The Wray Gazette

Special Edition, May 12, 1904, Wray, Colorado

(Articles 84 - 94)

Transcribed by Lee Zion <>, October 2001.

Beecher Island

An Historic Spot Situated Seventeen Miles South of Wray.

The Scene of One of the Most Desperate Battles of the Indian Wars.

(Photo - Lieutenant Fred H. Beecher)

     About seventeen miles south of Wray is situated one of the most interesting spots in Colorado, which has been rendered forever historic by the heroic valor of brave soldiers, who sanctified the soil with their precious blood, while resisting the desperate charges of an overwhelming number of their Indian foes. The battle was fought in 1868, the American command occupying an island in the Arickaree river, which has been known as Beecher Island since that time, in memory of Lieut. Frederick Beecher, nephew of the great Brooklyn preacher, who was killed in the first day's fight.

     For nine days, Captain (afterward General) Geo. A. Forsythe of Gen. Sheridan's staff, and fifty scouts withstood the assaults of 1,000 Cheyenne and Sioux warriors led by Chief Roman Nose, killing seventy-five of the reds and wounding scores of others. The only two army officers in the command besides Capt. Forsythe were killed in the first day's fight - First Lieut. Frederick Beecher and Surgeon J.H. Moers. Forsythe was shot three times - in the thigh, below the knee and in the head - and directed most of the fighting from his resting place. After the first fight there were only twenty sound men, exhausted by the blazing heat and lack of food and water.

     The party left Fort Wallace in response to a call from Acting Governor Frank Hall, of Colorado, for federal assistance. Forsythe followed the trail of a big band of Indians and went into camp in a little valley on the Arickaree. At dawn the Indians were discovered on the bluffs and an attempt was made to stampede Forsythe's stock, the Indians retreating under fire from the scouts. Opposite the camp was a small island in the river about 250 feet long with a shallow stream fifteen feet wide on either side.

Besieged on an Island

     To this island the men retreated, and were immediately attacked. The Indians kept up a furious fire for several hours, but the deliberate, effective fire of the scouts caused them to withdraw, giving the besieged an opportunity to strengthen their rude defense and prepare for the charge that was coming.

     In a thrilling description of the battle which followed, Forsythe says:

     "We had not long to wait. A peal of the artillery bugle, and at a slow trot the mounted warriors came partially into view in an apparently solid mass at the foot of the valley, halting just by the mouth of the canon on the opposite side of the river from which we had emerged the preceding day.

     "Closely watching the mounted warriors, I saw their chief facing his command and by gestures evidently addressing them in a few impassioned words. Then waving his hand in our direction he turned his horse's head towards us, and at the word of command they broke at once into a full gallop, leading straight for the foot of the island."

A Magnificent Chieftain

     "As Roman Nose dashed gallantly forward and swept into the open at the head of his superb command he was the very beau ideal of an Indian chief, mounted on a large, clean-limbed chestnut horse. . . .

     "He was a man over six feet three inches in height, beautifully formed and except for a crimson silk sash knotted around his waist and his moccasins on his feet, perfectly naked. His face was hideously painted in alternate lines of red and black and his head crowned with a magnificent war bonnet, from which, just above his temples and curving slightly forward, stood up two short black buffalo horns, while its length of eagle's feathers and heron's plumes trailed wildly on the wind behind him.

     " Turning his face for an instant toward the women and children of the united tribes, who literally by the thousands were watching the fight from the crest of the low bluffs back from the river's bank, he raised his right arm and waved his hand with a royal gesture in answer to their wild cries of rage and encouragement, as he and his men swept down upon us; and, again, facing squarely toward where we lay, he drew his body to its full height and shook his fist defiantly at us; then, throwing back his head and glancing sky-ward, he suddenly struck the palm of his hand across his mouth and gave tongue to a war cry that I have never heard equaled in power and intensity."

Blood-Curdling Yells

     "Scarcely had its echoes reached the river's bank, when it was caught up by each and every one of the charging warriors with an energy that baffles description.

     " On they came at a swinging gallop, rending the air with their wild war whoops, each individual warrior in all his bravery of war paint and long braided scalplock, tipped with eagle's feathers, and all stark naked but for their customary belts and moccasins, keeping in line almost perfectly, with a front of about sixty men, all riding bareback with only a loose lariat about the horse's bodies, about a yard apart, and with a depth of six or seven ranks, forming together a compact body of massive fighting strength and of almost resistless weight.

     "Riding about five paces in front of the line, and twirling his heavy Springfield rifle about his head as if it were a wisp of straw (probably one of those he had captured at the Fort Fetterman massacre), Roman Nose recklessly led the charge with a bravery that could only be equaled but not excelled, while their medicine man, an equally brave but older chief rode slightly in advance of the left of the charging column."

A Gallant Repulse

     The handful of heroic men stopped and drove back in confusion the oncoming horde of howling savages. The first volley brought down an Indian from every gun; the second made them falter, and the five succeeding ones turned them back pell mell, leaving the ground strewn with the dead and wounded braves and horses. Among the killed was their great chieftain, Roman Nose, who went down at the fifth volley. The big medicine man was killed by the fourth volley. The loss of their leaders and their surprising and unaccountable repulse disheartened them. Gen. Forsythe says of the scene that followed:

     "I the meantime the valley was resonant with the shrieks of the women and children, who from their coign of vantage on the hills, had safely but eagerly watched the result of Roman Nose's desperate charge; and now as their fathers, sons, brothers and lovers lay dead on the sands before them, their wild wails of passionate grief and agony fitfully rose and fell on the air in a prolonged and mournful cadence of rage and despair. And for a short time many of the Indians rode circling around yelling and waving their arms over their heads, hither and yon, apparently half dazed at the death of the medicine man and their great war chief, as well as distressed at the disastrous failure of their charge, the whole scene combined with the steady crack of the rifles of the Indians in ambush, the reply of the scouts, the smoke of the powder and the view of the dead warriors and horses lying on the sand before us, seemed for a moment or two almost uncanny and weird in the extreme."

     Two more charges that afternoon met with repulses. That night two volunteers, Jack Stillwell and Pierre Trudeau, slipped through the lines to seek relief at Fort Wallace, which came on the morning of the ninth day.

     In the meantime, the fighting continued, but not vigorously. The Indians settled down to starve out the whites, which they must have accomplished but for the timely arrival of the cavalry from Fort Wallace.

Beecher Island Park Memorial Association

     Several years ago Major Hays, now of Denver, and others formed an organization for the purpose of commemorating the heroism of the brave scouts who gave the horde of Indians such a signal defeat. They endeavored to secure an appropriation of 400 acres of government land, including Beecher Island and its surroundings, and $25,000 with which to establish a park and beautify the grounds. For various reasons their efforts proved futile at that time, but in 1901 a new organization was perfected and incorporated under the laws of Colorado, and considerable progress has been made in beautifying Beecher Island and making it worthy of the memory of its gallant defenders. A few weeks ago Congressman Bonynge introduced and carried through congress an act granting 120 acres of government land at Beecher Island to the association for park purposes and on Arbor Day the association planted a large number of trees and shrubbery on and around the historic spot. For the past five years annual reunions have been held on Beecher Island, always attended by some of the survivors of the heroic struggle. The present officers of the association are: Robert Lynam, president; W.W. Cunningham, vice president; Joseph A. Miller of Vernon, second vice president; W.E. Wolfe, recording secretary; N.D. Beaver, corresponding secretary and Eli Schauff, treasurer.

     Hundreds of strangers visit Beecher Island each year, and interest in it is growing steadily. When the contemplated improvements are made it will be a most attractive resort, dedicated to the memory of the brave and the true whose heroic deeds shall ever live in the annals of Colorado history. Beecher Island has a post office called Beecher.

Conley & Hatcher

A Progressive Firm of General Farmers and Cattlemen.

An Indication of the Fertility of the Western Part of the County.

(2 Photos - Residence of Conley & Hatcher, Cattle Scene on the Conley & Hatcher Ranch)

     That the western part of Yuma county is rich in general farming possibilities, as well as in the stock industry, is illustrated by the career of Conley & Hatcher, who have achieved prosperity on a ranch northeast of the village of Yuma.

     The firm is composed of John A. Conley and Goggin H. Hatcher, the former being a native of New York and the latter of Virginia. In 1876 Mr. Conley came to Nebraska and engaged in farming. In 1882 Mr. Hatcher located in Nebraska and shortly afterwards he and Mr. Conley formed a partnership in farming operations. They came to Colorado in 1887 and entered homesteads within the confines of their present extensive ranch. At that time they were in very moderate circumstances, and after they had finished preparing a residence and getting settled on their homesteads, they had less than one dollar in cash left with which to commence life on a raw prairie in a new country. However, they managed in some way to sow and plant a first crop, from which they harvested a rich yield of grain, and since then their progress has been one of almost constant and pronounced prosperity. Since then they have added 3,160 acres of fine land to their homesteaded locations, and they control a vast area of free range. They cultivate 250 acres, on which they grow bountiful crops of wheat, corn, rye, cane, millet and vegetables for domestic purposes. They have harvested as high as 2,000 bushels of wheat in one season, besides large quantities of other crops. At present they own eleven horses and 165 cattle. They ship a large number of cattle to the eastern markets every fall, but the average herd on the ranch numbers 200; this season it is smaller than usual. They keep a high grade of cattle and always obtain exceptionally good prices.

     They own a handsome home furnished with every comfort and convenience, and they have good barns, stables and shed accommodations to house all their cattle in severe weather.

     In 1876 Mr. Conley married Miss Emma A. Wilder, a charming New York lady, who makes her pleasant home fragrant with a sweet disposition and refining graces. But Mr. Hatcher - may the good Lord gore his placid soul with feminine blessings! - is still a bachelor.

     As kind neighbors, good citizens and men of untarnished honor, both of these gentlemen are widely known and highly esteemed in Yuma county, where their friends are legion.

     In 1902 Mr. Conley was elected county commissioner for a four years' term and, so far, he has discharged his official duties with such ability and fidelity to the trust reposed in him, as to evoke the commendation of even his political opponents. He is making a fine record as a county official.

A Ranch That Pays

What Isaac Newton Potter Has Accomplished in Yuma County.

In Eighteen Years He Accumulated One of the Finest Ranches in Eastern Colorado.

A Great Opportunity to Secure a Money Making Property on Most Reasonable Terms.

     While Yuma county has hundreds of thousands of acres of land open for settlement, for men who want to locate on improved land, the fertility of which cannot be questioned, the magnificent ranch of Isaac N. Potter offers a grand opportunity to make a most profitable investment. The value of this splendid property can be determined more accurately by giving a brief sketch of its owner's career.

     Mr. Potter is a native of Indiana, where he was born in 1856. He was raised on a farm and spent his boyhood days in the Hoosier State. When nineteen years of age, however, he went to Illinois and worked on a farm for two years, when he went to Iowa, where he rented a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits. He did fairly well in the Hawkeye State, but after three years he moved to Colorado and located in that part of Arapahoe county which is now a portion of Yuma county, in 1886. He entered pre-emption and homestead claims a few miles from the Kansas line, on a broad expanse of fertile prairie. At that time the gentleman's earthly possessions consisted of one team of horses, one cow and a small amount of cash, but there was no limit to the energy and industry which he possessed. He engaged in the cattle business, in connection with general farming, and from the beginning he reaped generous returns from his labor. He bought land from time to time, as the opportunity presented, and now he owns 640 acres in one block, constituting the "home farm," 160 acres one-half mile south and 160 acres more one-half mile west, or 960 acres in all. In addition to this he has 960 acres of leased land adjoining his deeded property, besides the use of many thousands of acres of open range. His 1,920 acres of deeded and leased land is under good wire fence and it would be hard to find a more attractive looking ranch area of level prairie. On his home ranch he has a comfortable residence and other necessary buildings, including a frame shed 100 feet long for his stock. He is building a second shed 18x72 feet in dimensions.

     Mr. Potter cultivates 260 acres of his ranch and grows fine crops of wheat, corn, oats, cane and millet. Last year his crops were damaged by a hail storm, but he grew 1,700 bushels of wheat, 1,500 bushels of corn and a fine harvest of cane and millet for his stock. Although he shipped several car-loads last year, he still owns seventy-eight cattle, eight horses and fifty hogs. On his ranch are four wells of water, the motive pumping power for two of them being windmills.

     With the exception of the two years of drouth about a decade ago, Mr. Potter has obtained most generous profits from his ranch, year after year, and he is in easy financial circumstances. He has attended to his ranch interests with fidelity, he has worked with unceasing diligence, and the cheering results are a just tribute to the fertility of Yuma county soil and the favorable conditions for ranch operations in this portion of Colorado.

     For some inscrutable reason - the Lord only knows how Yuma county girls can give satisfactory explanations - Mr. Potter still remains a bachelor, his faithful mother having had charge of his domestic surroundings for, lo! these many years. But as the venerable lady is now in her seventy-eighth year and becoming feeble, her dutiful son is anxious to relieve her declining years with the sunshine of affection. For this reason, he offers his ranch for sale, as he wishes to retire from the exacting labors connected therewith. In eighteen years he has made a handsome competence on a Yuma county ranch, obviating the necessity of such strenuous exertions in future. He wants no fancy figure and will sell the ranch alone, or include the live stock, farm machinery, etc. This offers a rare opportunity for a man who wants a productive ranch in the West. Mr. Potter's address is Guerney, Kansas.

W.B. Coston

The Popular Photographer of Wray and His Career.

(Photo - W.B. Coston)

     In photography Wray is exceedingly fortunate in having an excellent artist, and the reputation already acquired by the above named gentleman is a most flattering one.

     Mr. Coston is a native of Missouri, where he was born on a farm in 1870. With the exception of five years spent at Topeka, Kan., he remained in Missouri until 1886. In that year he came to Colorado with his parents and they located in Yuma county, a few miles south-west of Wray. In 1893 the gentleman entered a homestead one mile north-east of Wray and he devoted himself to farming pursuits, meeting with encouraging success.

     In the meantime he had spent considerable time at Greeley in a photograph gallery and had become an expert photographer. As a result, he opened a gallery at Wray in 1900 and his success has been very pronounced. He is generously endowed with natural artistic talent, and his earnest ambition to excel enables him to take a front rank in the artistic profession. He does a superior class of crayon work and his photographs are not only taken perfectly, but in admirable finish they excel. His excellent work, coupled with his genial personality, has won an extensive patronage, which is growing day by day.

     In 1894, Mr. Coston married Miss Grace Mason, a charming lady whose superior musical accomplishments are so highly prized and enjoyed in the community. Five interesting children - one son and four daughters - have blessed the happy union. Mr. Coston is a skilled musician also, who is leader of the Wray brass band, and the popular couple are appreciated leaders in Wray musical circles. In addition to a farm in the country, they own two acres, on which they erected a cozy home, adjoining the eastern city limits. Their residence is beautifully situated at the base of a bluff, and from the summit of the latter they pipe water for domestic and lawn purposes.

     Mr. Coston made the photographs for the illustrations that appear in this special edition of the Gazette and in justice to the gentleman we must say that during many years in which we have been engaged in this special illustrated work, we do not recall a single instance in which a photographer surpassed him in furnishing us with desirable photos for the engravers. His work is excellent, although the gentleman seems too modest to assume the well-merited credit to which he is justly entitled as an exceptionally skilled artist. We consider Wray very fortunate in having such an excellent artist, and he merits a most generous patronage.

Charles C. Kirkland

Has Grown Large and Profitable Crops in Yuma County.

     The above gentleman is another of the many pioneers who have made farming and the cattle business a huge success in Yuma county.

     Mr. Kirkland is a native of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, where he was born in 1861. When five years of age he moved with his parents to Illinois, where he received his education and grew to manhood. In 1879 the young man went to Nebraska, where he engaged in farming for eight years. Then he came to Colorado and located in that portion of Arapahoe county that is now a part of Yuma county. He entered homestead and pre-emption claims thirty miles south-east of Wray and proceeded to improve his 320 acres of raw, prairie land. Mr. Kirkland was in very moderate circumstances, but he faced his new responsibilities with a courage and untiring industry that soon commenced to achieve gratifying results. He engaged in general farming, as well as cattle and hogs, and fortune smiled upon his efforts until the drouth, when he endured two years of trials and discouragements. Since then, however, his progress has been most cheering. He has 200 acres under cultivation and grows fine crops of wheat, corn, oats, cane and vegetables. He has garnered twenty bushels of wheat per acre, thirty bushels of corn and three tons of cane per acre. In 1902 he threshed 2,200 bushels of wheat, and had a bountiful yield of other crops. At present he owns sixteen horses, thirty cattle and a herd of thirty hogs.

     Last year Mr. Kirkland erected a handsome residence, which would be a credit to farm life in any state. The main building is 18x28 feet in size, with a wing 16x18 feet, and it is furnished with every comfort requisite in a contented and happy home.

     In 1886 Mr. Kirkland married Miss Martha McCulloch, an estimable Nebraska lady, who has cheered and assisted him with signal devotion in fighting the battle of life. They have two interesting children. Fraternally Mr. Kirkland is a member of the A.O.U.W. He is a genial, honorable gentleman, who is public spirited and generous hearted and he well merits the general esteem in which he is held, as well as the pronounced popularity he has achieved.

The County Sheriff.

Fayette Lamphere's Fidelity to Duty Evokes General Commendation.

(Photo - Sheriff Lamphere)

     Among the county officials who have discharged their public duties with an earnest desire to meet the expectations of their constituents, Sheriff Lamphere occupies a front rank.

     Mr Lamphere is a native of near Joliet, Ill., where he was born on a farm fifty-one years ago. When he grew to manhood he moved to Indiana, where he engaged in farming operations. In the spring of 1887 he went to Chicago and accepted a position in the Deering harvester works. He remained a trusted and faithful employee of this company until 1893, when he resigned and came to Colorado, locating in Yuma county. In connection with his brother, he engaged in farming 320 acres of land, in which he had purchased an interest.

     The gentleman, who was always a loyal Republican, took an active part in Yuma county politics, and in recognition of his services to the party and his admirable qualities as a useful citizen, in 1901 the Republican county convention nominated him for sheriff. There were three candidates in the race, but after a spirited campaign Mr. Lamphere won an over-whelming victory. He received eighty-nine more votes than were cast for both his competitors combined, although some of the candidates on his ticket were defeated. This was a marked tribute to the gentleman's popularity in the county, and he has well justified the confidence reposed in him by his constituents. He has given a clean administration of the sheriff's office, untainted by chicanery or crookedness of any kind. He has discharged his duties without ostentatious display and with an earnest, honest regard for the public service. In the disagreeable features of every sheriff's official life he has displayed a kindness of heart and a consideration for the feelings of the poor or unfortunate, that merit all praise. In short, in his official life, he has always displayed the characteristics of an honorable, courteous gentleman, as well as those of a faithful servant of the public. Under such circumstances it is only fair to assume that his official worth will receive merited recognition by a renomination for a second term in the position he has filled so honestly and so well.

     Last November Mr. Lamphere moved to Wray, where he owns a very desirable and comfortable home. As a private citizen the genial gentleman is an earnest advocate of every measure calculated to promote the material or moral welfare of the city or county and he well merits the general regard entertained for him.

M.D. Funk

A First-Class Mechanic and One of the Prosperous Farmers.

     Among those who have done so much to promote the prosperity of Wray and Yuma county, the above gentleman merits honorable mention.

     Mr. Funk is a native of Rockingham county, Virginia, where he was born on a farm in 1851 and spent his boyhood days. When seventeen years of age he moved to Missouri, where he engaged in farm work and the carpenter trade for a period of six years. Then he moved to Illinois, and followed farming pursuits for eight years, after which he went to Jasper county, Missouri, where he farmed for four years. In 1886 he left Missouri and came to Colorado, where he located in Yuma county, then a part of Weld county. He entered homestead and pre-emption claims four miles west of Wray, then in its infancy, and a tree claim further south on the Arickaree river. At once he settled on his homestead and pre-emption claims and commenced improving them. He engaged in general farming, corn, wheat and vegetables being his chief crops, and he garnered profitable crops as a reward for his energy and industry. Subsequently he sold his pre-emption, but still retains his homestead and tree claims, embracing 320 acres. He cultivates 100 acres and last year he raised 1,500 bushels of wheat, 1,500 bushels of corn and an abundant crop of all kinds of vegetables. The balance of his homestead he uses as pasture for his cattle and horses. His farming career in this county has been an uninterrupted success, with the exception of 1893 and 1894 when there was a complete failure of crops in this part of the state.

     Before coming to the county Mr. Funk learned the trade of stone mason and as a skilled mechanic he has established a flattering reputation. Since coming here he followed his trade of stone mason and contractor, and he has laid nearly all the foundations for private residences and business blocks in the city, including the new court house completed in January of this year. Mr. Funk is not only a first-class mechanic, but his well known integrity inspires confidence in his work and honorable dealings.

     In 1875 Mr. Funk married Miss Frances M. Jordan, an estimable Illinois lady, and they have four interesting children, all boys, to whom they have given an excellent education. Mr. and Mrs. Funk are very popular and they well merit the cordial esteem in which they are held.

A Valuable Ranch

What G.W. Leonard Has Accomplished on Black Wolf Creek.

(Photo - Residence of G.W. Leonard)

     One of the most profitable cattle ranches in Eastern Colorado is that owned and occupied by G.W. Leonard, on the Black Wolf Creek, in Yuma county. Indeed, it is seldom a ranch possesses so many favorable features for conducting a successful cattle industry.

     The ranch, which is composed of 1,080 acres of deeded land and 840 acres of leased land - 1,920 acres in all - is situated twelve miles southeast of Wray, and adjoining it is a vast area of free range, embracing many thousands of acres. The head waters of the Black Wolf and Spring creeks are on this ranch, the former stream flowing from west to east through the property as it wends its way to the Arickaree river into which it empties. The Spring creek is a branch of the Black Wolf and, after traversing a large area of the ranch, it empties into the latter stream on Mr. Leonard's property. In all, the ranch has five miles of never failing streams of spring water, on which the ice does not form in the coldest winter weather. Along these streams are a succession of broad and exceedingly fertile valleys, which produce abundant crops of wheat, oats, corn, barley, cane and alfalfa, three crops of the latter being harvested every season. Mr. Leonard cultivates only 200 acres of this rich valley land, and while he has grown as high as thirty bushels of wheat to the acre, his chief attention is devoted to the harvesting of large quantities of corn, cane and alfalfa for cattle feed in severe winter weather. While excellent grazing lands characterize Mr. Leonard's entire ranch, the valleys of the two streams which flow through the property present ideal conditions for the cattle industry. The valleys are enclosed by high bluffs on either side and numerous ravines in which cattle can find perfect shelter from the most severe storms of winter, with convenient access to open spring water. Mr. Leonard's herds number from 300 to 900 varying with the seasons or years. This season he has shipped many car loads to the eastern markets, but he is wintering 300 fine Shorthorn and Hereford cattle and 150 calves, which promise ample returns for the labor involved. About 800 acres of the ranch are composed of rich, arable land, but Mr. Leonard has made the cattle industry such a marked success on his model ranch that he finds it profitable to cultivate only enough to raise winter feed for his stock. He has a herd of fifty hogs and several horses, also.

     The soil of the valleys on the ranch is composed of a vegetable mould, which renders it exceedingly favorable for the growth of vegetables. The yields of all kinds of vegetables are enormous, and of a superior quality. About seventy acres of this rich valley land are under irrigation, and more could be placed under ditch with but little expense.

     Mr. Leonard's handsome residence is beautifully situated on a plateau, about half-way up the northern bluff of the Black Wolf Creek valley, and from it the view in either direction is exceedingly picturesque and attractive. In summer, especially, it is a delightful spot, as the banks of the Black Wolf are profusely fringed with large trees and shrubbery, which can be seen for miles, while the bluffs are covered with green foliage, making the surroundings most enchanting. It is an ideal spot for a beautiful home, where kind fortune smiles bountifully on laudable endeavor and honest toil. At a short distance from the pleasant home are stables, barn, corrals and every necessity required on a well managed and prosperous ranch, including a complete blacksmith shop. The growth of timber along the Black Wolf furnishes abundant wood for domestic purposes.

     In the groves along Black Wolf creek are thousands of plum trees, which grow wild and produce abundant crops of delicious fruit, which almost equals the cultivated variety in size and flavor. These groves are favorite resorts for pic-nic parties from Wray and other points during the summer months.

     The site of an ancient Indian village is about one mile east of Mr. Leonard's home, and relics of the days when the smoked Americans reigned supreme in Yuma county are frequently found on Mr. Leonard's ranch.

     Mr. Leonard, who is sixty-seven years of age, is a native of Ohio, but when twenty years of age he moved to Iowa, where he continued in farming pursuits for thirty years. In 1886 he came to Colorado and located in this county, securing a homestead which is now only a small part of his valuable ranch.

     In 1864 Mr. Leonard enlisted in Co. F, Fifteenth Iowa, and took a gallant part in saving the Union. He and his regiment were with Sherman in the ever memorable "march to the sea," and did heroic service in the sanguinary battles that were the crowning glory of the Union army. Mr. Leonard's regiment was mustered out of the service after the grand review in Washington in 1865, and he returned to his peaceful pursuits in the Hawkeye state.

     Mr. Leonard has a family of six children, but his estimable wife died six years ago. Two of his exemplary sons, H.S. and C.F. Leonard, aid him on the ranch and one is out in the mountains; two of his daughters are married and his youngest daughter, Miss Veva Leonard, presides over the cozy home with rare grace and charming hospitality.

     Since coming to Yuma county Mr. Leonard has demonstrated that he is richly endowed with those estimable qualities which constitute an industrious, progressive business man, a kind neighbor and a useful citizen. While he has acquired a handsome competence as a reward for his laudable and energetic efforts, he and his popular family have ever dispensed the most generous hospitality and every movement calculated to promote the welfare of the county received their cordial support. As a result, Mr. Leonard and family are held in the highest esteem in Yuma county.

     Owing to Mr. Leonard's advancing years and his consequent desire to retire from the cares of business pursuits, in order to obtain a well-earned rest in the evening of life, the above ranch is on the market, for sale. It is seldom an opportunity to obtain such a profitable ranch is found in the West, and the man who will secure it will be a fortunate individual.

     Note - Since the above was written a noted expert has located rich deposits of coal, oil and artesian water on Mr. Leonard's ranch - Editor.

The Wray Rattler

A Flourishing Newspaper Established in the Infancy of Wray

     The Wray Rattler, which is the organ of the Republican party in Yuma county, was founded by B.E. Condon in 1886. Since then it passed through the hands of several owners, in succession, until about one year ago it was purchased by C.L. Wills, publisher of a paper at Benkelman, Neb., and Frank E. LaSchelle, a young newspaper man from Kansas. As resident partner of the firm Mr. LaSchelle has had full editorial charge and business management of the Rattler during the past year, and he has added materially to the prosperity and influence of the paper since he assumed charge. The young gentleman is a native of Clay Center, Kan., and he finished his education at the Kansas Agricultural college, at Manhattan. Subsequently he engaged in the newspaper business at Junction City, Kan., where he remained until he came to Wray. Mr. LaShelle is not only possessed of fine newspaper ability, but he is a genial, whole-souled gentleman of honorable principles. Since he came to Wray, the gentleman's sunny disposition and excellent traits of character have won him the esteem of our citizens generally. He is an untiring worker and he renders loyal and valuable services to the city and his party. Under his good management the Rattler has become an influential representative of Wray, and it merits the well earned prosperity it is enjoying.

Ira Edwards

The Creditable Career of an Old and Honored County Official.

     Perhaps there is not in Yuma county a man who is more generally and favorably known than the gentleman whose name heads this article.

     Mr. Edwards is a native of New York, in which state he was born on a farm near Utica in 1833. He received a liberal education and after he grew to manhood he taught school in winter and farmed in summer. In 1861 he engaged in the mercantile business, which he continued until 1884, in the mean time having thoroughly familiarized himself with surveying.

     In 1885 Mr. Edwards came to Colorado and located one mile east of Yuma station, where he filed on a pre-emption claim and a homestead; at the same time he entered a timber claim six miles northeast. At the same time a sister of Mr. Edwards entered a pre-emption claim adjoining his homestead and pre-emption, but the lady died several years ago and he became heir to the property. Thus the gentleman owns 480 acres of choice land on which there is a comfortable residence and other improvements, situated one mile from the village of Yuma.

     While Mr. Edwards devoted considerable attention to farming and the cattle business in a small way, surveying has been his chief labor in this county. He made his farming and stock industry a financial success, however, but of late years he leases a portion of his land and devotes the remainder to the grazing of stock, giving almost his entire attention to surveying. The gentleman has been county surveyor for nearly all the years since 1889, and he holds that office at the present time. As a county official of unimpeachable integrity and remarkable accuracy Mr. Edwards enjoys full public confidence, while his superior qualities as a courteous gentleman in every relation of life command wide recognition.

     When not engaged in surveying, Mr. Edwards buys produce in his section of the county, making shipments to Denver.

     The gentleman has four children - two sons and two daughters. One of his sons, Lester M. Edwards, is now a clerk in the railway mail service running from Denver to Grand Junction, with headquarters at the former city.

     Mr. Edwards has been deputy county treasurer and commissioner of highways, and he laid out the first public roads established in the western part of the county. He was one of the leading spirits in establishing the first public school in Yuma, and was the first president of the school board. He was superintendent of the first (union) Sunday school organized in Yuma and, subsequently for many years superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school.

     In both his public and private capacities Mr. Edwards is esteemed as a high-toned honorable gentleman, and there are few, if any who enjoy a wider measure of public regard.

Wray Telephone Company

A Most Enterprising and Progressive Public Utility.

Extending its Lines East, West and South With Push and Energy.

     The rapid growth and development of the Wray Telephone Co. are only harmonious features of the energy and progressive spirit which characterize the county seat of Yuma county in all its undertakings.

     In the fall of 1900 J.W. Cloyd and Henry Lepper established the first telephone system in Wray, which was then a much smaller town than it is a present. It was a purely local system, embracing thirty 'phones in the city, but its great utility was soon recognized and on April 1, 1902, the Wray Telephone Co. was organized with W.W. Cunningham, president; T.B. Groves, treasurer, and J.W. Cloyd, secretary and general manager. The capital stock was fixed at $3,000 and the company extended its lines from this city to Vernon, 12 miles southwest, and Haigler, Neb., twenty miles east.

     It requires time to interest a community in the usefulness, as well as the advantages, of a telephone system, after which effort, push and tenacity are generally crowned with success. On September 1, 1903, Mr. Cloyd sold a controlling interest in the Wray Telephone Co. to M.H. Spere and L.C. Blust and resigned his position as general manager. Next day the company was reorganized, with Mr. Spere as general manager, and the capital stock was increased to $52,100. Mr. Spere had a long telephone experience, which in connection with his untiring energy, rendered his services peculiarly valuable to the company. The necessary improvements, including new long distance 'phones, were made in the city and along the lines already in operation, and the work of extension was carried on with a wonderful vigor and rapidity. Since October 10, last, Mr. Spere constructed a line from Haigler, Neb., to St. Francis, Kan., a distance of thirty-five miles; another line from St. Francis to Atwood, Kan., forty miles; another from St. Francis to Jaqua, eighteen miles, and another line from Haigler, Neb., to Idalia, Colo., a distance of forty miles. This makes 140 miles of new telephone lines the construction of which the gentleman superintended, and in addition he sold $10,000 worth of stock, all within a period of three months.

     The system, which is supplied with the latest improved appliances, nothing being used but the Strongberg & Carlson switchboards and 'phones, covers four important counties, and connects with the great majority of the ranches along the routes.

     At Atwood, Kan., the Wray Telephone Co.'s lines connect with the long distance 'phone to Kansas City and other eastern points. The company is now preparing to extend its lines west to Brush, Colo., where it will connect with the Bell Telephone Co.'s lines to Denver and other points in Colorado. The company has already concluded a ten years' contract with the Bell people, whereby a satisfactory arrangement is assured, and the line to Brush will be completed at an early date. An important feature of the Wray Telephone Co. lines is substantial construction and excellence of equipment, assuring perfect ease in conversing over the lines. In this respect it is equaled by few and surpassed by none.

     In his management of the company's affairs Mr. Spere has made a record which would be hard to duplicate. Young and vigorous, he is untiring in his devotion to the interests of the company, and his perfect knowledge of the telephone industry enables him to avoid mistakes. In business matters, as well as in social life, he displays the attributes of a polished gentleman, and his pleasing personality is a strong factor in his pronounced success. Personally the gentleman is very popular in Wray and his wonderful activity and progressive energy in business affairs command general appreciation.

     The officers of the company are: J.C. McPherson, president; J.W. Zepp, vice president; N.D. Beaver, secretary; C.F. Hendrie, treasurer; M.H. Spere, general manager.

     The above gentleman and J. Crosby constitute the board of directors, and as they are well and favorably known to be able business men of pronounced integrity, the company enjoys the fullest public confidence.

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