the butcher business. Then he went to San Francisco, thence to Roseburg, Oregon, and bought stock, where he did business for five years. After this he moved to Pendleton, where he dealt in horses for two years. Then we see him in the Grande Ronde river valley in the stock business, where six successful years were spent. His next move was to Asotin, Washington, where he built a large two story brick business block and a flouring mill. He also raised sheep and for nineteen years he was one of the most prosperous men of that section. He then sold everything there but his home, and spent some time in traveling to various sections. Finally, Mr. Steel settled in Lewiston and bought business property and also the fine tract of land spoken of above. It is very fertile land and produces abundantly. Mr. Steel has fine buildings and his farm is handled in a skillful manner.

Mr. Steel married in Asotin, in 1885, Miss Mollie Flynn, daughter of Thomas and Ruth (Porter) Flynn, natives of Tennessee. Mrs. Steel was born near Knoxville, Tennessee, and has two brothers. Samuel, in Asotin, and George, in Genesee: she also has one sister in Tennessee. Mr. Steel has two brothers and one sister. Hough and Andrew Jackson, both in Ohio, Abigail Mann, in Kansas. Two children have been born to our subject and his wife. Charles E., aged sixteen, and Bonnie, aged three.

Mr. Steel is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Steel affiliates with the Redmen of Asotin and in political matters is an influential Republican.

Mr. Steel is a man of integrity and substantial qualities, having had great experience in the west and he is a true pioneer and a supporter of progress and improvement.

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