Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

David and Mary Morris

In 1880 David, 47 and Mary Morris 45, are in Will County, Illinois.  David is a coal miner.  They have William 25 Pennsylvania, an engineer, Mary 17 Illinois,  a dairy laborer , and Hannah 8, Ohio. (Ohio birth records show a Hannah Morris born March 12, 1872 in Liberty, Trumbull County Ohio to David Morris and Mary Jones.)

David Morris did a cash claim for a quarter in 4, 2N 47W in 1891, and next to it a homestead quarter in 1896.  Mary E. Benish proved up a homestead quarter joining his in 1893.

Suspiciously similar, a Mary in 1900 Yuma with David  is like the Mary in Illinois with Margarett and Hannah.

In 1910 a Mary D. Morris 75, Wales,  is widowed, living in Joliet, Illinois.  Daughter Hannah Morris, born in Ohio, is38 a store keeper.

April 1911 "Mrs. Morris visited a few days with Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Harr."

"Mrs. Harr and Mrs. Morris drove over to the Benish place to visit relations Sunday."

"Miss Ida Benish took the eighth grade examination, passed and received her diploma."

"George and William Benish, who took up the ninth grade work the past term, done fine with it."



In 1920 Twin Falls, Idaho a Mary Morris 84 widowed, is with daughter Hannah M. Thewlis , 47.  Hannah's husband Leonard was born in Illinois, as was son Leonard, Jr. 5.

Leonard, Hannah, and Leonard are still in Twin Falls in 1930

California death index has Hannah born March 12, 1872 in Ohio to Morris and Jones, dying December 11, 1949 in Kern County.

Ellen L Thewlis

512 Acoma St, Apt F Taos, NM



Mary Elizabeth Benish died in Yuma February 9, 1944.  She was born July 31, 1868 in Columbus, Ohio to David Morris and Mary Edwards Morris.  She married Joseph Benish April 27, 1888 in Akron

A Joseph BENISCH entered through Baltimore in June 1870.  He was 5 years old.

The 1900 census has Mary on the same page as David.   Joseph Benish March 1863 in Bohemia and Mary have Mary June 1888 (this has to be 1889), Georgie January 1891, Willis November 1893, and Iola July 1896 - all kids in Colorado.

August 1900 "Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Benish, who were granted a divorce in the county court about a month ago, were married in Yuma Wednesday."

They had eight kids -

  Thanks to the Benish family

In 1910 Hyde - Washington County Joseph is farming - George and William are working on the farm, and they have Ida W. 14, Jesse E. son 6, and Josephine L. 3.

That's about the time this photo  of Mary and Josie - thanks to the Benish family - was taken

Joseph and Mary filed for divorce in Washington County in 1913

July 1913 "For Sale - One two-furrow La Crosse disc plow, the best disc plow made; one king grain drill and one cultivator, all in good shape - Joe Benish, five miles west and one mile south of Yuma."

October 1913 "For Sale or Rent - A good 160-acre farm, five miles west and one mile south of Yuma.  Good house, barn chicken house, granary, cattle shed, well and windmill, supply tank, drinking tank, cistern and corral.  All fenced, about 130 acres under cultivation.  Good place for cattle, on account of free range - Joe Benish, Yuma."

January 1914 "Mrs. Mary Benish and family departed Saturday evening for Illinois, in which steate they expect to make their future home."

July 1914 "George Benish and younger brother, Jesse, who had been in Illinois for several months, returned to Yuma Tuesday morning."

"Mrs. Mamie Harr is visiting with her mother, Mrs. Mary Benish, who has been in poor health for some time past."

In 1918 a Joseph Benesh divorced Mable Benesh in Denver.

And in 1922 a Joseph Benesh divorced Rosie Benesh in Denver.

Joseph Benish files for an old age pension in Denver July 28, 1933, but that could be another one ....  

Our Joseph died in 1938, and was buried in Crown Hill, Denver.

Funeral services for Joseph Benish, an old-time resident of Yuma, were held in Denver Wednesday of last week. The deceased, who was 74 years of age last November 12, had been in failing health for some time prior to his death.

He is survived by the following children: Mrs. Josie Coliff and Mrs. Ida Kickenhauser [Wickenhauser] of Denver, Geo. Benish of Brighton, Jessie Benish of Akron, and Mrs. Mamie Harr of Yuma. Another son died in 1900 and another in 1918. Also surviving are a brother and sister who reside in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

After his parents died in Iowa, Mr. Benish came west and homesteaded south of Hyde.

Yuma Pioneer, Yuma, Colorado April 14, 1938

Transcribed by Carol Moore.



Yuma March 21, 1909.

"On Wednesday of high noon the wedding of Matthew Harr and Miss Mary Benish took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. French and was attended by a number of friends and relatives.  After the ceremony, which was performed by Rev. S. J. Mcgaw, Mrs. French announced dinner and the company which sat down did the hostess credit in the free disposition of  the palatable enticing viands.  Later Mrs. and Mrs. Kitman and two daughters, Phoebe and Ester, strong, healthy, robust girls - cousins of the French family dropped in on their return from California, N. Mexico, and Arizona where they have visited during the winter.  Evelyn Mcgaw furnished music for the evening's entertainment.  The bride and groom are at home to their friends at their family residence two miles west of town."

November 1913 "Martin Harr and William Benish returned Tuesday morning from a three weeks' visit with friends and relatives in Illinois and Indiana."

In 1920 Yuma Mary is widowed, living with daughter Mamie and her husband Matthew Harr.  Josephine , 13 is with them, too.

In 1930 Yuma Mary E. 64 is with Matthew Harr 68.  Matthew said he was divorced, and there's a Mamie Custer in Yuma.

Matthew Harr married Fannie Gardner in November 1892.  married Mamie Bemish in March 1909, divorced Mamie Harr in 1927, and married Mrs. Mamie Custer in October 1933.  He had one of the few telephones in 1907, #5 on the Hyde line out of Yuma.

1913 "Matt Harr made use of the big traction engine, Monday, in moving the Mrs. Kissinger house to his lots in the south part of town (Yuma)"

In 1934 Matt has a Yuma listing, and also one living in Section 20, 2N 48W

1937 Harr, Matthew (w) Mamie - 404 South Albany, Retired, (Mary E.)
In 1940 Yuma Matthew is 78, Mamie 52, Mary E. 12, and Mary E Bemish 77.


December 1913 "Miss Ida Benish, in the south part of town (Yuma) was painfully hurt Monday by being hit in the eye by a  match wheich was fired from a pop gun by a younger brother.  The missile landed in the corner of the eye, but no serious injury to the eye is anticipated."

Ida Benish married Albert Wickenhauser, and they were in Alton Illinois for WWI registration.  The October 3, 1912 Telegraph said "Albert Wickenhauser who was hurt when a horse fell upon him n Upper Alton recovered .... last night and is on the road to recovery.  He was conscious for only ten minutes yesterday morning having suffered with concussion of the brain."



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 21, 1919

A most enjoyable party was given last evening at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Wickenhauser, the sprightly and lovely young ladies of the family and the amusement were so good and varied that the guests found it impossible to break away for home until a late or rather early hour. The house was decorated in red, white and blue colors, with Washington hatchets scattered around in convenient places, and the amusements consisted of dancing, cards, other games and music, vocal and instrumental. Music was furnished by Irvin Dinges and the young ladies of the home, and the refreshments served amounted to a banquet - and a good one at that. Among the guests were: Misses Mary Shields, Grace Murphy, Alice Smith, Eva Murrell, Ida Miller, Katheryn Winger, Mary Winger, Mary Kendal, Mabel and Bertha Fulkerson, Jewel Schelle, Ida Yager, Lillian Walker; Messrs. Glenn Moore, Irvin Dinges, Victor Henkhaus, Albert Pelot, Victor Ursch, George, Herbert, William, Ed and Albert Wickenhauser, and George Seeger. The guests agree that it was the most enjoyable social affair given this winter in that locality, and are anxious for an encore.  (wonder if the Ed is our Ida ???)


Leonard Wickenhauser  North High School, Denver 1938
Spanish ~ Scientific


The facts leading to the filing of the Bill of Information, supra, are to the effect that at a meeting held in her home in Laurel, Mississippi, during January of 1966, Mrs. Jane Gardiner introduced the defendant to George Grim and Leonard Wickenhauser. All parties were interested in oil; on trial of the Motion to Quash, Mrs. Gardiner testified as follows:


Haik, Grim, and Wickenhauser were thereafter joined by Ray Hubbard of Dallas, Texas, who assisted in financing; the four of them purchased royalties, overriding royalties, and a working interest in Louisiana properties — not located in Orleans Parish — owned by the Shell Oil Company located in Louisiana. The act of sale, executed in May, 1967 with the purchase date as of January 1, 1967, was passed before a Shell Oil Company attorney in the New Orleans Shell offices.

Walter was another son.



The WWI registration has George Jesse Benish , born in Denver January 16, 1841, married and clerking for W J. Ramsey in Yuma.  In  1920 he's married to Leah A. Bemish, and they have Clyde L. 3.  He's a salesman in a clothing store.

In 1930 they're in Brighton, a little north-east of Denver.  George works in a factory, and they've added Merrill 9 and Orville 8.  George died February 1972 - with Brighton as his last SSDI address.

George J. Benish died in 1972, and Leah in 1971 - they're buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Brighton, Colorado.


Josephine Mildred Benish graduated from Yuma Union High School in 1925

CHARLES S. COLIFF, 85, of Denver died Sept. 24. 1994. Services were Sept. 28 at Berkeley Park Chapel, with burial in Crown Hill Cemetery. Mr. Coliff was born June 24, 1909, in Denver. He married Josephine Benish on Feb. 23, 1929, in Denver. He worked for Eaton Metal Products as a welder until his retirement in 1974. Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Nancy Rutt of Johnstown; a sister, Nedda LaSalle of Louisville; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

One Ancestry tree said she died October 29, 2001 in Johnstown, Colorado.  She's buried next to Charles at Crown Hill.


WWI registration has William Benish, born November 11, 1893, living in Upper Alton, Illinois.  He's a pipe fitter helper for the Standard Oil Company.  He said he was the sole support for his mother and sister.

Illinois Death records have him born in 1894 in Yuma, dying November 15, 1918 at Alton, Illinois, buried November 19, 1918 in the Yuma cemetery.  He had been employed by the Western Cartridge Works.   (maybe an ammunition plant?)


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