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This page contains biographical sketches (full or extract) of former Eagle County residents.
The majority come from pre-1923 published sources as cited in the sketch.

If you have additions or corrections please contact Pat McArthur

This page was last updated Sunday, 23-Jan-2011 05:48:57 MST

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Abram W. Maxfield ** Albert D. McKenzie ** William McMillen


Abram W. MAXFIELD

"Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado, Containing Portraits and Biographies of many well know Citizens of the Past and Present"
Chapman Publishing Company, Chicago, 1899
Page 987

Photograph

For a period of nearly fifteen years, from the time of his settlement here until his death, Mr. Maxfield held a place among the prominent men of Garfield County. Especially was he intimately associated with the founding and growth of the village of Rifle, on the Denver & Rio Grande and colorado Midland Railroads. When he came to this county, in 1882, for miles around nothing was visible to the eye save vast stretches of sage brush. Indians still lingered in the valleys. No attempt had been made at improvement. Where now stand the flourishing towns of Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Newcastle and Rifle, etc., were then a few tents, or perhaps nothing but the lonely clump of brush. He secured a tract of land, built a small cabin and at once began the work of clearing and cultivating. In later years the town of Rifle was platted on his ranch, and he was foremost in its organization and upbuilding. Every enterprise for its development found in him a friend. He built the Winchester hotel, and carried it on for two years. Other local improvements received his active assistance. In 1892 he built a handsome brick residence for his family. Here, among the friends whom his upright life had won, and in the active disscharge of the business duties he has assumed, he spent years of busy labor. While still in the prime of his usefulness and vigor he passed from earth, June 28, 1897, mourned not only by his family, but by every one to whom he was known. In his death the village lost its most able promoter, and each citizen felt that he had been bereaved of a personal friend.

The parents of Mr. Maxfield were born in England, from there emigrated to Prince Edward Island, where he was born February 8, 1842. The first nine years of his life were spent on that island, whence he accompanied his father, Richard Maxfield, to the western part of Missouri. Two years later his father died, and from that time on he was self-supporting. With his mother he moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and there he made his home for twenty-five years, meantime engaging in farming and also in the manufacture of bricks. In 1880 he came to Colorado in the interest of a mining company, whose members were residents of Council Bluffs. For two years he had charge of their mining business at Battle Mountain, Eagle County. Finding, however, that mining was then not profitable, he decided to embark in agricultural pursuits, and with thie object in view he pre-empted the land in Garfield County upon which he afterward made his home.

Just before coming to Colorado, January 1, 1880, Mr. Maxfield married Miss Flora A. Ramsey, a lady who was unusually fitted to be his helpmate and companion. She was born in Prince Edward Island, of which her father, James, son of Malcolm Ramsey, was also a native, and her mother, Ann (Maxfield) Ramsey, was born in Hull, England. The records of the Ramsey family show that they were of Scotch origin. The great-grandfather of Mrs. Maxfield had his home on the banks of the Clyde in Scotland and was well-to-do. In his family there were eight sons. Deciding to emigrate to America, h e sold his property and put his possessions into gold. He then started with his family for the new world. However, the agent of Prince Charles proved treacherous and through his instrumentality the shipload of emigrants were robbed and put ashore to shift for themselves. Cast upon an unfriendly shore, among a strange people, in an inhospitable climate, they had a severe struggle to maintain life, but after years of ceaseless labor they gained a foothold and later generations became well-to-do.

The girlhood days of Mrs. Maxwell were spent in her native province. It was from childhood her ambition to become a physician, but this desire was sternly checked and repressed by her relatives, who, in common with the usual belief of their day, considered that a woman's sphere should be limited to the narrow round of domestic duties. She came to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she met and married Mr. Maxfield. They became the parents of nine children, six of whom are living, namely: Roy Douglas, a talented youth of fifteen y ears; Merritt Ramsey, Junius, Bennett, Clara Louise and Gail Hamilton, who are bright and talented children, and will undoubtedly be successful in their chosen vocations. The three deceased boys died in childhood.

A Democrat in politics, Mr. Maxfield was for years a justice of the peace, and at the same time his wife was appointed notary public, which office she has since filled. Fraternally he was connected with the Knights of Pythias. Personally he was a genial, companionable man, one who believed that good existed in every heart and truth in every soul. He might truly be called one of nature's noblemen. During the nineteen years of his married life he was never known to speak an unkind word to his family, but was ever kind, tender and affectionate. Since his death his real-estate and business interests have been in charge of his wife, whose business ability fits her for the responsibility of this work. She is interested in all public and progressive enterprises. Active in local politics, she has been judge of elections and for a time conducted a political school in Rifle. For three years she was president of the school board, and her energy and progressive spirit were of invaluable assistance to the educational interests of the town.
Contributed in 2009 by Pat McArthur

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Albert D. McKENZIE

"Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado, Containing Portraits and Biographies of many well know Citizens of the Past and Present"
Chapman Publishing Company, Chicago, 1899
Page 1092

ALBERT D. McKENZIE, who owns and occupies a ranch five miles from Eagle, and was formerly a member of the board of commissioners of Eagle County, was born in Essex County, N.Y., among the Adirondack Mountains, in 1847. His father, Mordecai McKenzie, who was a farmer, died in 1853, and afterward the boy was given a home with his grandfather, Roderick McKenzie, a native of Scotland, who served in the war of 1812 and taught school for some years, also carried on a farm. One of his sons, whose name was the same as his own, served through the Civil war. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Mary Prescott and was born in New York, where she died in 1878. She had five brothers, George, John, Luther, Joseph and Albert, three of whom fought on the Union side during the war. In her family there were three sons, of whom Sanford is a jeweler at Lake Placid, and Roderick lives at the same place. The oldest son, Sanford, took part in the Civil war as a member of a New York regiment.

At twenty years of age our subject started out for himself. He learned the jewelry trade, which he followed for some time, and he also acted a guide to visitors to the Adirondack mountain region. On leaving New York he came to Colorado in 1885 and settled in Eagle County, purchasing property near Eagle, where he has since engaged in ranching. He has also been interested in mines, and owns a number of houses in Eagle. In 1870 he married Miss Amy Paye, whose father was a farmer in New York and who had six brothers and five sisters, all in the east but one. Three of her brothers served in the Civil war. Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie have three daughters: Minnie, wife of George Wilkinson, a ranchman of Eagle County; Agnes, at home; and Carrie, who married George Stewart, an engineer on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad between Minturn and Grand Junction.

Politically Mr. McKenzie is a Democrat. Some years ago he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board of county commissioners, and in 1894 he was elected a member of the board, in which position he rendered able service. Fraternally he is connected with White Face Mountain Lodge of Masons, in New York.
Contributed in 2009 by Pat McArthur

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William McMillen

Excerpt (.pdf format) from 2007 publication "Three McMillen Brothers" by Jim McMillen

Contributed in 2009 by Jim McMillen

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