Strengths and Weaknesses (depending on the situation)
Self-made millionaire and political lobbyist.
Owner/Manager of the Kalispell National Bank
Financial and management skills
Aliases / Nicknames
Past: Washington D.C.
Kith & Kin
Wife: Rebecca Mary Wentworth (nee Martin) - married 1839
Matthew Charles Wentworth (born 1840)
Michael Robert Wentworth (born 1843)
Samuel Martin Wentworth (born 1845)
Mary Alice Wentworth Barlow (born 1850)
Charles Albert Wentworth Jr. (born 1855)
1820: Born 9 September in Wilmington, Ohio
1838: Shortly after turning 18, he is offered a job in Washington D.C. working for a local senator.
1839: Marries Rebecca Martin
1840 - 1876
Works in Washington D.C. for various politicians and governments while gradually building up his own fortune (through investments) and reputation as a prominent lobbyist.
1876: After seeing a long-time friend die and none of the man's family attending the funeral, Charles decides that it is time to change his ways and reconcile with his sons. He decides to move to Kalispell and buys the local bank.
"No, that is a fair question. I'm not against a hospital and the town council aren't either. What they are against is a Steelgrave running or being the power behind it. They asked to get an impartial view of the situation and to determine if there is another motive behind it. There are a lot of questions that they want answered before they put it to the town for a vote."
Charles paused for a moment. The scepticism that Leah Steelgrave did this for purely philantropic reasons was running high. Considering the bad blood and the reputation of the Steelgraves, he didn't blame them. Part of him was also wondering why all of a sudden the woman decided that the town needed a hospital and an orphanage. He, himself had been in towns a lot larger than Kalispell and they had no hospitals.
"I'm sorry, if I put you at a disadvantage. All I am trying to get is the both sides of the story and I do plan on talking to Miss Steelgrave. The last thing the town council wants is for all of this negatively effect the town."
Charles raised an eyebrow at the marshal's response. He hadn't expected the man to be so defensive of Miss Steelgrave. Having already heard some things about the lady that were both good and bad, Charles surmised that the town was indeed divided in their opinions of her. It looked like the marshal was in the camp of those who admired her.
"Well, it seems that we are at an impasse about Miss Steelgrave and what her intentions," he said solemnly, "I do have one more question and that is, do you think Leah Steelgrave is truly her father's daughter or is she something else entirely?"
"I'm of the understanding that no deal has been reached and they are looking at their options before they present the project to the town for a vote," Charles frowned, "This is beginning to look like a very complicated matter."
He tapped his fingers on his desk for a few seconds before continuing, "From my own experience, I know that having a respected name can get you into a lot of places. Even if Miss Steelgrave achieved getting right of way and the grants on her own, there would be those who only agreed to it because of her name and her father. As for Elias Steelgrave, he sounds like the type to go and find another door if one is locked to him. The Whitefish door is now closed and the Kalispell one is wide open. If he has any designs on this town, he will use any means to get what he wants, including reconciling with his daughter, who now holds one of the keys."
A knock at the door alerted him to the fact that Luke had now finished opening up the marshal's new account. Standing up, he smiled apologetically at Guyer, "All I can say is that i will need a lot more information about this before I make a recommendation to the town council."
"I've heard some about the troubles between the Steelgraves and the Thorntons. Most people that I've talked to speak very highly about the Thorntons but in a way some of it could be seen as being a biased since three of them work for them. What I'm after is an unbiased opinion and I figure the law would have to be one. I plan to ask others but I want to know what you think of Elias and in particular, his daughter and if you think that there is any possibility that she is working for her father or is it as some say that there is an estrangement."
He paused for a moment, and smiled a little, "I'm sorry for all of the questions but I am interested in knowing what the state of affairs in the Steelgrave family are. The town council has asked me to look into the matter before they make a final recommendation. They believe I can form more fair judgement of the situation since I am new in town and have no pre-conceptions."
Charles nodded, "As a banker, you have to know the difference between a good and a bad risk. So, I like to find out as much as can about those I may have to deal with. I'm after is a general opinion of what the law in town thinks. All I ask is that you be honest in your opinion and hold nothing back."
Picking up the form, Guyer had just filled out, Charles went over to the office door and opened it. He called for Luke to come over and gave him the form. After asking him to take care of the formalities, he closed the door and returned to his chair.
Leaning slightly forward, he looked straight at the marshal's face, "What can you tell me about the Steelgraves?"
"Sounds good. We can open an account now." Charles leaned over to another stack of papers, found the relevant form and then handed it over to the marshal.
"It's a good thing, I'm going through all the bank's paperwork to make sure everything is up to scratch, " he said with a smile.
As he waited for Guyer to fill out the form, he leaned back in his chair a little. There were a number of things he wanted to know about the town and in particular Leah Steelgrave. Even though, he now owned the bank, the town council still wanted to look into the possibility of building the hospital without her input. If that wasn't possible then they needed to work out some sort of proposition that would allow the town council to takeover the project in the event of Miss Steelgrave reconciling with her father. There were many options to consider and he had promised to help find the one most suitable.
"Marshal, when you've finished with that, there are a couple of questions I would like to ask you about the town and some of its residents. I hope you won't mind answering them."
Charles nodded, "Yes, the change was very unexpected, even for me. Let's go to my office and we can discuss your new account."
Upon entering the manager's office, Charles showed the marshal to his seat and then he took his own on the other side of the desk. "I've been going through the files of the local businesses around so that I can get familiar with what's what and who's who. I have your file right here."
Rifling through the stack of files on his desk, Charles soon found the one he was looking for. Opening it, he briefly perused it before looking at the marshal, "The former owner, Mr. Croft spoke highly of you and your business. From what I've read so far, it looks very promising."
Charles had just stepped out his office at the same time, the marshal came into the bank. He motioned to Luke that he would take care of it. It had been a few days since he had taken over the bank and the transition had been smooth. Luke Johnson, the bank's main teller was proving to be as good as Croft said he would be. Maybe in a year or two when the town was a little bigger, and when Luke had more experience, he would like at promoting the young man. To what position, he wasn't quite sure yet but it would definitely be a step up from the job of teller.
As for the rest of the staff which consisted of two part-time tellers who worked at one or two days per week depending how busy things got. At the moment, Charles was content to leave things the way Croft had them but later on when he understood more about the town, the bank and its customers, he would be making changes. For now that was in the future, and at present, he had the marshal to meet.
Walking over to the marshal, they met halfway across the bank lobby. "Good morning, marshal. Allow me to introduce myself. Charles Wentworth Sr."
He held out his hand and waited for the marshal to respond.
"The future of Kalispell? That sounds a bit ominent. I hope it isn't that bad."
"It could be," Ben answered, "It all depends on you ask."
Leaning forward in his chair, he sighed deeply, "Kalispell is a good town and we all want the best for it. The town has been offered a couple of concessions in exchange for land to build a hospital and an orphanage. The hospital and orphanage will be privately funded by one person."
Charles frowned, "I don't understand. If the town doesn't need to worry about financing this project, then what's the problem?"
"The financing and in particular the person doing it is the problem. If the town council agrees to this project, then the land and not to mention the hospital and orphanage will be owned by a Steelgrave."
"I think you better start at the beginning."
Ben nodded, "I think you're right. When you know what the problem is, I'm sure you will understand why we need your help."
For the next few minutes, Ben told Charles about the Steelgraves and their history in the area. When he had finished, he leaned back in his chair. "As you can see, we are in a bit of a quandary. Even though Leah says that her father has nothing to do with her plans and that she is estranged from him, there's always the possibility of them reconciling their differences and getting together on this."
"I see," Charles replied. He already had an idea of where this was going but he wanted to know more. "A hospital and orphanage is important but since you don't want a Steelgrave to fund it or be in charge then you have to find another solution. What does the town council want to do?"
"To put it simply, the town council feels that we should find a way to do this ourselves. People in town are aware of Miss Steelgrave's plan since she has had a lot of stories written about it in our local newspaper and therefore we can't say no to her unless we have a plan of our own. We already have some local business owners interested in investing, but they wish to remain anonymous as they do business with the Steelgraves. The bank has decided to stay out of it all together since it can't be seen as favouring one side over the other. So, we're looking for major investors and please forgive me on this, but since I knew you were coming, I wanted to ask you to invest in our town. Hence, the reason why I asked you delay here before heading to Kalispell."
Looking at his old friend, Charles could see the hint of desperation. Whoever these Steelgraves were, they were a force to be reckon with. The least he could do, was to see if the town was worth the investment. "All right, tell me what you want to me do and I'll see. I can't promise anything until I look over the town and hear what the town council has to say. I may also want to do some investigating of my own before I make my final decision."
Ben smiled, "That's all I ask. For you to consider what we propose is more than enough and more than I could ask you to do. It's a pity your sons don't know you the way I do."
Lowering his head, Charles sighed, "Yes, I've made a lot of mistakes over the years where they are concerned. A large part of the problem, was my own dogged determination to have them be what I wanted them to be and not what they wanted to be. A lot of things have happened in the last six months or so that's made me start to think about my life and what I have should have done."
Ben placed his hand on Charles's shoulder, "It's called getting older and wiser, and we all get there sooner or later. I just hope it's not too late."
"Thanks, I hope it's not either," Charles lifted his head up and pulled out his pocket watch, "Well, it's nearing lunch, so how about we go downstairs to the dining room and we can talk this over some more."
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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