W. Edwards Deming
William Edwards Deming was born in Sioux City, Iowa on 14 October 1900 to William Albert Deming and Pluma Irene Edwards.
As an adult, he used the name W. Edwards Deming.
His brother, Robert Edwards was born on 11 May 1902; his sister, Elizabeth Marie, later Elizabeth Deming Hood was born on 21 January 1909.
The family lived at 121 Bluff Street in Sioux City. In 1904, they moved to the Edwards farm located in Polk City, between Ames and Des Moines. The farm was owned by Pluma’s father, Henry Coffin Edwards (Pluma’s mother, Elizabeth Grant, died when Pluma was young).
In an effort to encourage settlement in the West, the United States government granted parcels of land (usually 40 or 80 acres) to citizens who agreed to settle, farm or develop the land.
William Albert Deming filed on 40 acres in Camp Coulter, later named Powell, Wyoming. The family moved to Wyoming in 1907. They rented a house in Cody until they could build on their own land. William Albert learned that his parcel was poor, useless for farming.
Their first dwelling was a shelter, rectangular in shape (like a railroad box car), covered with tar paper, often referred to as a tar paper shack. Water was pumped from a well. There was little protection from the harsh weather. The family was often cold, hungry and in debt.
Eighty years later, on a visit to Powell, Dr. Deming learned that the 40 acres was still referred to as the Deming Addition.
Pluma Irene and William Albert Deming were well-educated and emphasized the importance of education to their children. Pluma had studied in San Francisco and was a musician. William Albert had studied mathematics and law. Young Ed Deming attended school in Powell and held odd jobs to help support the family.
1906 As a six-year-old, Deming moved with his family to a Cody boarding house1908 The Deming family moved to a 40-acre homestead near Powell
uesday, 06 January 2009
The new year promises to be a significant one for Powell as the community celebrates its centennial.
Over the past year, the Powell Centennial Committee began prepping for the milestone with a lecture series and other events. This year, much more is planned — gatherings, lectures, a beard contest in honor of the town’s namesake, John Wesley Powell, and a calendar featuring 365 interesting tidbits of Powell history.
Each issue of the Powell Tribune in 2009 will carry one of those notable facts on the front page.
Powell’s Centennial is a chance for its residents — present and former — to reflect on the people and events that have shaped Powell since its inception.
Those events include the oil discovery in Elk Basin, the completion of the Buffalo Bill Dam, the establishment of local schools and the development of homesteads and businesses.
People shaping Powell’s history include the internationally acclaimed W. Edwards Deming, a 1917 Powell High School graduate who helped raise Japan to a world economic power, and the infamous bank robber Earl Durand.
As Powell celebrates its centennial during the next 12 months, residents will have opportunities to learn about its history, appreciate the community for what it has become and establish a foundation for its next 100 years.