Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
CHARLES LABES. Foremost
among the business men of Lind is Charles Labes, dealer in hardware and
implements. He is a native of the province of Pommern, Prussia, born
December 9, 1856, and the son of Charles and Augusta (Blank) Labes, both
natives of Germany. The parents came to America in 1883, locating
at Fort Atkinson, Jefferson county, Wisconsin, where the father died two
years later. The mother still lives, and makes her home in Milwaukee.
They were the parents of six children, Charles, William, Fred, Augusta,
Hermine, and August, who is dead. The father was a veteran of the
war of 1866 against Austria.
Until arriving at the age of twenty Charles
Labes attended school and assisted his father, when he enlisted in the
German army with which he served for two and a half years. He came
to America in 1881 and located at Oakland, Wisconsin, where he lived seven
years as a farmer. He then came to Ritzville in 1888 and filed a
homestead twelve miles west from Ritzville, where he farmed twelve years.
He accumulated land, meanwhile, until he owned nine hundred and sixty acres
of agricultural land, and all under fence, nine hundred of which was under
cultivation. He started a general merchandise store in Lind in 1897,
which he conducted together with his farm until 1901, when he rented his
land and sold his store. He then opened the hardware and implement
business in which he is engaged at this writing. He carries complete
lines, about twenty thousand dollars' worth of goods, and is doing an immense
business, especially where the size of his city is taken into consideration.
He owns the brick building he occupies, fifty by one hundred and forty
feet, with basement, and also a fine modern residence.
On December 20, 1876, in Prussia, Mr. Labes
was married to Minnie Wadeward, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Wadeward,
natives of Germany, in which country both died. They were the parents
of seven children, Caroline, August, William, Minnie, Augusta, Henrietta
Charles Labes is at the present time a member
of his city council, and is an active and aggressive Republican in politics.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Labes are members of the German Lutheran church.
As a business man, Mr. Labes is progressive,
straightforward and enterprising, and the business interests of Lind look
to him as a leader in affairs of importance affecting the town.