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Progressive Men of Western Colorado

This manuscript in it’s basic form is a volume of 948 biographies of prominent men and women, all leading citizens of Western Colorado. Western Colorado in this case covers the counties of: Archuleta, Chaffee, Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Lake, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, San Juan, and San Miguel. Woven in the narratives of it’s people, however, is the story of Colorado. Initial expeditions by European settlers in this area were for trade with the Natives or as a throughfare to California further west. It wasn’t until one of those wagon trains came a man name of Ralston and he dipped his pan into a creek which would later bare his name and pulled out a troy ounce of gold, worth $5 at the time. A decade later, and other miners began to claim the land in the eastern Colorado area. Pushing ever westward in search of the golden dust they eventually found their way into western Coloado. Some of these miners would eventually settle in the area of their mines and became Colorado’s first residents. Some would have their claim luck out and would stay taking up other responsibilities such as ranching, politics, merchandising, etc. In these people’s lives became the story of Colorado – so while this volume is comprised almost solely of biographies, it is also comprised of the history of early Western Colorado. Click on the page number to view the biography. SurnameGivenMiddleView Bio BurgerFrankMPage 17 TaylorEdwardTPage 18 ZerbeAllenLPage 21 VeatchWilliamLPage 23 HarpHoraceSPage 24 GeorgeAlfredPage 25 BrownHoraceGPage 26 HeatonWilliamVPage 27 ThompsonBenjaminHPage 28 WatsonBenjaminKPage 29 SherwoodBenjaminPage 30 DicksonAmosJPage...

Peace Attempts with Western Prairie Indians, 1833

What was known as the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was entered into in Mississippi with the Choctaw Indians September 27, 1830;1 pursuant to the terms of the treaty, in 1832 the movement of the Choctaw to their new home between the Canadian and Red rivers was under way but they were in danger from incursions of the Comanche and Pani Picts2 or Wichita, and the Kiowa tribe, who came east as far as the Washita and Blue rivers; these Indians had also evinced a hostile attitude toward white citizens and had attacked and plundered Santa Fe traders, trappers, and other unprotected travelers. A party of twelve traders had left Santa Fe in December, 1832, under Judge Carr of Saint Louis for their homes in Missouri. Their baggage and about ten thousand dollars in specie were packed upon mules. They were descending the Canadian River when, near the present town of Lathrop in the Panhandle of Texas, they were attacked by an overwhelming force of Comanche and Kiowa Indians. Two of the men, one named Pratt, and the other Mitchell, were killed; and after a siege of thirty-six hours the survivors made their escape at night on foot, leaving all their property in possession of the Indians. The party became separated and after incredible hardship and suffering five of them made their way to the Creek settlements on the Arkansas and to Fort Gibson where they found succor. Of the other five only two survived. The money secured by the Indians was the first they had ever seen.3 Colonel Arbuckle on May 6, ordered4 a military force to Red...

Washington Irving at Fort Gibson, 1832

The McIntosh Creeks had been located along Arkansas River near the Verdigris on fertile timbered land which they began at once to clear, cultivate, and transform into productive farms. The treaty of 1828 with the Cherokee gave the latter a great tract of land on both sides of Arkansas River embracing that on which the Creeks were located. This was accomplished by a blunder of the Government officials, in the language of the Secretary of War,1 “when we had not a correct knowledge of the location of the Creek Indians nor of the features of the country.” This situation produced much unhappiness and contention between the people of the two tribes. The Indians had other grievances, and the Creeks took the lead in calling the attention of the officials to their needs by the preparation of a memorial in which they complained of frequent attacks upon them by bands of wild Indians from the south and west of their location. They asked the Government to appoint a commission to meet with them for the redress of their wrongs, and to call a council of the different tribes for the adoption of measures to establish peace and security in their new home. The Creek memorial and a long report by the Secretary of War on February 16, 1832, were transmitted to Congress by President Jackson,2 who recommended that three commissioners be appointed as requested in the memorial, and recommended by the Secretary. It appeared from the report of the Secretary of War that there were then west of the Mississippi twenty-five hundred Creeks, six thousand Choctaw, thirty-five hundred Cherokee and...

Establishment of Fort Gibson in 1824

By Act of Congress of March 2, 1819, Arkansas Territory was established July 4, embracing substantially all of what are now the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma; though the civil government of Arkansas Territory was limited to that section lying east of the Osage line, divided into counties, and embracing approximately the present state of Arkansas. That west of the Osage line was the Indian country, and in later years became known as Indian Territory. James Miller1 of New Hampshire was appointed the first Governor of Arkansas Territory, and among the duties of his office was that of supervision of the Indians within his jurisdiction. After the battle at Clermont’s Town an effort was made to induce the warring tribes to enter into a treaty of peace. This was accomplished in October 1818,2 in Saint Louis, in the presence of William Clark, the Governor of Missouri Territory. Directly after Governor Miller assumed his duties as executive, he was required to intervene between the Osage and Cherokee in an effort to prevent imminent hostilities growing out of the killing of a number of Cherokee hunters by a band of Osage under Mad Buffalo. In April 1820, Governor Miller departed from the seat of government at Arkansas Post, on his mission to the Cherokee and Osage. He was gone two months, and prevented temporarily at least – the threatened renewal of warfare by the Cherokee. He went first to the Cherokee settlements, where he sought to dissuade the members of that tribe from further hostilities by his promise that he would endeavor to secure from the Osage the murderers of their...

Appalachian Colonists from the Mediterranean Basin

Throughout the Southeastern United States can be found “old families” in rural areas whose appearance is not quite the same as the European or African peoples who colonized the region, but also not what a person with substantial indigenous ancestry looks like either. In earlier times they might have called themselves Cajun, Black Irish, Redbone, Black Dutch, Portughee, Old Spanish, Melungeon or Part Injun. In more recent years they are likely to say that their great-grandmother was a full blooded Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Catawba, Shawnee or Blackfoot. She may have been, but that is not always the case. Many of these people have Mediterranean features, not Native American. One group of mestizos in the Southeast receives very little publicity. Their families have vague memories of either being Jewish or having some Jewish ancestors during the Colonial or Federal Periods. These families may even have Jewish surnames such as Abram, Alba, Amos, Bachman, Benjamin, Boone, Cowen, Hite, Luby, Cohen, David, Gabby, Hershey, Rich, Jacobs, Jordan, Kaufman, Lombard, Levy, Meyer, Shapiro, Spiker, Rosenberg, Sherman, Solomon, Oliver, etc. but they have been practicing Christians for so long that they don’t even realize that their names are of Jewish origin. There is usually no way of discerning these families’ Jewish heritage by physical appearance because Americans, by nature, are hybrids. In contrast, the mountain valleys of northeastern Tennessee, northwestern Virginia, southeastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia and southern Virginia contain a mestizo population that has maintained a separate identity for 250 years. Some families called themselves Cherokees. Some families called themselves Portughee. More and more they now call themselves Melungeons.   All along, however, they...

Memoirs of John Pitchlynn

John Pitchlynn, the name of another white man who at an early day cast his lot among the Choctaws, not to be a curse but a true benefactor. He was contemporaneous with the three Folsom’s, Nathaniel, Ebenezer and Edmond; the three Nails, Henry, Adam and Edwin; the two Le Flores Lewis and Mitchel, and Lewis Durant. John Pitchlynn, as the others, married a Choctaw girl and thus become a bona-fide citizen of the Choctaw Nation. He was commissioned by Washington, as United States Interpreter for the Choctaws in 1786, in which capacity he served them long and faithfully. Whether he ever attained to the position of chief of the Choctaws is not now known. He, however, secured and held to the day of his death not only the respect, esteem and confidence of the Choctaws as a moral and good citizen, but also that of the missionaries who regarded him as one among their best friends and assistants in their arduous labors for the moral and religious elevation of the people of his adoption. He married Sophia Folsom, the daughter and only child of Ebenezer Folsom. They had five sons, Peter P., James, Thomas, Silas and Jack, all of whom were men of fine talents and high position, reflecting credit on their ancient and honorable name, except Jack, who was led astray and finally killed. How many strange little incidents oft happen to various persons the cause of which none can satisfactorily explain; many of which are similar to the following that Major John Pitchlynn once experienced in early life! He stated to the missionaries that he, in company...

Biographical Sketch of William Cecil Boone

(See Oolootsa) Cecil William, the son of Alexander and Ora Cherokee (Nicholson) Boone, was born on Spencer Creek September 6, 1900; was educated in the public schools of the State. He is a member of Latter Day Saints Church, and belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Ora Cherokee, daughter of Richard Leeand Bidipher (Foulger) Nicholson, was born on Spencer Creek July 6, 1880; married December 22, 1897, Alexander Boone who was born March 22,...

Slave Narrative of Carl Boone

Interviewer: Robert C. Irvin Person Interviewed: Carl Boone Location: Anderson, Indiana Place of Birth: Marion County, Kentuck Date of Birth: 1850 Place of Residence: 801 West 13th Street, Anderson, Madison County, Indiana Submitted by: Robert C. Irvin District No. 2 Noblesville, Ind. SLAVES IN MADISON COUNTY CARL BOONE Anderson, Indiana This is a story of slavery, told by Carl Boone about his father, his mother and himself. Carl is the last of eighteen children born to Mrs. Stephen Boone, in Marion County, Kentucky, Sept. 15, 1850. He now resides with his children at 801 West 13th Street, Anderson, Madison County, Indiana. At the ripe old age of eighty-seven, he still has a keen memory and is able to do a hard day’s work. Carl Boone was born a free man, fifteen years before the close of the Civil War, his father having gained his freedom from slavery in 1829. He is a religious man, having missed church service only twice in twenty years. He was treated well during the time of slavery in the southland, but remembers well, the wrongs done to slaves on neighboring plantations, and in this story he relates some of the horrors which happened at that time. Like his father, he is also the father of eighteen children, sixteen of whom are still living. He is grandfather of thirty-seven and great grandfather of one child. His father was born in the slave state of Maryland, in 1800, and died in 1897. His mother was born in Marion County, Kentucky, in 1802, and died in 1917, at the age of one hundred and fifteen years. This...

Biography of George Octavius Boone

George Octavius Boone had been a resident of Kansas since 1881. In that year he embarked on a career as a commercial traveler, and had been a traveling man now for more than thirty-five years. For several years he represented a Boston shoe firm with headquarters in St. Louis, Baxter Springs, Arkansas City and Longmont, Colorado. Since 1897 his home had been in Topeka, and with the exception of three years he had been connected with the Topeka Daily Capital. The Boone family from whom he is descended had an authentic record of ancestors as far back as 1516. Originally they were of French extraction, the original name being DeBun. Count DeBun in 1516 was exiled from France and settled on the coast of Wales, and his descendants of later generations came to America. Soon after his exile the name came to be spelled Boone, and the distinguished soldier and explorer Daniel Boone was of the same family as my great-grandfather, his ancestors having been born in Southern England. Correction: Octavius Cunningham Boone is not related to Daniel Boone. – David Botts George Octavius Boone was born at Louisville, Kentucky, December 25, Christmas Day, 1861. His grandfather John William Boone was born in 1768, and died in 1867 at the remarkably advanced age of ninety-nine years. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, and the old flintlock musket that he carried in that war was used by his grandson George O. Boone to shoot squirrels during the latter’s boyhood near his home in Louisville, Kentucky. The first squirrel he ever shot was killed with that old musket....

Slave Narrative of Andrew Boone

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Andrew Boone Location: Wake County, North Carolina. Harris Farm. Age: 90 years Occupation: Worked in show business I been living in dese backer barns fifteen years. I built this little shelter to cook under. Dey cut me off the WPA cause dey said I wus too ole to work. Dey tole us ole folks we need not put down our walkin’ sticks to git work cause dey jes’ won’t goin’ to put us on. Well, I had some tomatoes cooked widout any grease for my breakfast. I had a loaf of bread yesterday, but I et it. I ain’t got any check from the ole age pension an’ I have nothin’ to eat an’ I am hongry. I jes’ looks to God. I set down by de road thinkin’ bout how to turn an’ what to do to git a meal, when you cum along. I thanks you fer dis dime. I guess God made you give it to me. I wus glad to take you down to my livin’ place to give you my story. Dis shelter, an ole tobacco barn, is better dan no home at all. I is a man to myself an’ I enjoy livin’ out here if I could git enough to eat. Well de big show is coming to town. It’s de Devil’s wurk. Yes sir, it’s de Devil’s wurk. Why dem show folks ken make snakes an’ make ’em crawl too. Dere wus one in Watson Field in de edge of Raleigh not long ago an’ he made snakes an’ made ’em crawl too. All shows...
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