Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

Earnest and Lillian Bugbee Hughes

J. G. Lett wrote

"For three or four years the Old Settlers Picnic was held annually at the Eckman farm. Then, at John Y's suggestion, it was decided to hold the meetings at a different place each year. I cannot recall the different location at which it was celebrated before being finally, and permanently, established at the town of Eckley - where it is still an annual event. However, I do remember that we met one year at the M.W. Haver ranch a few miles northwest of Eckley, the featured attraction on that day's program was a piano recital by a man named Earnest W. Bugbee - a rendition of 'The Mocking Bird' that held the listeners spellbound. I have heard a few famous pianists in my time, but never one to equal, or even approach, the beauty of that performance. Earnest Bugbee was then the husband of that Lillian E. who, later, devastated the life of Earnest E. Fletcher, as so poignantly set forth in his personal saga, "The Wayward Horseman." At that time the Bugbees sojourned in Yuma, staying at the Commercial Hotel which was operated by Mr. and Mrs. Buell and their son, Jimmy. There, I was informed, Lillian engaged in 'pearl diving' (dish washing) and other household chores to defray the cost of their board and lodging; while Ernest D., it is said, engaged in activities little more constructive than riffling the pasteboards, and lending support to Willis in a long range program - building up an anticipatory immunity to the hazards of snakebite., For their other entertainment, the Bugbees "fought like cats and dogs." I met the lady one time while there, and while she had rather comely features, I could not see that sirenic beauty that Ernest Fletcher describes and by which he was held enthralled. But, tastes vary, and I was several years younger than he - which sometimes makes a difference. Ernest D. Bugbee, as a piano player, was without peer. "

In 1865 Otsego, New York, Dexter Bugbee is 36, Sarah 30, with daughter E.J. 10 and son E.W. 6. This one is Edwin, and stayed in Otsego County.
In 1875 Houston County, Minnesota, Earnest Bugbee is 7, born in Minnesota, mother Mary 34 born in Wisconsin.
In 1880 Astabula County, Ohio, Mary is 40, Earnest 12, living with her brother Wellington Bacon, 35, a sheep dealer born in Ohio, his wife Artalina 36 Ohio, and Ella 15 Ohio. Artalissa Elizabeth Bugbee's father was Wyman, who died in 1852, so the families were doubly connected. One cousin was the Ernest Ezra Bugbee of Republic County, Kansas.
("Artelesa" Bugby had been with Wyman and Betsey Bugby in Astabula County.)

In 1885 Mary is 45, Earnest 17 - living with them is Kate Sullivan, 14, born in Minnesota.

Earnest D. Bugbee, age 22, born in Minnesota, married Hattie A. Wiltse, 18, born in Iowa, in Norfolk, Madison County Nebraska December 8, 1890.

The book is described as "Ernest Fletcher was a happy-go-lucky trail hand who followed the Chisholm Trail north from Texas. He was one of the few to leave a record of his experiences. His story is unique in that it is completely frank, including the bad as well as the good. he possessed a robust sense of humor and the rare ability to laugh at himself when his admitted weaknesses led him into trouble. He could even see the mirthful side of the five grim years he spent behind prison bars, and he makes no plea for sympathy. Without apology he admits being a horse thief, a cattle rustler, and a professional gambler who cheated his victims. His blind devotion to a lovely but capricious woman constitutes an unusual and touching love story. The community in which he lived did not hold his prison record against him, and in later years he became a respected citizen known as "Colonel" Fletcher. Some time prior to his death in 1941, he set down the story of his life. This account was in the possession of his daughter prior to publication."
Earnest M. Fletcher has a record with the Colorado Department of Corrections.

1907 "Earnest Fletcher was up from the south part of the country Tuesday for his summer supplies."

Ernest W. Fletcher divorced Lilian E. Fletcher in Yuma in 1909. 

In 1910 Kirk precinct Ernest M. Fletcher, 42, South Carolina,  divorced, is ranching, with hired man Earl Hayes, 39, Ohio

E.M. Fletcher married Carrie Jensen May 27, 1910, recorded in Yuma County.


The history of Republic County, Kansas says "The township organization, in which E. D. Bugby, then a citizen of the township, took an active and prominent part, was effected July 7th, 1871, and was christened Liberty by Mrs. Geo. A. Hovey. The officers appointed at that time were: Geo. A. Hovey, trustee; J. L. Neville, clerk; John Riley, treasurer. "
The Republic County one was born in Ohio in 1843, came to Republic County in 1871, married in 1862, with three children, had a good house.
So this is not the Yuma one, BUT Ezra D. Bugbee timber-claimed a quarter in 35, 6S 48W in 1898 - that wouldn't be too far from Ernest's ranching .
POSSIBLE: In 1900 Rangely, Colorado, Lily Bugby born Sept 1876 in Kansas, married but no spouse, is a cook living with W.W. Goff Nov 1855 an Indian trader. W.W. is married 19 years to Mary R., 1860 Ohio, and they have Claude March 1885 Colorado.

Lillian E. and Earnest D. Bugbee divorced in Denver in 1902.



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