Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneers:

Elizabeth J. Spriggs and sons Homer and Charles

  June 1891,

Elizabeth J. Squires was born July 28, 1839 in Braxton County, Virginia - (now West Virginia) 

John Smith  Sprigg married Elizabeth J. Squires in Braxton (West) Virginia September 27, 1856

In 1860 Braxton County they have Edward G. 2 and six-month-old Mary Ann.

The Charles H. Sprigg who homesteaded west of Homer in 1 N 43 W almost certainly is Homer's brother.  Charles in 1910 is 43, born in West Virginia, single..

The 1880 census of Holly, Braxton, West Virginia has John S. Sprigg, 47, Elizabeth J. Sprigg,  40, with Asa S.18, Charles H. 13, John W. 11, Mattie J. 9, Homer 6, Ethel M. 3  Homer was born in Missouri, Mattie and John W. in Kansas, Asa in Virginia, and Ethel in West Virginia.

C.H. Sprigg, with all the other, including Kattie 3 and Thaddy Byrne 4 and Lizzie Byrne 3, are in Washington County Kansas in 1885.  Thadius Byrne, one month, was in the 1880 census in Holly, Braxton, WV - so maybe their parents (one record on-line  has Andres Byrne, 30, a merchant,  married Mary A. Sprigg, 19  - on  May 28, 1879 in Braxton - index has ByEne and  SprigY ) died....

Maggie proved up a homestead a few miles southwest of James Lay in 1901 - T1S R43W under the name Maggie L Spriggs.

The photo below would be about 1911, because the four people in the buggy are Maggie, Pearl, Isabelle, and Maxine,. The two girls next to "Grandma Lay" are Maggie Spriggs' daughters Lela and Tess.

Because of the 1910 Haigler Nebraska item "Little Mary Spriggs is visiting her grandma "Mrs. James Lay) at Laird during Mr. and Mrs. Spriggs absence.  Pearl Schilt is keeping house and looking after the other children."  the second woman in the buggy might be that Pearl.  Miss Pearl Schilt was among those attending the 1913 funeral of the Spriggs daughter.  (Footnote 1) (

I will make a couple of comments so you know the context of these pictures and what I can and cannot document. Most of the older family pictures I have are ones that I believe my dad, James Lay Sprigg, inherited from his sister Lela (Eulela) after she died. So most of the markings on them were, I believe, written by Lela.
The first one I am sending is a nice picture of a family outside a house with a horse-drawn carriage. It carried a pencil notation (presumably from Lela) saying only "Grandma Lay." I presume this is a reference to Maggie Lay's mother.  Although there is no notation of exactly where the picture was taken (I assume it could have been the James L. Lay homestead), the frame says, "Wray Gallery, Wray, Colo."

In 1920  Granite, Phillips County, Kansas,are  Maggie Sprigg, Homer, and their kids.  They're on the same census page as James and Mattie Lay.

Phillips Co. Post, Phillipsburg, KS, Thur. June 23, 1921, page 3 . The daughter, Mrs. Maggie L. Sprigg was confined to her bed with pneumonia and was unable to attend the funeral services, which were held in the Evangelical church last Saturday afternoon at two o'clock.




In November 1901 the Gazette "The article in last Saturday's News (maybe the Rocky Mountain News ?) in regard to the killing of Elzqa Lay was erroneous.  Elza is in New Mexico."

1903 he marriage was in Vernal Utah in 1899


Wray Rattler: Yuma County, Colorado. September 2, 1910. JWS
Mr. and Mrs. Homer Sprigg departed for Wyoming the first of the week to visit Mrs. Sprigg’s brother. They made the trip in their automobile and expect to be gone ten days.

Wray Rattler: Yuma County, Colorado, October 7, 1910. JWS
Mr. and Mrs. Homer Sprigg are enjoying a visit from Mrs. Spriggs’ brother and wife of Wyoming.


Maggie Lay

One Ancestry tree said her full name was Maggie Luetta Lay

Marriage Notes for MAGGIE LAY and HOMER SPRIGGS:
From the Yuma County Clerk's Marriage index: Maggie Lay married Homer C Sprigg Aug 14, 1896.

The county clerk's office has the marriage certificate on file showing that the marriage
took place at 8:00 am, Aug 14, 1896 by the Baptist minister in Laird. Rev
E.L Steele conducted the services with W.H Porter and Anna Myer as

From the Yuma County Clerk's Marriage index: Maggie Lay married Homer C Sprigg Aug 14, 1896.

In 1885 Washington County Kansas H.C. Sprigg is 10, one of seven kids living with J.S. and E.J. Sprigg.

He claimed land in the on the "three-state" intersection of Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska, and in 1900 Homer C.and Maggie L. both 26, have Eulela J. -one year old -farming in Glendale, Arapahoe County.  They said they were married in 1897.

Maggie must had two residences, because Maggie L. Spriggs proved up a quarter in 1901 about six miles west of Homer's quarter.

In 1910 they're in Haigler, Dundy County, Nebraska.  Eulela is 11, Leone 8, Mary 7, and unnamed six-month old daughter.

In 1910

In 1920 they're in Granite, Phillips County, Kansas, with Isabelle 10, Maxine B. 7, and James H.R. 2.

In 1925 they're in Norton County, Kansas  H.C. is a Farmer, and he and Maggie have Esibel, Maxine,  son Jesse, and Leon

In 1920 Granite, Phillips County Kansas Homer and Maggie have Isabelle 10, Maxine B. 7 and James H.R. 2.

They're on the same page as Maggie's parents

In 1930 there's a Homer C. Sprigg, 56, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with Nellie V. 53 and James L. 12.

It has my mother's handwriting on the back, saying, "Homer Sprigg, 1949." He would have been 75 by then; there is no indication of where it was taken.  Peter Sprigg


In 1940 Goshen County County, Wyoming Homer Spriggs is 66, widowed, a poultry handler, and FindAGrave has him buried in the Torrington Cemetery. September 26, 1960.

In 1940 James is living with sister Maxine Whitmarsh /Whitemarsh in Topeka.  He's 21, an office boy.  In 1941 he was elected president of the Kansas Baptist Young People's Union.


1961 Montana "Rev James L Sprigg of Livingston "

1963 Livingston Montana "The Rev James Sprigg is pastor of the local church"

1964  Montana "The Rev. James L. Sprigg officiated, and burial was in the Missoula Cemetery".
1962-1964 .. "the Librarian, Mrs. Pearl Sprigg, ... appeared in the Livingston Enterprise
with three column spreads. "


1983 Merced, California

One Ancestry tree says he was born May 9, 1917 in Stratton Nebraska, married Pearl Alice Woolfolk November 1, 1946 in San Carlos, California, died March 21, 1988 in Livingston, Montana, and is buried in the Baptist Church in the Great Valley, Devon, Pennsylvania.

The 1916-1917 Blue Book of Music lists in Denver   Our Isabelle would have been only six years old, so this is probably another one.


FREDERICK SCHWEIKHER President  Miss ISABEL SPRIGG, 2151 Gilpin Street Secretary

In January 1923 Isabelle Sprigg was piano accompanist at a concert in Yonkers, New York

At a 1931 concert in Kingston, New York "Miss Fox was accompanied at the piano by Miss Isazbel Sprigg."

There's an Isabelle Spriggs in New York City in 1940, born in Nebraska - working as a piano accompanist.

From the July 9, 1925 issue of the "Colorado Patriot":

Mrs Homer C Sprigg, died Jul 4, 1925, Alameda, KS, age 52, daughter of Mr and Mrs James Lay of Laird. (No other Genealogical information was in the obit)  (wonder if this was Almena, Kansas, where son Leon was living?)

From the Yuma County Cemetery Index, Wray's Grandview Cemetery, under the name H. Spriggs:

Range 4, Block 3, Lot 12, Owner: H. Spriggs

Maggie L Spriggs 1873 - 1925

Raymond Spriggs 19 Apr 1897 - 1897, Son of H.G. and M.L. Spriggs "Our baby at rest""

Mary Spriggs 1 Feb 1903 - 15 Mar 1913, Daughter of H.G. and M.L. (the rest can't be read)

Nellie Ellen Spriggs 12 Dec 1905 - 26 Dec 1905

Zella Mae Spriggs 4 July 1907 - 6 Oct 1908

FindAGrave has Leon J. Sprigg 1901-1980 and Ester D. Sprigg 1902-1995 in the Almena Kansas cemetery.

It shows 4 of the 5 children of Maggie and Homer Sprigg who survived to adulthood--Lela (Eulela), my father Jim (James), Maxine, and Leon. Their sister Isabelle is missing. - Peter Sprigg

John Smith Sprigg

the tree said died in 1885 in Washington County, Kansas.

In 1900 Charles McGrew is a day laborer in Laird, born February 1849 in Pennsylvania of Irish parents  Elizabeth was ten years older, born July 1838. (The Irvin McGrew homesteading forty miles away in Washington County is not likely a nephew )

1903 Mrs. S. J. McGrew took first place in Fancy Apron at the fair.

1904 "Give Mrs. McGrew your orders for the famous Racine Hosiery."

"Mr. John Sprigg of Illinois, arrived here Thursday and surprised his brother Charley and his mother Mrs. E.J. McGrew by calling on them that evening.  They had not seen him for about seventeen years so did not recognize him at first.  He intends to stay here this summer and visit with his relatives."

December 1910 "Mr. and Mrs. Chas. McGrew have purchased the James Lay property in north Laird and will soon move in from the sand hills."  Charles had proved up a quarter about five miles northeast of Wray, and it's definitely "in the sand hills."

March 1910 Laird "Chas McGrew and wife have moved into their property vacated by Lay."

In 1900 Thayer County Nebraska Ed SPRAGUE and A. Martha have Nina July 1889, Neal June 1891, Robert March 1893, and  Ruth July 1898,

Edward Sprigg has a dray line in Wray, with Mattie A. 38, born in Missouri. She's had eight children, six alive.  With them are Neil 18, Robert L. 17, Ruth 11 (these three in Nebraska) Melvin H. 8 and Marie E. 1 (both in Colorado).  Ed had taken a cash claim for a quarter about fifteen miles north of Wray in 1910.

January 1913 Neal Sprigg was one of the six members of Wray Fire Department #4 (North Wray).

February 1913

March 1913 "Clyde Cunningham and Jack Finn bought the dray business of E.G. Spriggs this week and will take charge of the business the 15th of this month.  Messrs. Cunningham and Finn have lately made final proof on their homesteads north of town and will move to Wray.  Mr. Spriggs has not yet decided what he will do, but will try and find some lighter work than draying.  He has reached the age in life where the heavy work in connection with draying and the exposure which he must necessarily endure in bad weather is to (sic) much for him and some other line of work which is not so strenuous will be more suitable for him."

September 1913

September 1913 "Neal Spriggs, who has been in the employment of George Long of four miles northeast for the past several months, resigned his work Monday morning and Wednesday accompanied his mother, Mrs. Ed Springgs, and his sister and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Arnison, to McCook, Nebraska, as they were going thru from Denver.  Neal expects to accompany his mother on her return and take up work with his father in Edgewater near the capital, for the coming winter."

September 1913 "Mrs. Chris Arnison came up yesterday morning from her home in McCook, Nebraska, and is visiting her friend, Miss Alta Andrews.  Mrs. Arnison is better known to Wray people by her unmarried name, Miss Ruth Spriggs, as she lived with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Spriggs, for the past few years until their removal to Edgwater (sid) near Denver a few months ago."

In 1920 Denver Ed is a teamster, and he and Martha with no kids live on Bryant Street.  Ed was killed when his truck was hit by a train, and he's buried in Grandview.

June 16, 1911

November 1911 Laird "Chas. McGrew has his new store open for business."

December 1911 "C,A, McGraw *sic) of Laird was a business visitor in our city (Wray) from Wednesday until Friday evening last week.  Mr. MCGraw has disposed of his notion stock to William Burkett, who just took possession last Thursday."

July 31, 1913

The same Ancestry tree says Mattie J. born 1870 in Missouri, died 1898 in Laird  and that Ethel M. born 1877 died in Laird in 1908

From Grandview Cemetery, Wray, Colorado by Aileen Tombaugh
Range 4, Block 2, Lot 8, Graves 5-8, Owner H. Sprigg
5. Katie E. Sprigg 4 Jul 1871 - 22 Dec 1898, dau of J.S. & E.J.
6. Ethel Burns 22 Jun 1877 - 17 Mar 1897, wife of J.A.
7. vacant
8. Elizabeth J McGrew 28 Jul 1839-16 Jun 1911

The relationship of the four (actually seven) folks in the Wray Cemetery

Elizabeth Jane Squires Sprigg McGrew was the mother of Homer (the plot
owner), Katie and Ethel Sprigg. Her first husband John Sprigg died in 1885
in Kansas and she married a Charles McGrew in 1888 shortly after she moved
to Colorado.

Ethel Sprigg Burns died about two years after her marriage to Joseph Burns
and she was buried in a half-lot purchased by her brother Homer.

Ethel's older sister Katie died in 1898 and was buried beside

When their mother, Elizabeth, died she was buried in the family lot with her

Ethel's husband, Joseph a ranch hand who worked for McGrew, died in 1950 (he
had remained a single widower for 53 years and raised their son by himself)
and was "probably buried" in the unmarked grave beside her listed as vacant.
The only clue to his burial was in his 1950 obit, "Graveside services were
held at Grandview Cemetery."

October 1913 "Word was received in Wray this week of the marriage of Lee Spriggs, formerly of Wray, but for the past year of near Columbus Ohio.  Mr. Spriggs was married October 9 to Miss Vera Kedleigh, of Collins, Ohio, at which place the young couple have rented a farm and intend making their home for the present at least."

1899 Charles Spriggs' quarter was going for auction by a Sheriff's Sale.

September 1910

1912  Rattler "Charles Sprigg, who went down to Minden this week to look after a hotel building he owns, came into this office and pushed his subscription up a year Tuesday."

Charles is in Pottawattamie County, Iowa in 1925.

He's there in 1940, 74, married to Mary, 57, born New York


In 1914 the Yuma Pioneer said "L.O. Spriggs, of Joes, left for Hastings, Nebraska on the train Tuesday."

Footnote 1

 Pearl and Alfere (sic) were in charge of the Christian .R. Schilt store at Haigler - and he also had a store at Armel.  Pearl was 16 in 1910, and in 1900 was "Alma P."   Alma Pearl Schilt and Alferd Schilt graduated from the Haigler school in 1911, married Roy Hines of Haigler soon after, had a newborn buried in the Haigler cemetery.

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