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 F. WILKE is a native
of Shelby county, Illinois, born September 4, 1866. He is now a prominent
and prosperous farmer residing four miles north of Davenport. Mr.
Wilke's father was August Wilke, a native of Germany, in which country
he was a tailor by trade, and for a number of years a member of the standing
army. He came to the United States in 1865 and settled in Shelby
county, Illinois. Later he went to Chicago, where he was at the time
of the great fire. From Chicago he returned to Shelby county, where
he followed farming, and in 1891 came to Lincoln county, Washington, where
he is still living on a large tract of land which he has since acquired.
The brothers and sisters of Mr. Wilke are,
Herman A., Gustave W., both of whom are living with their father; and Bertha,
wife of Charles A. Level.
At the age of eighteen Charles Wilke started
out to work for wages among different farmers of his native county, and
came to this county with his father in 1891. He worked on salary
for a few years until he got sufficient start in life to enable him to
enter the business of farming on his own account, which he has since continued
to do. He now has six hundred and forty acres of land, all under
cultivation, and five hundred and fifty acres of timber and pasture land,
with plenty of stock, implements, and so forth, to successfully carry on
Charles F. Wilke was married to Mary B. Swank,
a native of Douglas county, Oregon, September 28, 1903. Her father,
G. W. Swank, was a pioneer to the coast from the state of Indiana.
He is now living in Skagit county, Washington. Her another is Alice
(Miller) Swank, a native of Missouri, and is still living. Mr. and
Mrs. Swank have nine children, all of whom are living in this state.
Mr. Wilke is a member of the M. W. A.
He came to the country a poor man, has done
well here, and is so thoroughly satisfied with the surroundings and conditions
here that he freely expresses it as his intention to make the state of
Washington and the county of Lincoln his permanent home.