Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

Charles Monroe and Rosa Lee Gerhart, Hughes

In 1900 Logan County, Kansas Charles is 15, born Mar 1885 in Iowa, with parents Daniel and Cassie Gerhart.

Rosa - born in Rooks County Kansas in 1888, is there in 1900 with grandparents George W. and Lydia L. Cunningham.  John H. June 1884 in Kansas is George and Lydia's son, and George L. her brother born 1895 in Kansas is with them.  George W. and Lydia are buried in Gove County.

Rosa's father William remarried, and he's still alive in 1940, 77 years old, living in Hays, Kansas with Julia, 58.

In 1910 Charles might be back in Iowa,  with the Harley Scranton family.  Charles is 24, a boarder.


Also in 1913, the Yuma city water fund paid C.M Gerhard $5.60 labor.

Charles  proved up two quarters in 5, 3S 48W in 1916. 

 Freeman O'Neal was a witness for the 1915 claim of Charles Monroe Gerhart for land in 3 S 48W.

Charles registered in Yuma County, saying he was born March 10, 1885, and was married to Rosa L. Gerhart - and was a machinist.

In 1920 they're in Washington County, Colorado, grain farmers.

In 1930 Charles and Rosa L. are back in Logan County, with Albert A. 8 and Elmer C. 3, both kids born in Colorado.  On the same page are Daniel 74 and Cassie 72.

BillionGraves has Charles March 10, 1885 - August 17, 1951 buried in Springville, Utah.  Rosa L. Gerhart, Oct 8, 1888 - August 28, 1984 is also there, and a stone marked "Husband Elmer C. Gerhart - May 26, 1926 - Sept 12, 1984"

Wednesday, September 24, 1975, THE HERALD, Provo, Utah-Page 13 Nephi Lady Tells Varied Experiences, Homesteading, Mining By SADIE GREENHALGH NEPHI - '

Now in her 87th year, Rosa Cunningham Gerhart, of Nephi, admits life has been interesting. She has traveled by wagon, homesteaded in Eastern Colorado, taught school in Hite, helped with old-fashioned threshing, and has helped her husband run a machine shop and a saw mill, prospect for uranium, pan for gold and operate skating rinks in Utah and Juab Counties. Born in Rooks County, Kansas, in 1888, Mrs. Gerhart has recorded some of the happenings with a $4.95 box camera, which was twice dropped into the Colorado River but was rescued for further use. She said when she was a small girl her mother's failing health prompted the father to take her back to Iowa to see her parents. The family of six made the trip in a covered wagon and remained there until the mother's death two years later. Her father remarried, then homesteaded in Western Kansas. Mrs. Gerhart pursued her education until she was able to attend a normal school and become a teacher. From the time she was 16, she did the cooking for the threshing crew that moved from farm to farm during harvest.   During the annual harvest she met Charles Gerhart and the two soon married. With him began a life of homesteading, threshing, custom plowing, running a machine shop and later a sawmill, prospecting for uranium and panning gold on the Colorado River. Mrs. Gerhart recalls the day a brand new threshing machine exploded during World War I. She said her husband felt it was caused by the dust from smut in the wheat. The German farmer for whom they were threshing was convinced someone had put dynamite in a shock of grain. 

The couple first homesteaded  in the Sand Hills in Eastern Colorado. The ground was so sandy the farm did not succeed. Mrs. Gerhart stated a new road was taken each time they drove to town, which  was 22 miles away.  The homesteaders also faced  unfriendly cattlemen who would cut their fences from time to time. Another time they bought 160 acres and put in wheat. They stretched a tent for a home and her husband went into the custom plowing business. Because he was a machinist he was able to fix equipment that let him plow, disc and plant at the same time. The device was powered by the threshing machine engine.  They had breakfast at home, but the noon meal was cooked on the hot manifold, she said. One turn around a field was enough to perk the coffee, and two rounds for potatoes. If they wanted beans the big bean pot stayed on all day. Other foods were timed accordingly, Mrs. Gerhart said. While away from the homestead and working in Yuma, Colorado, Mr. Gerhart went into the machine shop business after quickly fixing a disabled automobile. Mr. Gerhart, and a friend, Charlie Mitchell, opened the machine shop and soon had to hire two men to help with engines and big farm equipment. Mrs. Gerhart kept the books and rode the train into Denver to get new and used parts for the machinery. Later, while the couple was recuperating from measles, a cyclone destroyed the machine shop. She also recalls a worker was carried through the air for two blocks and another had his lungs "punctured by broken glass. " She recalls seeing the two-story hotel lifted from its foundation and a man sucked through the small opening while the building was suspended in the air. The building then settled on the foundation, with a slight maladjustment. 

 During the 1930s the couple and their small son moved to Elizabeth, Colo, where her husband went into the sawmill business. After that Mr. Gerhart staked mining claims along the Colorado River where they found uranium and erected a mill. Later they moved downstream and Mr. Gerhart would be absent for several months at a time in order to secure work in town. She helped a neighbor lady, whose husband was also working away, to milk her cows. The two women stayed together during the nights and Mrs. Gerhart crossed the river twice daily to take care of the place. Mrs. Gerhart also acted as midwife during her rural years. After a short stay in Springville in the 1940s, the Gerharts and their two sons moved to Hite, Garfield County, where she taught school because no other teacher could be found. The school was supplied books out of her book barrel. She was the only school teacher in the history of the community and taught in 1948.  At that time the nearest telephone was 125 miles away and the movie projector was powered by a generator. Hite is now the jumpoff point for Colorado River runners, she noted. Later, the family operated a skating rink in Mapleton and Spanish Fork for three years, then moved to Nephi where Mr. Gerhart died. Today, Mrs. Gerhart spends her days oil painting, sketching, sewing on her treadle sewing machine and gardening. THE GERHARTS, Rosa and Charles, had this photograph taken in Denver at a time when they were living near Yuma, Colo. That was during World War I, according to what was written on the "penny" post card into which the picture had been made.

The Glen Canyon Reader "Hite's Crossing lies downstream six miles from the mouth of the Fremont River, and a mile below White Canyon's mouth in Glen Canyon.  Here the canyon is wide and shallow.  In 1883 Cass Hite settled here and the mining boom colony became known as a crossing of the Colorado River......

1935 "all of us were reluctant to leave Hite this morning at 9:30 a.m.  We have had  a good time and the rest was most welcome.  In the boats with us were Charles Gerhart and his son Elmer.  They operate a mine below Castle Butte, and we took them there.  Their mining outfit is unique and again reveals the ingenuity man is capable of in eking out a living from God's earth."


1949   Mrs. Gerhart in school\

Elmer Gerhart (age 9) standing by his father's (Charley Gerhart) placer shute on the "Dorothy Bar" , across the river from Chaffin Ranch.


Mary C. Musgrave married William J. Cunningham in Rooks County January 25, 1888.

Rooks County Kansas has a birth record of a female Cunningham born October 8, 1888 to Wm J. and Mary Ann Musgrove

Ridgewood Cemetery, Johnson County Iowa has a William J. Cunningham 1836-1900, spouse Mary A. (Stewart) Cunningham 1840 -unknown  - these are probably too old to be the Rooks County ones.

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