Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

Vena A. Degener, Happyville

George and Marie (Brutlag) Degener, Yuma

Heinrich Karl "Charles" Degener was born in York Township, DuPage County May 11, 1843, and died January 11, 1900 in Cook County, Illinois. He married Maria Dorothea Elisabeth Schmeckpeper on 9 February 1866 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Proviso. After the death of his wife in 1889 he married Marie Caroline Frederike (Wilm) Gellersen on 19 April 1890 at St. Stephhens Church in Englewood, Cook County. Marie was the widow of Heinrich Christoph WILHELM Gellersen.  Charles is buried in Hillside, Illinois # 13909876.

In 1900 Cook County, Illinois, Mary Degener is farming, 47, widowed, born in Germany, with Willie May 1880 Illinois. Her son Geroge Gellerson Nov 1882 was bon in Illinois.
Alvina "Degner" August 1883 George July 1888, Lillie June 1893, and Mamie April 1895 were born in Illinois.


George E. Eatinger, 24, married Mamie A. Degener, 18, on October 3, 1913 in Glenwood, Cook County, Illinois.
George's father Milowas a prominent Wray businessman, although he didn't stay there long.

April 19, 1917 "Mr. and Mrs. George Eatinger, of four miles north of Wray are the parents of a little son who was born to them Sunday, April 15.

June 1917 "The bid of Geo E. Eatinger and John Ashley for decorating and painting the court house was accepted as per bid on file."

George proved up 80 acres in 24, 2N 44W in 1918, witnesses Stephen D. Taylor, Ray Taylor, Fred G. Bowen, and ANthony N. Kummer, all of Wray.

Vena proved up two quarters in 21, 3S 46W in 1922.

She's very likely to be the Marie Alvina Degener, brother of George Degener of Yuma.
In 1920 she's in Wray, 24, married to George E. Eatinger 30 born in Indiana, a jewelry store operator. Fred D. 2 and Lucile E. newborn in Colorado.

1922 "Mrs. George Eatinger returned to her home at Wray Monday afternoon, after a short visit with her brother George Degener and family northwest of Yuma."
June 21, 1923 "Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Eatinger spent the first of the week in Denver."

In 1930 San Jose, California, George is a foreman for a fruit company, 40, Maria 35 a stenographer. Fred is 12, Lucile 10.

In 1940 Santa Clara, George is still a foreman, Mayme no occupation, with Fred D. 23 no occupation.

George - born May 30, 1889, died May 26, 1977 in Butte County, California.  Maria A. (Degner) Eatinger born Apr 25, 1895, died Aug 26, 1983 in Butte County.

In 1947 San Mateo County, California, Fred Eatinger is manager of Jenkel Davidson optometrist, living in San Bruno.

Fred, born at Wray April 15, 1917, died October 23, 1990 in Butte County, California.

Lucille, born October 9, 1919 at Wray, name Gray in 1938, and dying as Hughes October 3, 1997 in San Diego County.


George Crist Degener was born July 25, 1888 in Cook County, Illinois.

BRUTLAG, Frederick Wilhelm -- b. 11 Dec 1862; d. Sept 1939. Wife: Mary Henneike. Parents: Casper and Mary (Goesling) Brutlag.
Children: Mrs. Marie Degener, Mrs. Anna Sorensen, Mrs. Lena Boyer, Mrs. Frieda Lah, Mrs. Lizzie Baiten, Mrs. Emma Chapman, Wilhelmina Brutlag, Mrs. Adriene Lehe.

William F. Brutlag proved up a quarter in 6, 2N 48W, in 1893.

In 1900 Iroquois County, William Brutlag born Oct 1861 is married eleven years to Maria Sept 1862, both born in Germany. May Aug 1890, Anna March 1892, Lina Sept 1892 all born in Colorado.
Frida Dec 1894, Elise May 1896 and Emma May 1899 were born in Illinois.
Caroline born in Yuma County in 1893 married Henry Boyer

Henry Boyer married Caroline "lina" Brutlag 11 Jun 1916. Caroline "lina" Brutlag was born at Yuma,19 Sep 1893 daughter of Frederick Wilhelm Brutlag and Marie Henneinke .

In 1920 Iroquois County, Henry is 27, Caroline 26, Delbert 2, Margret L. 1, both born in Illinois.

They're in Iroquois County in 1930 and 1940.

Henry 1892-1955 is buried in Woodworth, Illinois, # 118160511,

Caroline "lina" Brutlag died 11 Aug 1968 # 118160528.

Margaret E. (Boyer) Bohlmann 1918-1949 is buried in the same cemetery # 118161513. On the stone is Wilbert A. Bohlmann 1917-1981.

Esther L. Hopmann 1921-1980 is buried in Lake Mills, Wisconsin # 6879577, with Arnold L. 1917-2002 # 6879568 "Married June 16, 1940."

In 1920 Yuma County, George is 32, born in Illinois, Mary E. 29 in Colorado, with Evelyn 6 and Margaret 3, both born i n Illinois.
1922 "Mrs. George Eatinger returned to her home at Wray Monday afternoon, after a short visit with her brother George Degener and family northwest of Yuma."

1925 "Mr. and Mrs. Guston Scheive and Wm. Brutlag, who were en route from Denver to Illinois, stopped off in Yuma Saturday to visit the latter's daughter Mrs. Geo. C. Degener northwest of town."

This William Brutlag likely is buried in Iroquois County 1862-1939 # 47433335.
Marie (Henneinke) Brutlag is buried in another cemetery in Iroquois County # 118246615.

In 1930 Yuma County, George is farming, 42, with Marie 39, Evelyn 16, Margaret 14 - both born in Illinois, William F. 8, Charles M. 6, and Marcella L. eight months old, these three born in Colorado.

In 1956 Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Degener of Watseka, Illinois and their daughter Mrs. Lowell Williamson and her daughter Sheryl of Skokie visited his brother George in Yuma.

This is the William H. Degener 1880-1961 buried in Iroquois County # 97595581, - one daughter was Mona Degener Wiliamson 1909-1996.

George Degener was born and raised in Illinois. George's mother (Anna Maria Elisabeth Schmeckpepper) died when he was two years old and then his father (Heinrich Karl Degener) died when he was eleven years old. George was raised by his sisters. He was known as a hard worker and a very likable, jolly man who thought the world of Beverly and David.
George and Marie Degener had two daughters, Evelyn and Margaret, before moving out to live on Marie's father's property. George at this time contracted something like dropsy to which the doctors said would prohibit him from making the move out west. George was not one to let others boss him around and took the initiative to send someone out to have the house on the homestead built for their arrival. On the 9th of June 1918 George and his family arrive in Yuma, Colorado to live and work the land.
Fenton's mother, Marie Brutlag was a very headstrong and opinionated woman. Dorothy was quick to say that these characteristics were passed on to Fenton. She described Marie as, "She was very stubborn, you could show…well just like Fenton, you could show mother what was right but what she thought was right you know. She would never admit that she was wrong. A very stubborn, opinionated woman. " She was not a democrat and this was made very obvious for an unknown reason.
Later in life Marie was afflicted with many different ailments. She had arthritis, swollen legs with sores, and many strokes that caused her to be bed ridden. The first stroke happened shortly after Evelyn got married to her first husband. It was an evening that the young couple were coming up to have dinner with the family. The doctor was called up to help her and Margaret was big enough to help out so she is the one who finished the dinner. Fenton remembers that she tried to make a mincemeat pie and got confused which jar had the mincemeat and by accident used a jar of relish.
Dorothy remembers how her mother-in-law's legs were swollen and one leg had kind of a runny sore all the time. She couldn't get around but one particular day while she was on the stool over the sink peeling potatoes she said, "I'm never going to be in a wheel chair I will just never be in a wheel chair!"

July 30, 1959

In 1966 "Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Degener and daughters brought George Degener to his home in Yuma Sunday. He had spent the past month with a daughter, Mrs. Evelyn Wiseman at Scottsdale, Arizona."

George married Lillie Brockmeier, also a widow. She's buried in Yuma # 48448495.

January 23, 1964


May 3, 1945

In 1954 Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Degener and Mrs. Evelyn Wooton of Denver came to Yuma to visit their parents.

April 3, 1988


September 3, 1931
In 1954 Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Degener and Mrs. Evelyn Wooton of Denver came to Yuma to visit their parents.

November 3, 1966 "Fred Wiseman, husband of the former Evelyn Degener, died on Monday of last week at a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mr. Wiseman is survived by two daughters and a son and one stepson. "


Marcella (Marcie) Louise Pickett of Yuma died in the early hours of Friday morning February 11, 2011 after a long battle with leukemia. She was 81 years old. She was born in Yuma, CO, June 9, 1929 to George and Marie Degener. Marcella was the youngest of five children. She grew up on the family farm in Yuma and was baptized at St. John's Lutheran Church. Marcella attended St. John's Parochial School from first through eighth grade. She graduated from Yuma High School in May 1947.
Soon after graduation, Marcella married Ivan Pickett on August 10, 1947. The couple moved around for a few years living in both Idaho and Colorado before finally settling down at Marcella's family farm where they would raise their own family.
The union was blessed with four children: Robert William, Terry Lynn, Bob Leroy and Nancy Kay. Their first son, Robert, was still born on March 9, 1952.
Also in 1952, Marcella and Ivan met Ward and Mildred Clough and a lifelong friendship was formed. It seemed as if Marcella and Mildred did everything together throughout their lives from playing cards to having babies mere hours apart to raising their families together. They were there for each other through both the good times and the unimaginably painful times and were best friends for over 50 years.
Marcella was truly a remarkable woman with a heart of gold. She was an extremely dedicated mother, and made sure to call her children every Saturday before 10 a.m. She was also a devoted grandmother to her five grandchildren: Joshua, Zachary, Keisha, Jennifer, and Lance. She played a large role in the lives of her grandchildren and made sure that she had a special bond with each of them. They all enjoyed playing Yahtzee and eating her famous cheesy potatoes and macaroni and cheese.
Her family was the most important part of her life, and Marcella fought for every last second she could have with them.
Marcella loved to play cards whether with family, friends or with the pinochle club she was a member of at the time. Her other hobbies included painting ceramics and being a part of the Ladies Aid at church. The Presbyterian Ladies Support group gave Marcella strength and friendship during the last years of her life.
Marcella is survived by her sister Margaret Hibler, of Yuma; son, Terry Pickett, of Aurora; daughter Nancy Hefty and husband Chris, of Loveland; daughter-in-law Angie Pickett, of Yuma; and five grandchildren Joshua Pickett, of Denver; Zachary Pickett, of Redondo Beach, Calif.; Keisha Pickett, of Colorado Springs; Jennifer Hefty, of Loveland; and Lance Pickett, of Chadron, NE. Survivors also include brothers-in-law Harley Pickett, of Fort Collins; Don Pickett, of Commerce City; Larry Pickett and wife Janet, of Broomfield; sisters-in-law Gladys Walker, of Brush; Evelyn Reid of Aurora; Barbara Patterson, of Columbiana, Ala.; Bonnie Newton and husband Harry, of Fort Morgan; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents George and Marie Degener; husband Ivan; two sons Robert and Bob; Sister Evelyn O'Brien; and brothers Fenton and Melvin Degener.


1943 "The Jesse D. McCall home was the scene of the wedding of Dorothy McCall and Wiliam Fenton Degener."

December 1948

December 11, 1952

In 1962 "Mr. and Mrs. Fenton Degener of Crawford Colorado, announce the engagement of their daughter, Beverly Faye to Mrs. Tommy Dean Woods, also of Crawford."


Marie Margaret Hibler, 95, formerly of Greeley, Colorado and Bronson, Texas died September 2, 2011, at the Yuma Life Care Center in Yuma, Colorado. Memorial Services will be held Friday, September 9, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Otis, Colorado. Inurnment will follow in the Yuma Cemetery.
Margaret as she was known by her family was born in Woodworth, Illinois to George C. and Marie (Brutlag) Degener on July 31, 1916. She was the second child in a family of five children. In 1918, when Margaret was two years old, her parents and sister Evelyn moved to the Degener family home northwest of Yuma, Colorado where her parents established their farm.
Margaret was baptized as in infant at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Woodworth, Illinois on August 20, 1916. After the family moved to Yuma they became members of St. John Lutheran Church in Yuma. Margaret's elementary education was at St. John's Lutheran Parochial School and she completed her high school education in Yuma, graduating from Yuma Union High School in May 1934. She knew she wanted to become a nurse, and actually stayed to complete an additional chemistry class the following fall in Yuma to qualify for nursing school.
After graduation, Margaret attended Saint Luke's Hospital Training School for Nurses in Denver, Colorado. She completed her degree and graduated August 19, 1938 working at Saint Luke's until she entered the United States Navy at the start of World War II. Margaret started her military service stationed at the Veterans Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Eventually she was transferred to the Pacific Theater serving at the military hospital a New Caledonia in the South Pacific until the end of the war. She achieved the rank of Lieutenant and continued inactive status in the naval reserves until her Honorable Discharge on February 8, 1954.
After the war Margaret continued her nursing career and completed her Post Graduate Courses in Anesthesia at Barnes Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri. From there she served at hospitals in Memphis, Tennessee and in New York City.
In 1948, she decided to move back to Colorado to be closer to her family. She settled in Greeley, Colorado and continued her nursing career at various doctor's offices and the Weld County Public Hospital, which is now Northeastern Colorado Medical Center.
In Greeley, Margaret met her husband Harold Leslie Hibler on a blind date set up by mutual friends. Les and Margaret were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Collins on September 6, 1949. To this union one stillborn son Robert Leslie Hibler was born. There were no surviving children. They enjoyed 51 years of marriage until Les's death in December 2000.
They made their home at Les's family home in Greeley enjoying summer weekends at their cabin near Chambers Lake up the Poudre Canyon near Fort Collins. After retiring, they enjoyed traveling and fishing throughout the United States. The eventually purchased a winter home at Sam Raybourn Reservoir in Southeast Texas and spent their winters in Texas and summers in Colorado.
After Les's death, Margaret decided to move back to Colorado to be near her sister Marcella Pickett and family. After moving to Otis, she transferred her membership to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Otis. She lived for a while at the Homestead Apartments in Otis and at the family farm northwest of Yuma, but as her health started to fail, she moved to Parrish Care in Yuma and eventually to Yuma Life Care Center.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband Les, her infant son Robert Leslie, her parents George and Marie Degener, sisters Evelyn O'Brien and Marcella Pickett and brothers Fenton and Melvin Degener.
She is survived by her nephew Terry Pickett of Coppell, TX, niece Nancy Hefty (Chris) of Loveland, CO, nephew Dr. Paul Bartels (Barbara) of Tucson, AZ, niece Beverly Coram (Dwayne) of Montrose, CO, nephew Dr. David Degener (Kathy) of Kaysville, UT, niece Thelma Gossett of Helena, MT, nephew Kenneth Degener of Cortez, CO and niece Virginia Lind of Estes Park, as well as other family and friends.

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