Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

Ernest M. Fletcher, Carl I. Fletcher, Leon M. Fletcher, David C. Fletcher, Robert N. Fletcher, Hughes

In 1880 Webster County, Iowa D.W.  29, born in Ohio, is a teamster, Mary 18, California, and Florence eight months.

In 1900 Red Willow County, Nebraska, David May 1851, Mary E. April 1862, son Mele L. Dec 1882, Carl I Nov 1890, and Marie A. Mar 1895, all Iowa, are farming.

In 1910 Cheyenne County, Kansas they have Carl I 19, Robert N. 15, Mary A. 14, and Doris L. 9  - Doris was born in Nebraska.

In 1920 Center precinct, Yuma, they have only Doria L. 19.

But following them on the census page is Robert , single 25.

After Robert's is Leon M. 36, Lillian L. , Marlow M. 7, and Eldred L. 4, all born Iowa.

(Eldred Leon Fletcher -Dec 18, 1915-Dec 3, 1963 is buried in Olney Cemetery, Pendleton, Oregon)

Leon M. Fletcher 1884-Nov 15, 1960 is also buried in Olney

Leon Fletcher divorced Lillian L. Fletcher in Yuma County in 1932.

Ernest proved up a quarter in 17, 3S 47W in 1905.

Carrie proved up two quarters in 10 and 15, 3S 47W in 1916.

 Leon proved up two quarters in 26, 3S 48W in 1918.

Carl proved up two quarters in 26, 3S 48W in 1918.

David proved up two quarters in 34 and 35, 3S 48W in 1917, and then in 1929 claimed 80 acres in 10, 4S 48W.

 Robert proved up two quarters in 34 and 35, 3S 48W in 1922.

David C.  died in 1929, Mary E. in 1933, and they're in the Yuma cemetery.

The stone in the Yuma cemetery says "Mother - Carrie D. 1876-1935 - Brother Lloyd E.  1912-1923



Ernest M. Fletcher was born Nov 12, 1867 in Henderson County, NC to Samuel and Avaline Fletcher. They traveled to Cleburne Texas, with Ernest's sister Ella born in Arkansas on the trip. They lived on the Chisholm Trail, and Ernest left home at 14 to be a cowboy. He worked for Eldred Brush (of Brush, COlordado ) and was fo. and for the Aztec Cattle Company of the White Mountains of Arizona. At the age of 23, he was sentenced to ten years in the Colorado penitentiaryh for stealing j"one twenty-dollar lousy cow" from people who owed him money and would not pay him. He served five years and eighteen days and pardoned on Christmas day 1895. He was forman of the Bowles ranch southwest of Wray, and settle on his onw arnch 27 miles southeast of Yuma in 1905.
In 1870 Collin County, Texas, Samuel Fletcher is 43, Susan/Laura 36, Marcus 14, James 12, John 9, Belle 8, Josephine 5, Earnest 2, and Laura newborn.
In 1880 Callahan County, Sam M. is 52, Susan A. 46, Marcus E. 24, John S. 19, Belle B. 18, Josephene 15, Sam O. 7, Lorenzo G. 5, Earnest M. 12, Francis E. 10, Lizzie C. 14, and James B. 22.
In Johnson County, Texas J. N. Reynolds married Belle B. Fletcher Dec. 17, 1883
George Lo (Lorenzo) Fletcher 1875-1952 is buried in Putnam, Oklahoma, per # 29863898.

One tree said he married Lillian Bugbee about 1890, married Carrie Dorothea Jensen (born Oct 13, 1875 in Vejli, Denmark)

In 1900 Yuma County, Ernest "Flecher" born February 1870 in North Carolina, is ranching, single. With him is Edward Robinson May 1880 Iowa and ASrh Decker March 1876 Pennsylvania.

1900 Wray "A farewell dance was given at the C 12 ranch last Friday night in honor of Earnest Fletcher. Mr. Fletcher goes to his own ranch on the Arickaree. He has many friends, and the dance was well attended."
1902 Yuma "Earnest Fletcher has cigars all around town."
1902 "Yuma "Earnest Fletcher was in from his ranch the Fourth. Earnest's ranch is fifty miles southwest of Wray. He reports grass in that section fine and cattle doing uncommonly well."

1903 Wray "Earnest Fletcher and wife who have been attending court for the past week, left for their ranch near Yuma Sunday."

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 progarm - 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. "

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.

1912 Wray "Earnest Fletcher was in from his ranch south of Yuma, Saturday.
In 1914 Earnest M. Fletcher of Yuma was a witness for the land claim of Wilford H. Dinsmore in 3S 47W.

In 1920 on Weld Avenue in Yuma is Ernest Fletcher 53, North Carolina, no occupation.  Carrie D. 42, immigrated in 1888 from Denmark, naturalized in 1890.  They have Evelyn C. 8 and Lloyd E. 7, both born in Colorado, and the young Sharp family is rooming with them.   Carrie is the proprietor of a rooming house.

December 1923

Evelyn is probably Avaline Christine, born Feb 6, 1911 in Yuma, married Edward Leon Mekelburg Sr. in 1931, married Elmer Robert Mekelberg in Arizona Jan 21, 1987, and died March 11, 2001, buried in Yuma.

Lloyd E. Fletcher was born 1912, dying 1933, and is buried iwth Carrie D. dying 1933 in Yuma # 49689708.

In 1930 Brush, Ernest is 62, widowed, in a rooming house, no occupation.

Ernest M. Fletcher "The Wayward Horseman" is buried in Yuma # 26662589.



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