(Articles 23 - 35)
Transcribed by Lee Zion <email@example.com>, October 2001.
The Popular District Court Clerk and a Successful Farmer
(Photo Residence of A.A. McKean)
Among the prosperous business men and popular officials, who have won well merited distinction in Yuma county, the above gentleman occupies a pleasing position.
Mr. McKean is a native of Indiana, where he was born in 1852. At the age of thirteen years he moved with his parents to Illinois and there he grew to manhood. His father was a shoemaker and he learned that trade in his boyhood days, but after he attained his majority he devoted his attention to railroading for a time. Subsequently he established a harness shop, which he conducted until 1882 when he moved to Nebraska where he continued the same business for five years. In 1887 he came to Yuma county, where he entered pre-emption and homestead claims a few miles east of the town of Yuma, where he established a harness shop at the same time. The gentleman was in moderate circumstances when he came to Yuma county.
While he gave all due attention to his harness business, he did not neglect the improvement of his ranch which has developed into a very valuable property. The soil is excellent and especially adapted for general farming and stock raising, in both of which industries Mr. McKean has been very successful. He has fifty acres under cultivation on which he has raised excellent crops year after year, the rest of the ranch being used for meadow and grazing purposes. The fact that many thousands of acres of free range are tributary to this ranch renders it invaluable for stock growing purposes. The ranch is well fenced and on it are an excellent residence, good barn and all other improvements requisite for all purposes.
Soon after locating in Yuma, Mr. McKean was appointed deputy sheriff and city marshal, giving the best satisfaction in both positions. In 1895 he was appointed clerk of the district court, the duties of which office he discharged with such marked ability that he was re-appointed for a second term of six years in 1901. In 1902 it was decided to move the county seat to Wray and Mr. McKean sold his harness shop at Yuma, leased his ranch and moved to the new county seat in March, 1903. Since coming to Wray, the gentleman has erected one of the most beautiful homes in the city and opened a shoe shop to which he devotes his leisure time.
The genial courtesy with which Mr. McKean discharges his official duties and his recognized worth as an honorable, progressive citizen, have rendered him exceedingly popular in the county, where he enjoys general confidence and esteem. Fraternally he is a member of the order of Maccabees.
In April, 1887 the gentleman married Miss H.A. Cutler, an estimable Nebraska lady, who is a valued acquisition to Wray social circles.
Owing to the fact that Mr. McKean's official duties require his continual presence in Wray, his ranch near Yuma, twenty-six miles from here, is for sale. It offers and excellent opportunity to secure an exceptionally comfortable home on a ranch that has always yielded profitable returns to its owner.
(Photo - Residence of W.C. Grigsby)
Among the solid and reliable financial institutions of Eastern Colorado, the Bank of Wray occupies a most creditable position. It was founded by A.D. Hoy in 1889 and purchased by W.C. Grigsby, its present owner, in 1900, and since then it has enjoyed a degree of uninterrupted prosperity that is very flattering to its excellent management. The bank has a capital of $60,000, and its deposits exceed $60,000, while its loans are somewhat in excess of $80,000, Mr. Grigsby being president and owner of the institution and J.C. Tuomey cashier. The bank is furnished with one of the latest and most improved burglar proof steel safes with a time lock attachment.
While the management of the bank displayed an accommodating spirit from the beginning, it has never deviated from the careful and conservative methods which are so necessary for the safety of any financial institution. The Bank of Wray has always evinced a disposition to furnish material aid in support of any legitimate plan for the development of the resources of the city and county, and that the management has been satisfactory to the community interested may be judged by the ever-increasing confidence and patronage bestowed on it.
President of the Bank
W.C. Grigsby, president and proprietor of the Bank of Wray, is a native of Pennsylvania, where he was born and raised on a farm near the city of Newcastle. He received a liberal education and graduated at Newcastle when only twenty years of age. Possessed of ambition, self-reliance and sturdy independence, the young man came to the West to commence the battle of life in 1883. He secured homestead, pre-emption and tree claims composed of choice land, which he sold subsequently and in 1886, in partnership with his uncle, J.J. Grigsby, engaged in the general merchandise business at Wray, under the firm name of Grigsby and Grigsby. As the firm became known in the community, its honest business qualities continued to attract increased confidence, its trade growing and expanding from day to day. In 1890 the subject of this brief sketch bought the interest of his partner, becoming the sole owner and manager of the business. He devoted to it that pronounced ability, untiring energy and preserving industry which have been such prominent characteristics of his entire career, and he was rewarded by generous financial returns until 1896, when he retired from the mercantile business. Soon afterwards he established the bank of W.C. Grigsby, which he merged into the Bank of Wray when he purchased the latter institution in 1900. Since then the career of the bank has been beneficial to the public, as well as profitable to its energetic owner.
At one time Mr. Grigsby owned some ten thousand acres of land in this county, but he disposed of the most of it and at present his holdings in the county are only 830 acres, all of which is excellent land, however, in addition to his banking property, he owns a very elegant home, most desirably situated, in the western part of the city. The residence, which is a spacious two-story building of pleasing design is richly furnished and fitted with all modern improvements and comforts, including hot and cold water on both floors. The barn and stables, situated on the rear of the block, are in keeping with the handsome house, while the well kept lawn and immediate surroundings of the beautiful residence indicate the reefing influences that reign within.
Mr. Grigsby's worth as an honorable business man and useful citizen has received frequent public recognition. Since the city was incorporated he was elected mayor two terms, and for the balance of the time, until recently he served as a member of the board of aldermen. He is a member of the local Masonic lodge.
In 1892 Mr. Grigsby married Miss Emma Miller, an intellectual and accomplished lady from Knox county, Missouri, who presides over her beautiful home with pleasing grace and dispenses the most charming hospitality. Three interesting children have blessed the happy union and permeated the domestic circle with the sweet fragrance of childish joys and innocence. Contented amid their elegant surroundings, Mr. Grigsby and his popular wife have the confidence and esteem of the community, while they enjoy that ease and comfort which a career of industry and well doing so richly merits.
(Photo - Residence of F.M. Sisson)
Among the enterprising and progressive business men of Wray the above firm occupies a front rank. While the firm is only one year old, its members are pioneers, who are widely known and highly esteemed in Yuma county.
F.M. Sisson, the senior member of the firm, is a native of Ohio, where he was born fifty-six years ago. He spent his boyhood days on a farm, received a liberal education, and engaged in teaching school when he had grown to manhood. After a time he entered the mercantile business, which he conducted most successfully for many years. In 1876 he married Miss Lizzie Brown, an estimable young lady from West Virginia, who has diffused the fragrance of happiness within the family circle and made her personality a pleasing feature in the community. In 1885 Mr. Sisson and family came to Colorado, locating in Yuma county, seven miles west of Wray, where they secured homestead, pre-emption and timber claims, amounting to 400 acres. There Mr. Sisson engaged in farming which he conducted with that energy and industry which were rewarded by bountiful crops year after year. Eight years ago, after a most successful decade spent on the farm, the gentleman and family moved to Wray, to give the children the superior education advantages to be found in this city. But he retained ownership of his valuable farm, from which he now derives a handsome revenue in rental returns. After coming to this city, Mr. Sisson engaged in bookkeeping, fire insurance and other pursuits from which he enjoyed a very satisfactory recompense. About one year ago he and his son engaged in the clothing business on Chief street. Mr. Sisson is a most worthy member of the Christian church, in which he has held several offices, being now one of the trustees. He is a charter member of the Wray lodge of Odd Fellows, of which he has been secretary for two terms. Since he came to Yuma county the gentleman's qualities as a kind, generous-hearted neighbor and a good citizen of sterling worth in a community have received general recognition, and his popularity is most pronounced in both city and county. Mr. Sisson owns a beautiful home in the western part of Wray.
Brown E. Sisson, the junior member of the firm, who is a native of Ohio, is not quite twenty-one years of age, but in business capacity and acumen he is a commercial veteran. The young gentleman was the recipient of careful training in a Christian home, supplemented by an excellent education, well fitting him for exercising his natural activity, brilliant intellect and laudable ambition in the active pursuits of life. When only sixteen years of age, he filled an important position as telegraph operator for the Burlington railway company. After three years of faithful service he resigned and spent a year in Ohio and West Virginia. On his return here, in connection with his father, he engaged in the clothing business. The young gentleman has the active management of the store, including the purchase of goods, and he displays an ability and rare good judgment that would be creditable to an experienced merchant of mature years. He is very popular in the city because of his admirable traits of character and is esteemed by young and old alike.
The third member of the firm is Simon S. Dow, who has been principal of the Wray public schools for six years. A brief resume of the gentleman's career will be found on another page of this edition.
The firm carries a very large stock of clothing, hats, shoes and gentlemen's furnishings - indeed, their stock would be creditable to a city three times the size of Wray - and they sell on close margins. This in conjunction with the personal popularity of the members of the firm and the honorable principles upon which they conduct the business, won for them a large and steadily increasing trade from the beginning, and the future looks exceedingly promising. On another page you will find something about their stock and the inducements they offer in gentlemen's wear.
(Photo - Residence of Charles P. Reeck)
Perhaps no better illustration could be presented of what preserving in industry and untiring energy can accomplish in the pursuits of life, than is found in the successful career of Charles P. Reeck, who owns what is conceded to be the most elegant ranch home in Yuma county, eighteen miles south of Wray.
Mr. Reeck is a native of near Berlin, Prussia, where he was born in 1851. He was the son of a prominent furniture manufacturer, from whom he learned this trade. The lad was endowed with a bright mechanical mind and at an early age he had acquired an expert practical knowledge of cabinet making, excelling in the more delicate branches of the trade. In 1870, when only nineteen years of age, Mr. Reeck came to the United States to carve his own fortune in the Western Hemisphere. He located in Chicago, where he worked at his trade for two years, when he came to Colorado and found remunerative employment in Denver. While he prospered in the city, he secured a section of land in what was then Elbert county, which increased in value year after year and netted him handsome returns as a cattle ranch. After spending seven years in Denver and on his ranch near there, Mr. Reeck sold his Elbert county property, and, with seventy-five cattle, located in that part of old Arapahoe county which is now a portion of Yuma county, on what now constitutes his beautiful and productive home. He bought 640 acres, which constitutes perhaps one of the most valuable ranch properties in Colorado, owing to its natural favorable conditions for conducting a successful cattle business. A valley composed of wonderfully rich soil, through which flows a never-failing stream of pure spring water, traverses his farm. On his valley land he harvests immense quantities of alfalfa and natural hay, corn, cane, etc., for his stock. Along the banks of the stream, on either side, there is a heavy growth of timber, which adds beauty to the landscape and furnishes excellent shade for the grazing cattle in the hot summer days. Another advantage is the fact that the fringe of forest along this stream has furnished Mr. Reeck excellent fuel all these years, and the supply will last for many years to come. In addition to his deeded land of 640 acres, the gentleman uses 1,000 acres of leased state land and controls a wide area of free range for his stock. He owns 200 fine Durham cattle, which are in excellent condition as a result of the abundance of feed and excellent care bestowed upon them by their energetic owner. The barns, sheds, corrals, etc., are substantial structures, the walls of which are composed of dressed stone laid in mortar, and displaying a comfort, convenience and neatness but seldom found on a ranch. Mr. Reeck's cattle have ample protection from the storms of winter, and the abundance of feed with which they are provided in both summer and winter is one of the secrets of the gentleman's success in the industry.
In 1892 Mr. Reeck married Miss Sarah Bond, a charming English lady, whose brothers are well known in the business and financial circles of Colorado and Toronto, Canada. His sunny tempered and devoted wife has given Mr. Reeck inspiration and cheerful aid in making their ranch such a beautiful home of comfort.
Five years ago they erected their new residence on an elevated plateau, at the base of which flows the stream of water, the banks of which are fringed with a generous growth of trees. From the front there is a fine view of a broad expanse of the rich valley land, with frequent clusters of forest trees, extending for miles, while towards the south arises a rugged background of picturesque hills, which extend east and west and make the view a most delightful one. The house is composed of cut magnesia limestone of superior quality of which Mr. Reeck owns an inexhaustible quarry situated about one-half mile southeast of his home. The interior presents a most elegant appearance. The walls and ceilings are exquisitely painted with beautiful decorations of chaste designs, while the rich carpets, furniture, paintings and other artistic decorations display the utmost harmony and good taste. In addition to a great variety of Indian relics found on the ranch, Mr. Reeck has added to the attractions of his home by creations of his own mechanical skill, among others, a handsome representation of a closed bible made from a piece of pink gypsum he found in the "Garden of the Gods." It is a beautiful work of art, the lids most delicately and perfectly engraved with the word "Bible" and other decorations. An ornamental table in which the legs are composed of polished horns is another striking evidence of the gentleman's mechanical genius, as well as hat racks with buffalo horn attachments. While the interior of the home reflects the refined instincts and love of the beautiful which characterize Mrs. Reeck, the easy grace and genial welcome with which she receives and entertains guests, enhance the happiness bestowed by the well-known hospitality of this estimable couple. In the front yard are artistic mounds and pyramids of petrified wood and peculiar rocky fossil formations, which bear the evidence of prehistoric times, when this part of Colorado was a portion of a great interior sea. Doubtless Mr. and Mrs. Reeck own the most beautiful and luxuriously furnished ranch home in Colorado, and the excellent couple well merit the happiness and comfort which they are enjoying. Mr. Reeck is a broad-minded gentleman who takes a generous interest in the moral and material welfare of the county and both he and his accomplished wife enjoy the sincere esteem of all who have the pleasure of their acquaintance.
The large and prosperous lumber business owned and managed by A.F. Greer, is one of the leading industries of Wray. The yard, which is situated in a convenient position near the chief business street, covers nearly one-half block, and is exceedingly well stocked with lumber of all kinds and qualities, as well as shingles, posts, wire and paint. In addition he sells the best grades of hard and soft coal.
Mr. Greer is a native of Maryland, where he was born forty-seven years ago. He was raised on a farm and in 1879 moved to Eastern Nebraska, where he continued farming pursuits. In 1886 he moved to Colorado and located in Yuma county, where he entered homestead, pre-emption and tree claims fifteen miles south of Wray. He conducted his farming operations, including cattle and hogs, most successfully until six years ago, when he sold his 480 acres and moved to Wray, where he engaged in the mercantile business. After a time he sold this and about one year ago he commenced his lumber and coal industry. Mr. Greer is well known in the county and his reputation for integrity is so firmly established that the gentleman did a good business from the beginning, which is constantly increasing. He makes no misrepresentations in his business and he treats customers with that courteous consideration which inspires confidence and cements friendship. As an enterprising and public spirited citizen of sterling worth, the gentleman has obtained well merited public recognition and he is now a member of the city council. Fraternally he is a member of the Odd Fellows and Woodmen organizations. He now owns 480 acres of good land in the county, 320 aces of which are adjoining Wray to the south-west.
Mr. and Mrs. Greer own a cozy home in the western part of the city and they enjoy the well merited esteem of the community.
Note: [Spelled Grier in advertisement  and in Yuma County cemetery books.]
The fertility of Yuma county soil and the attractions it offers to those who seek homes in the West are illustrated by the career of Charles E. Kellar.
Mr. Kellar, who was born on a farm in Wisconsin, is fifty years of age. At the age of seventeen he entered the employ of a windmill factory, where he remained for eight years. In 1879 he moved to Pleasant Dale, Nebraska, near which place he bought eighty acres of land and engaged in farming. After seven years of energetic effort, he moved to Colorado and located on a homestead nearly nine miles south of Wray, his claim being situated in what was then a portion of Arapahoe county. When Mr. Kellar arrived at Wray he had a team of horses and a wagon and after paying his livery bill and hotel expenses the morning he started for his homestead on the open prairie, his cash capital amounted to just 35 cents. But with a courage that merited his future success, he faced the stern realities of life and commenced improving his claim. He found work for himself and team and gradually secured the comforts of a modest home, while he was preparing to cultivate his land. From the beginning his untiring industry and energy were rewarded by good crops of wheat, corn, oats, millet, vegetables, etc., which yielded him a handsome revenue, and enabled him to extend his farming operations. In a few years he purchased 160 acres adjoining his homestead, making a farm of 320 acres which he still owns and cultivates. He has 200 acres under cultivation, the rest of his land being used for pasture. He owns twenty-five cattle and sixteen horses, his comfortable residence, barn, sheds and generous supply of all needed agricultural implements, proclaiming the prosperity he is enjoying. And in accomplishing all this Mr. Kellar had to overcome serious misfortunes. One year after his arrival here one of his legs was broken badly, which rendered him helpless for nearly twelve months, and since then his wife died after a long sickness. In his early struggles here the gentleman's mechanical skill was of great assistance to him, as he did quite an extensive business in setting up and repairing pumps and windmills.
In 1883, at Lincoln, Neb., Mr. Kellar married Miss Addie V. Ickes, an estimable lady who died last October, leaving two sons and three daughters to mourn the loss of a tender-hearted mother and a faithful devoted wife.
Mr. Kellar is a charter member of the Wray lodge of Odd Fellows, of which he was the first noble grand and was re-elected for a second term. He has filled all the offices in the lodge except treasurer, which he declined.
Last December a mining expert pronounced the country in which Mr. Kellar's farm is located rich in coal and oil and the gentleman is now sinking a test shaft on his land. Should his hopes be realized his farm will be very valuable property.
Personally, Mr. Kellar is a genial honorable gentleman, who is highly esteemed by all who know him because of his many estimable traits of character.
(Photo - Hon. A.F. Peck)
Among the men whose ability, untiring energy and fidelity to the best interests of their chosen home have brought such marked prosperity to Yuma county, the gentleman whose name heads this brief sketch occupies a front rank. For eighteen years Mr. Peck has sang the praises of what is now Yuma county, at home and abroad, and in every way possible he has encouraged and aided settlers in their efforts to create happy and prosperous homes on the virgin prairies of Eastern Colorado.
Mr. Peck is a native of Des Moines county, Iowa, where he was born in 1856. In the Hawkeye State he received a generous education and grew to manhood, but in 1886 he came to Colorado and located at Idalia, in what was then eastern Arapahoe county, now a part of Yuma. He engaged in the real estate and loan business, being, also, notary public, conveyancer and land attorney, and he soon enjoyed a most lucrative patronage. As his sterling honesty and integrity of purpose in every phase of his life became more generally known, his business grew in harmony with his growing popularity. The settlers had faith in his ability; they knew that they could place implicit confidence in his integrity, and they entrusted their business to him with the utmost assurance that their interests would be guarded with zealous devotion. When settlers got into trouble they went to Mr. Peck to help them out, and he never refused his aid where the cause was just and honorable, often fighting the battles of his friends at his own personal expense. He record was a clean one and, while of necessity, he made a few enemies, he attained a high degree of wide popularity which but few men ever enjoy in a community.
Mr. Peck has always been a Republican and in the campaign of 1894 he received the nomination for representative in the state legislature for the eastern district of Arapahoe county. In defiance of the bitter opposition of some politicians, the gentleman was elected triumphantly, and in the legislative session of 1895 he made a most creditable record. Among other measures which received his active support, he introduced and carried though a bill providing an appropriation of $50,000 for the purpose of buying seed grain for the drouth stricken counties of Eastern Colorado. The governor referred the bill to the supreme court on a question of constitutionality, and upon receiving an adverse decision from that tribunal he vetoed the measure.
One prominent feature of Mr. Peck's career is the fact he scrupulously avoided the advocacy of anything dishonorable, or tainted with the slightest degree of fraud or dishonesty. He never took a position on any subject that was not inspired by the highest and purest motives, or one that he would now recall if he could. As a result, even his enemies have the utmost faith in the gentleman's veracity and integrity of purpose.
Two years ago Mr. Peck suffered a serious loss in the burning of a large hotel and an adjacent business office he owned in Idalia. The furniture of the hotel, too, as well as that of his office, and many valuable papers were burned also. The gentleman owns several quarter sections of land in the southern part of the county, as well as a herd, each, of fine cattle and horses.
In 1893, Mr. Peck married Miss Maud Mitchell, an accomplished Arapahoe county lady, and the union has been blessed with four interesting children. Last November the gentleman and family moved to Wray where he will open an office for the transaction of business at an early date.
While Mr. Peck is modest and unassuming, his well stored mind and magnetic qualities render him one of the most genial and companionable of gentlemen. He is an honorable opponent and one of the most faithful and generous of friends, his friendship recognizing no limits within the bounds of ability, honor and truth. In public matters he is enterprising and progressive, giving his hearty support to every measure calculated to benefit the community, and he has well earned the general esteem in which he is held in Yuma county. He and his excellent wife and family form a pleasing acquisition to the business and social circles of Wray.
One of the leading business houses in Wray is the extensive hardware, furniture and implements establishment of the above gentleman, on the corner of Chief and Pawnee streets. His two-story brick, which is the largest in the city, is well stocked with everything in the line of hardware, stoves, etc., while the furniture department contains a complete assortment of everything in that line, from common goods to the most elegant made. The gentleman handles the best makes of farming implements of all kinds and his sales are increasing in volume year after year. Indeed it is seldom that a town the size of Wray can boast of a stock which can compare with that of Mr. Carl in extent, variety and value. He carries a large supply of coffins, caskets and undertaking goods also.
Mr. Carl is a native of Pennsylvania, where he was born on a farm near Harrisburg. He moved to Ohio in 1880, and came to Colorado in 1883. At first he devoted his attention to mining and the smelter industry at Leadville, but after three years he came to Yuma county and engaged in farming. In 1899 the gentleman abandoned farming and moved to Wray, where he has been eminently successful. Mr. Carl owns a cozy home in this city as well as the elegant brick block in which he does business. He is a member of the Masonic order and, also, of the local camp of Woodmen. His admirable qualities as a business man and useful citizen have won for him a wide measure of personal esteem in the community.
(Photo - Prof. Simon S. Dow)
Prof. Simon S. Dow, who has been instrumental in giving the Wray public schools such a flattering reputation in Eastern Colorado, is a native of Hastings, Nebraska, but when eight years of age he moved with his parents to Oxford, Nebraska. After completing his public school studies, he finished his education in the Franklin (Neb.) Academy; the Orleans (Neb.) College, in which he was the valedictorian of his class, and the Lincoln (Neb.) Normal University. He graduated with distinguished honors, and then taught in the rural schools of Furnas and Harlan counties, Nebraska. Subsequently he was principal of the public schools at Danbury, Neb., in 1894-1895; assistant principal at Orleans, Neb., in 1897-1898, and principal of the Wray public schools from 1898 to the present time.
Prof. Dow's connection with the Wray schools has been characterized by the most gratifying success. He is generously endowed with those natural and acquired attributes so necessary in imparting education, with the requisite energy and industry to apply them, and he has made a teacher's record in Wray which is exceedingly creditable to himself, as well as beneficial and satisfactory to the city. In fact, through his high educational qualifications and untiring efforts, the Wray public schools now enjoy an enviable reputation and they are advancing with every assurance of even greater achievements in the future, should the district be so fortunate as to retain his services as principal.
Since coming to Wray, Prof. Dow has conducted two teacher's summer schools and he taught in the teachers' institute last year. He owned and edited the Wray Rattler one year, and he is now a member of the extensive firm of F.M. Sisson & Son, the most important clothing firm in Eastern Colorado.
In 1900, Prof. Dow married his assistant principal, Miss Edna Sisson, an accomplished daughter of F.M. Sisson of Wray, and the union has been blessed by a charming little daughter now two years old. They own a pretty home in the city. Fraternally the gentleman is a Mason and a Maccabee.
Prof. Dow is popular in the city, where he is prominent in church and other good works. In the spring of 1903 he was elected mayor, the duties of which position he discharged faithfully and well. Personally he is a bright, affable gentleman, honorable in his impulses and upright in his intercourse with men, and he well merits the general esteem which he is enjoying.
(Photo - Isaac Reed)
One of the leading barber shops in Eastern Colorado is the model establishment conducted by the above gentleman in this city. He has two chairs and owing to the fact that none but first-class barbers are employed, this shop has attained a degree of wide popularity that must be very gratifying, as well as profitable, to the genial proprietor. His place of business is characterized by an air of cleanliness and neatness that makes it a popular resort for those who enjoy a smooth, easy shave or first-class hair cut amid pleasant surroundings.
Mr. Reed is a native of Iowa, where he was raised on a farm. For a time he engaged in mercantile and other pursuits, after which he learned the barber trade, to which he has since devoted his attention so successfully. In 1899 he enlisted in battery H, Third United States artillery, in which he was in active service in the Philippines for nearly three years. After his honorable discharge from the army he returned to the United States and resumed the barber business at Santiago, Cal. Subsequently the gentleman moved to Colorado and purchased the R.C. Boyd barber shop in Wray last September.
Mr. Reed is an affable, industrious gentleman who thoroughly understands his business, and his excellent characteristics as a good citizen are winning appreciation and regard.
Among the men of Yuma county who have won well merited recognition as successful farmers and exemplary citizens the subject of this brief sketch occupies the front rank.
Mr. Shumaker, who is sixty-two years of age, is a native of Illinois, where he was born on a farm. After his boyhood days he engaged in farming pursuits which he continued in his native state until 1885, when he moved to Nebraska. After an experience of one year in that state the gentleman came to Colorado and entered a homestead and tree claim in Yuma county, seven miles southeast of Wray. At that time fortune had not bestowed much upon him in the way of earthly possessions, but he was generously endowed with those principles of persevering industry and sterling integrity, which are such invaluable assets in the achievement of honorable success. From the beginnings of his Yuma county career Mr. Shumaker displayed a superior knowledge of farming pursuits which he applied with a thoroughness of detail that soon commanded recognition in the community. In addition to growing wheat, oats, barley, corn and cane on the 240 acres under cultivation, he engaged in the cattle industry in a moderate way, but more extensively in growing hogs and horses, and with the exception of a couple of years in which there was a general failure of crops, caused by hail and unusual drouth, his labors were rewarded by the most generous, financial returns. He has harvested as high as 32 bushels of spring wheat from the acre and 62 of oats, although the average has been somewhat smaller. His cane averaged about four tons from the acre and millet two tons. From the beginning Mr. Shumaker displayed splendid management, coupled with untiring industry and prudence and as a result of a comparatively few years of honorable toil, he acquired a handsome competence that would require almost a lifetime to amass on a farm in the East. On his farm he erected a handsome residence, a large granary, stable and other requisite buildings, which render the choice land of which his 320 acres are composed, a very valuable property.
In 1899 Mr. Shumaker leased his farm and moved to Wray, where he and his estimable wife are enjoying that well earned rest and comfort which they well merit. They own a beautiful home in Wray as well as eight other lots.
Mr. and Mrs. Shumaker have five children - Mrs. Klugh, Mrs. McGinnis, Mrs. Bowen, Mrs. Henry and J.L. Shumaker - to which they gave a generous education and a careful training in those inestimable principles that are the foundations of pure womanhood and honorable manhood. As a result, the declining years of the venerable couple are cheered and brightened by the happy knowledge that their parental solicitude has been signally blessed.
In all his years of earnest toll; in all the disappointments; hardships and successes of life, Mr. Shumaker displayed the attributes of an honorable gentleman, a kind neighbor and a good citizen. To every movement calculated to advance the moral or material interests of the county he gives his generous support, and today there is no man in the community who enjoys more general and sincere public esteem than he. Such men as Mr. Shumaker have proved a great blessing to Yuma county. The gentleman is a member of the Masonic order and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
Mr. Shumaker was a gallant Union soldier, having enlisted in Co. B, Seventh Illinois, in August, 1861. He received a discharge on account of disability contracted in the army in June, 1862.
(Photo - Residence of H.J. Cox)
Since he located in Yuma county more than twenty years ago, the above gentleman has displayed energy and enterprise that have constituted him one of our most progressive and valuable citizens.
Mr. Cox is a native of Ohio, where he was born forty-two years ago. He spent his boyhood days on a farm, but when twenty years of age he came to the West and obtained employment on cattle ranges, where he soon became a most efficient cowboy. In 1880, he moved to Yuma county and worked on a large ranch until 1886, when he moved to Benkelman, Neb., and engaged in the cattle business for himself, meeting with the most gratifying success. In 1897 he returned to Yuma county and bought a ranch of over one thousand acres four miles east of Wray. He dealt in cattle extensively, his thorough knowledge of the business, combined with his activity and spirit of industry, assuring him of generous returns for his labor. Two years ago he sold his ranch and moved to Wray, where he engaged in the butcher business, which he conducted most successfully, with his well known vigor, at the same time being an extensive buyer and shipper of cattle. Recently he sold his meat market and now devotes his entire attention to the stock business. The gentleman is affable and broad-minded and his admirable qualities as an honorable business man and useful citizen have received wide recognition and appreciation in the community. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen, Maccabees and Knights of Pythias fraternal orders.
In 1886, at Benkelman, Neb., Mr. Cox married Miss Maggie McDonald, an estimable and popular young lady of that city and the union has been blessed by three charming daughters who have inherited the brilliant attributes of their parents. Mr. Cox owns one of the most beautiful homes in the city, the handsome residence being furnished with all modern improvements. Here he and his interesting family are surrounded with every comfort and enjoying that domestic felicity and public regard which they so richly merit.
Note - Since the above article was in type Mr. Cox purchased the City Meat Market, which he is now conducting with his well known ability.
Farmers in the East who toil on, year after year, sometimes making a little money, and in other seasons hardly clearing the interest on their investment, ought to find food for thought in the career of H.M. Elliott in Yuma county during the past eighteen years. It is another striking illustration of what earnest endeavor, honest toil and good judgment can accomplish on the fertile soil of this favored portion of Colorado.
Mr. Elliott, who was born in 1856, is a native of Iowa, where he spent his boyhood days on his father's Hawkeye farm. After he grew to manhood he commenced farming for himself, his hard work realizing as profitable results as the average farmer achieved. The gentleman became dissatisfied with Iowa farming conditions however and decided to seek a more favorable field of operations. In the autumn of 1886 he came to Colorado and located in the eastern portion of Arapahoe county, now a part of Yuma county. He entered pre-emption, homestead and tree claims - 480 acres in all - twenty-five miles south of Wray and five miles northeast of the village of Idalia, and lost no time in commencing to improve his claims. At that time Mr. Elliott was worth $500 in cash and property - not much with which to commence life on a raw prairie farm without improvements of any kind.
His land was most desirably situated, the soil was excellent and the gentleman commenced his Colorado career with a confidence which subsequent results amply justified. At first he devoted his entire attention to farming exclusively, subsequently engaging in the stock industry as well. His efforts were rewarded by abundant crops which increased to keep pace with more extended improvements on the ranch. Subsequently the gentleman sold his homestead and bought 640 acres more, making a ranch of 960 acres, in addition to which he controls 160 acres of leased land. This makes a farm of 1,120 aces that Mr. Elliott utilizes at the present time, and in addition to having a comfortable residence, fine barns and sheds, and an abundance of agricultural implements, it is all under a four-wire fence. Indeed, it is seldom a ranch is supplied with such substantial wire fences as those owned by Mr. Elliott. At present the gentleman cultivates 335 acres and he grows bountiful crops of wheat, corn, barley, cane, etc. He has harvested as high as 3,000 bushels of wheat and 1,500 bushels of corn in a season, besides other produce, and he never fails to garner profitable crops. At present he owns sixteen horses and thirty-six cattle. Frequently he has had a much larger herd, but owing to the depressed market of late he has curtailed his stock interests until the business becomes more profitable.
In 1881 Mr. Elliott married Miss Hanna Foldal, an accomplished Iowa lady, and the happy union has been blessed by four children who are a credit to the careful parental training they received.
Mr. Elliott is not only one of the most industrious and prosperous, but he is one of the most intelligent farmers in the county. He takes a deep interest in public affairs, and to every movement calculated to advance the moral or material interests of the county he gives a generous support. He is a genial gentleman, a kind neighbor and a good citizen of sterling worth, and he and his estimable wife and family well merit the general regard entertained for them.
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