Early Bent County Families

History of early Bent Co. Colorado residents, as compiled from censuses, histories, directories, and other records. I will be attempting to locate these families in earlier times, as well as later. Check back from time time to see the new families, and any updates to them. If you'd like to contribute your early Bent County family, contact me at allen.alice@gmail.com and I'll be happy to add your family here.

Beginning with Rocky Ford:

1. John H. Swift family, 1880 Federal Census

John H., age 45, a blacksmith, born in New York
Harriet, his wife, age 41, keeping house, born in Ohio
Ida, his daughter, age 17, born in Illinois
Jennie, his daughter, age 14, born in Illinois
Charles E., his son, age 11, born in Illinois

John's father was born in Connecticut, mother's place of birth not listed.
Harriet's parents were born in Ohio & Pennsylvania

The John Swift family resided in Oakland twp., Schuyler County Illinois in 1870. John was a blacksmith there, as well. John Swift and Harriet Cook were married in Schuyler Co., Illinois on July 17, 1856. It is probable that Harriet is a sister of Mary J. Cook, wife of George W. Swink, family #5 below. Harriet's parents were Peter Cook and Hannah -------.

In 1900 the family can be found in Otero County, probably because of change in boundaries with the formation of Otero County. Additional information includes John's birthdate as "February, 1833." Harriet's birthdate is listed as July, 1838. Additionally, she reported having given birth to seven children, with five living. A son was born in Colorado and is living in their household in 1900. He is John A., his birthdate is listed as February 1881. In the next household is their son Charles, his wife Effie, and three daughters.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. David Best family, 1880 Federal Census

David, age 30, a stock grower, born in Missouri
Clementine, his wife, age 18, keeping house, born in Illinois

David's parents were born in Missouri and Kentucky.
Clementine's parents birthplaces were not listed.

In 1900 David Best is living in Otero County. He has apparently remarried, as his wife's name is Mattie, she is 30 years old, and they have been married for 7 years. Mattie Best was born in Virginia. There are no children living with them. A sister-in-law, Mary Shumate (age 19) is living with them, as is a hired hand, Joseph Nafus, age 26 and born in Missouri. Mary was born in Kentucky, is single, so it may be safe to assume she is Mattie's sister.

There is a William Shumate also living in Otero County in 1900. He is 32, born in Kentucky, and is single.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

3. John Russell Family, 1880 Federal Census

John, age 39, a hotel keeper, born in Ohio
Della, his wife, age 35, keeping house, born in Kentucky
Mary, his daughter, age 3, born in Colorado

John's parents were born in Virginia. Della's parents birthplaces were not listed.

In 1900 this family is living in La Junta (Precinct 12), Otero County, Colorado. A son born after 1880 is now a part of this family: John was born in June, 1883 in Colorado. "Della" is listed as "Delilah." John & Delilah have been married for 27 years. Delilah is the mother of three children, two living. According to this census, Delilah and her parents were all born in Kentucky. John's occupation is now a real estate and insurance broker. Mary is a stenographer and bookeeper, John Jr. is "at school."

Unable to locate John & Della/Delilah in 1910. There are too many John Russell's born about 1883 in Colorado to be sure whether or not we have located him in 1910.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Isaiah Dennis or Deweese family (note: difficult to decipher the last name. The Deweese family is part of my husband's family, but I have not discovered an Isaiah Deweese up to this point). From the 1880 Federal Census

Isaiah, age 60, a merchant, born in Ohio
Esther, his wife, age 56, keeping house, born in Kentucky

Isaiah's parents were born in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Esther's parents were born in Pennsylvania & Kentucky.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

5. George W. Swink family, 1880 Federal Census

George W., age 42, a merchant, born in Kentucky
Mary J., his wife, age 42, keeping house, born in Ohio
Lewis, his son, age 19, farm labor, born in Illinois
William T., his son, age 17, farm labor, born in Illinois
Minnie W., his daughter, age 13, at school, born in Illinois
Eddie, his son, age 11, at school, born in Illinois
Schuyler, his son, age 8, at school, born in Illinois
Mattie, his daughter, age 6, at school, born in Colorado
Hannah, his daughter, age 4, born in Colorado
Onez Bell, his daughter, age 2, born in Colorado

George's parents were born in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
Mary's parents were born in Pennsylvania.

George and Mary are a part of my husband's family. From previous research, I have found that George W. Swink was a son of Peter Swink and Mariah Beghtol. His wife was Mary J. Cook, a daughter of Peter and Hannah Cook. George and Mary were married in Schuyler County, Illinois on October 2, 1854. Mary and Harriet (wife of James Swift--see #1 above) were sisters. This is a collateral line for us, but we may have more information, so please ask if this is your family.

--------------------------------

6. Lorenzo C. Swink Family, 1880 Census

Lorenzo C., age 23, farmer, born in Illinois
Hannah, his wife, age 20,keeping house, born in Illinois
Frank, his son, age 2, born in Colorado

Lorenzo's parents were born in Kentucky and Ohio.
Hannah's parents birthplaces were blank.

I have found a marriage record for Lorenzo Swink and Josie D. Chalfin dated 2 February 1890 in Otero County. Lorenzo and Josie are listed in the 1900 census in Colorado Springs with two sons of their own (George W. and something that looks like "Loiosci," plus Frank and Landfried (born Dec. 1881), sons of Lorenzo and his first wife, Hannah. Thess people are a part of my husband's family. They are a collateral line, so I may not have much information on them, but feel free to ask if you are researching this family and I will share what I have.

--------------------------------------

The following 5 people are listed under separate dwellings in the 1880 census, but there is nothing in the field for family number. Therefore, it is unclear if they are actually living with Lorenzo C. Swink, or if they really are in separate dwellings. The family number resumes in order as if Lorenzo Swink and family were the previous family.

7. Swink, Elonzo, age 22, a cattle raiser, born in Illinois, father born in Kentucky, mother born in Ohio
8. Deweese, Samuel, age 25, farm labor, born in Missouri, father born in Kentucky, mother born in Missouri
9. Beghtol, Levi, age 62, farmer, born in Kentucky, parents born in Pennsylvania
10. Kelly, Chas. W., age 19, iron molder, born in Indiana, father born in Ohio, mother born in Indiana
11. Meriweather, Frank R., age 19, iron molder, born in Indiana, father born in Indiana, mother born in Kentucky

Elonzo Swink, Samuel Deweese, and Levi Beghtol are a part of my husband's family. If they are your family as well, be sure to contact me and I will be happy to share what information I have.

I have not found Elonzo (or Alonzo) Swink in the 1900 census. I do have a marriage for an E.E. Swink to Roxy Comer in 1894 in Otero County, but cannot be sure if this is the same person. I have been unsuccessful in finding an E.E. Swink, either.

Samuel Deweese, still in Bent County in the 1900 census. He is married to Edith. I have found S.C. Deweese and Edith Mellinger in a Colorado Marriage index, married on 8 Nov. 1891 in Bent County. This couple have the following children:
Ruth E., born Dec. 1891 in Colorado
Martha E., born July 1893 in Colorado
Annie (possibly--handwriting not very good), born January, 1896 in Colorado
Everett Co., born January 1898, in Colorado

Levi Beghtol is a brother of my husband's gg grandmother, Melvina Beghtol Deweese. Levi married Deborah Deweese in 1842 in Schuyler Co., Illinos. They had no children as far as I have been able to determine. Deborah died in Bates Co. Missouri in 1872. When the Deweese, Beghtol and Swink parties left Missouri for Bent County, Colorado in the early 1880's, Levi apparently came along as well.

----------------------------------

12. Philip Burke family, 1880 Census

Philip, age 38, section foreman on railroad, born in Ireland
Maggie, his wife, age 28, keeping house, born in Ireland

Both Philip and Maggie's parents were born in Ireland

---------------------------------

(1880 census)

13. Beebe, William C., age 31, hand on railroad, born in Iowa

William's parents were both born in Iowa. In the heading for relationship, William lists himself as "husband." His wife, however, is not listed. Perhaps she has not joined him in Colorado.

----------------------------------

14. John Dickey family, 1880 Census

John, age 32, stock graser, born in Ohio
Julia, his wife, age 26, keeping house, born in Illinois
Lyle, his son, age 5, born in Illinois
Mary, his daughter, age 11 months, born in Colorado

John's parents were born in Ohio. Julia's father was born in Ohio, her mother in Illinois.

--------------------------

15. Blair, James S., age 14, cattle herder, born in Iowa, parents born Pennsylvania

-------------

16. Best, Alex D., age 26, cattle herder, born in Missouri, father born Missouri, mother born in Kentucky

-----------------------------

17. Best, Lewis M., age 28, cattle herder, born in Missouri, father born in Missouri, mother born in Kentucky

-----------------------------

18. Benjamin F. Moore family, 1880 census

Benjamin, age 35, a sawyer, born in Illinois
Eliza, his wife, age 36, born in Pennsylvania
Ephraim S., his son, age 11, born in Illinois
Theodore F., his son, age 4, born in Illinois
Walter W., his son, age 1, born in Colorado

Benjamin's parents were both born in Kentucky
Eliza's father was born in Pennsylvania, her mother in Ohio

-------------------------------------

19. William Matthews family, 1880 census

William, age 42, a civil engineer, born in Ireland
Elizabeth, his wife, age 41, keeping house, born in Illinois

William's father was born in Ireland, his mother born in Canada
Elizabeth's father was born in Tennessee, her mother in Kentucky

--------------------------------

This ends the residents of Rocky Ford in 1880.


Adobe Creek

1.  William Colvard, age 38, a wool grower, born in Tennessee, his parents both born in North Carolina
  John Ammons, age 57, relationship to head of household is domestic servant, occupation is sheep herder
   born in North Carolina, parents both born in North Carolina
  ---Bowman (looks like "Vzy"), age 21, relationship to head of household is domestic servant, occupation is sheep herder
   born in Illinois, parents both born in Indiana

------------------------------

This ends the residents of Adobe Creek

Return to Main Page Updated June 30, 2011