(Articles 2 - 8)
Transcribed by Lee Zion <firstname.lastname@example.org>, October 2001.
(Photo of Bowen farm)
Among those who have achieved marked prosperity in Yuma county, the above gentleman occupies a front rank. Indeed, his career exemplifies in a marked degree what energy, industry and good judgment can accomplish in this favored section of Colorado.
Mr. Bowen is a native of Illinois, where he was born on a farm in 1864. After he grew to manhood, in 1885, he moved to Nebraska, where he engaged in farming. The conditions in that state were not encouraging, and after one year's experience, in 1886, the gentleman came to Colorado. He located in Yuma county on a pre-emption claim, six miles south-east of Wray and engaged in general farming and stock raising. At that time Mr. Bowen was in moderate circumstances, but he had faith in Yuma county and the results achieved amply justified his confident expectations. His industry was rewarded by bountiful crops from the beginning and his farm soon presented evidences of the success that followed his diligent efforts. After a time he purchased 160 acres more, making 320 acres of a ranch. Of late years, the gentleman has been cultivating 270 acres of his deeded land and 160 acres of leased land adjacent. He controls a large area of free range for his stock.
From his cultivated land Mr. Bowen obtains excellent crops of wheat, corn, oats, barley and cane. In 1902, he threshed 1,830 bushels of barley which grew on forty acres, and in 1903 he harvested 1,800 bushels of wheat alone, besides a large yield of corn, barley, oats and cane. His wheat crop has yielded twenty bushels an acre and his corn thirty-five bushels. Indeed, it is probable that there is no other farmer in the county who displays a greater knowledge of correct farming methods that Mr. Bowen does, and we feel assured that there is none who has achieved more pronounced success than he.
The gentleman has made the stock industry equally profitable. On an average he keeps thirty horses, from fifty to 150 cattle and from seventy-five to 100 hogs - at present he has 100 of the latter. He handles a superior class of horses, principally heavy draft and roadsters, and his horses are not only in demand, but command extra prices in the market. His cattle too, are well bred and they get such care that they too, bring top market figures.
Mr. Bowen owns a handsome residence, furnished with every comfort that could be desired. He has good barns, sheds, etc., for grain and stock and his farm is supplied generously with improved agricultural implements of all kinds. Indeed his home and its surroundings give ample evidence of good management as well as prosperity.
In Illinois, in 1885, Mr. Bowen married Miss Anna Shumaker, an estimable lady whose popularity is most pronounced. The happy union was blessed with three children - one son and two daughters. Fraternally, Mr. Bowen is a Maccabee.
Mr. Bowen is one of the most genial of gentlemen, and he is the soul of honor in every relation of life. He has earned a flattering reputation as a kind-hearted neighbor and a useful citizen. He is generous in his impulses, as well as public spirited, and every movement calculated to benefit the community receives his earnest support. Such citizens as Mr. and Mrs. Bowen and family are a credit to any county and they well merit the general regard entertained for them.
C.J. Shumaker who has won a generous measure of prosperity in the southern part of Yuma county, is a native of Ohio, where he was born fifty years ago. When seventeen years of age, he moved to Missouri, where he followed farming pursuits for five years, after which he went to Nebraska. In 1892, however, he came to Colorado and located in that portion of Arapahoe county which is now a part of Yuma county. He engaged in the stock industry and his success has been very gratifying. Although in somewhat moderate circumstances when he arrived in the county, he now owns 320 acres of good land, six horses, seventy-five cattle and a number of mules. On his land he has a comfortable residence, a good barn and necessary sheds for his stock. He has a good well, windmill and watering tank on each 160 acres and his land in enclosed with good wire fences. He cultivates 100 acres of this land, his principal crops being corn, can, millet, etc., with which to feed his stock.
In 1882 Mr. Shumaker married Miss Isabel Hensley, the union being blessed with six children - one son and five daughters. The son is now married and has a farm of his own.
(Photo of Jordan farm)
Among the early settlers, and one who has been a prominent factor in developing the resources of Yuma county, the above gentleman is entitled to generous mention.
Mr. Jordan is a native of Syracuse, N.Y., where he was born forty-six years ago. After his boyhood days he learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner, at which he became an acknowledged expert. In 1880 he moved to Beardstown, Ill., where he lived until 1885, when he came further west and located at Lincoln, Neb. After spending one year in the latter place, however, he came to Colorado and selected Yuma county as his permanent home. He entered pre-emption and tree claims, amounting to 320 acres, five miles south-east of Wray, where he moved with his family. He devoted his well known industry and energy to the improvement of his claims, and as a result of his perseverance he now owns one of the most valuable improved farms in the county. While he endured the hardships incident to the settlement of a new county, he retained an abiding faith in the future of his chosen home, and his faith has been richly rewarded. He cultivates 170 acres, on which he grows excellent crops of wheat, corn, oats, cane and millet, as well as fine vegetables. He owns eight horses and a herd of cattle. On his farm he erected a fine residence, which is furnished with every requisite comfort. His barn, sheds, etc., are ample to supply every requisite convenience for stock and the storage of feed.
While Mr. Jordan was accomplishing all this on his farm, however, he was utilizing his mechanical skill to good advantage. He spent all the time he could spare from farm work engaged at his trade of carpenter. His thorough knowledge of the carpenter business became well known and his services were in great demand, as a result of which he erected many of the best business and residence buildings in Wray, his work giving the utmost satisfaction.
Mr. Jordan is an active Mason and Woodman of the World and is enthusiastic in his advocacy of these fraternal orders. He has been worshipful master of the Wray Masonic lodge three terms and is now second counsel commander of the local camp of Woodmen. And the genial gentleman's qualities as a progressive, useful citizen render him as popular in the community as he is in his fraternal organizations.
In 1877 Mr. Jordan married Miss Emma Fargo, of Liverpool, N.Y., an estimable lady whose musical and other accomplishments have added such a charm to their happy home. They have two interesting children. Mr. and Mrs. Jordan enjoy a wide measure of genuine popularity, of which but few couples can boast. When they celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary about one year ago, a large surprise party visited their home and presented them with an elegant silver table set, as a memento of the esteem in which they are held. And they well merit all the kindly feelings entertained for them in Yuma county.
M.J. Stutheit, who has made life in the southern part of Yuma county a pleasing success, is a native of Nebraska, where he was born in 1877. He came to the eastern part of Arapahoe county, now Yuma in 1892 and filed on a tree claim. Subsequently, when he became of age, he entered a homestead claim, making him the owner of 320 acres of land. He engaged in general farming, wheat and corn being his principal field crops. He has made the growing of vegetables a great success, and has fine crops of strawberries, cherries, plums and apples. He has been successful in growing beets and other root crops, too. He cultivates thirty-five acres, the rest of his ranch being devoted to his stock interests. He has ten horses and a herd of cattle.
In 1900 Mr. Stutheit engaged in the general merchandise business on his ranch where Newton post office is situated, and he has built up a very profitable trade. This, in connection with his ranch, nets the gentleman very satisfactory returns. He has not yet been caught in the matrimonial net, but possibly the girls will improve leap year. Mr. Stutheit is an honorable gentleman and is quite popular among those who know him.
The Creditable Record of a Successful Business Man and an Efficient Official
Perhaps there is not in Yuma county one who is more widely or more favorably known than the gentleman who is the subject of this article. Mr. Pickett came to the county when it was very sparsely settled and when the city of Wray was only a small hamlet. He identified himself with the county from the beginning and proved no small factor in developing the resources of his chosen home in the boundless West. Although in comparatively moderate circumstances, his business ability and good judgment were not utilized exclusively for selfish purposes. He realized that there was a grand future in store for Yuma county, and to his utmost ability he aided in its development. Indeed, the assistance he extended to many of the early settlers, frequently at great inconvenience to himself, laid the foundation for that strong and wide spread friendship entertained for him which neither time nor circumstances can impair. He trod the only royal road to that genuine popularity which ever endures until gratitude ceases to be a virtue.
Mr. Pickett is a native of Rochester, Minn., but when nine years of age, he moved with his parents to Monroe, Green county, Wisconsin, where he obtained his education and spent his boyhood days. He embarked in the livery business in Monroe, which he carried on with marked success for three years. Then he came to Colorado and located in Wray, where he decided to make his future home. From his boyhood he was a great lover of horses and grew up to be an excellent judge of the equine race. When he came here he brought a consignment of fine horses and wagons which were in great demand among the early settlers and for which he found a ready market. Then he entered homestead, pre-emption and tree claims two miles north of Wray. He spent five years on his claims, engaging in the cattle and horse industry, of which he made a signal success. Then he went into the livery business and in that, too, prosperity smiled upon him. At different times he owned three livery barns in Wray and a livery in Holyoke, Phillips county, the volume of business with which he was favored proving very satisfactory. During all these years, however, he was an extensive buyer and shipper of horses and mules, his operations extending as far west as Brush, from which point his shipments numbered as high as 500 horses and mules a year.
Indeed, his operations as an extensive dealer in horses and cattle extended to Denver, Montana, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa, as well as Florida and other southern states, and he is the best known horse dealer in Colorado, as well as one of the most successful. He has made frequent shipments of horses to the South and shipped train loads of Southern cattle here, subsequently disposing of the latter to good advantage in the various markets of the North.
In this county he bought the superfluous stock, or sold settlers needed animals and in all his dealings he was governed by a keen sense of honor and sterling integrity. Frequently his accommodating spirit and leniency to settlers embarrassed himself, but he had so impressed the financial institutions of this and neighboring towns with his integrity of purpose that he had but little if any difficulty in obtaining money, when required, to tide him over the temporary embarrassment incurred by showing extension favors to settlers, who could not meet their obligations to him promptly. To his credit be it said, he never took legal measures to coerce a settler who was faithfully and honestly trying to meet his obligations. In 1903 Mr. Pickett sold the last of his livery interest in the city, but he has not yet entirely forsaken his penchant for buying and shipping horses and mules.
Since he located at Wray, Mr. Pickett has been the recipient of frequent manifestations of public esteem. He was elected constable two terms in succession; city alderman two terms; held the office of deputy sheriff of the county two terms, and was elected justice of the peace against his wishers, for which office he refused to qualify. It may be needless to say that the gentleman discharged his official duties with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of his constituents in every position of public trust.
Mr. Pickett has always been an active, loyal Republican and in this county he has ever been regarded as a zealous and sagacious party leader. He has given freely of his time and money to promote Republican principles, never faltering in his political loyalty even in the darkest days for the party in Colorado. In recognition of this he has always been elected as delegate to the county and state conventions.
While deputy sheriff, Mr. Pickett suppressed much lawlessness and he was the means of sending several thieves to the penitentiary, much to the relief of law-abiding people. Subsequently, when the gentleman was nominated for sheriff, the relatives and friends of those caged criminals opposed him bitterly, but his defeat was chiefly a result of the part he took in the attempt to remove the county seat from Yuma to Wray a few years before. Mr. Pickett was one of the most active leaders in that movement and the voters of the west end of the county displayed their resentment by voting against him almost solidly, regardless of party ties, when he ran for sheriff. But in Wray, Laird and other eastern precincts, he ran ahead of his ticket.
In August, 1891, the gentleman was appointed postmaster at Wray, the duties of which position he has discharged with signal ability and fidelity to the trust reposed in him. The courtesy, prompt service and accommodating spirit which characterize the management of the post office have evoked the warmest general commendation and it is freely conceded that Mr. Pickett is the "best postmaster Wray ever had." His assistants are Mrs. Pickett and Mrs. Letitia Scott, who discharge their duties with pleasing intelligence and charming courtesy. When Mr. Pickett assumed charge of the office the quarterly receipts amounted to about $300 a month, while the money order business averaged about $1,500 a month; now the quarterly receipts are $600, while the money order business exceeds $4,000 per month. The Wray post office was advanced to the presidential grade on January 1, 1904, and, from present indications, it is safe to predict that Mr. Pickett will be his own successor.
Mr. Pickett was one of the chief promoters of the Wray Telephone company, in which he is now one of the largest stockholders. He owned the entire Akron telephone plant until recently, when he consolidated it with the Wray company.
While Mr. Pickett is modest and unassuming in his demeanor, he is one of the most generous and public spirited of gentlemen. In every movement for the moral and material welfare of the city and county he is a most liberal contributor. Our churches, schools and other public utilities have experienced his generous spirit, and he was a prominent factor in contributing to the expense of securing the county seat for Wray and the erection of the new court house. Fraternally the gentleman is an Odd Fellow and a Maccabee. Mr. Pickett owns 360 acres of land near the city in addition to which he owns two residences and lots in Wray; three business lots on the corner of Chief and Kiowa streets and one-half block of desirable lots in another section of the city. At present he is erecting what will be a very attractive brick block on his lots on the corner of Chief and Kiowa streets, which is one of the most desirable business locations in the city. The block will be two stories, 50x62 feet in size, with steel columns and plate glass front, and furnished with all modern improvements. When completed it will be a valuable property and an ornament to the city.
At Monroe, Wis., in 1882, Mr. Pickett married Miss Nellie May Pratt, an estimable lady, who enjoys the genuine regards of all who know her. They have three interesting children, whose future is a promising one. Their son, Marion D., has recently completed his education at Franklin academy, Neb.; their elder daughter, Miss Ella Pearl, a charming young lady of fifteen, is completing her education, and Miss Jessie Merle, their bright young daughter of eight years, is attending the public schools.
Mr. and Mrs. Pickett own one of the most beautiful homes in the city, where, surrounded with every comfort and happiness, they enjoy that general measure of genuine popularity which their admirable qualities as kind neighbors and useful citizens so richly merit.
Note- Since the above was written President Roosevelt appointed Mr. Pickett postmaster at Wray for four years more.
Since last fall until the first of April Yuma county had, practically, neither rain nor snow. The winter weather was most delightful, with continued mild temperature and sunshine, a very few days excepted. The farmers began to feel uneasy about the continued drouth, especially when spring approached. Several copious rain-falls in April, however, converted their apprehensions into a joyous assurance that they will garner an abundant harvest. Doubtless, the crop of 1904 will prove one of the most profitable ever harvested in the county.
The pioneer whose name heads this article is one of the best known gentlemen in the southern portion of the county.
Mr. Kester is a native of Pennsylvania, where he was born forty-six years ago. While he spent his boyhood days on a farm; he received a good education, from which he has derived very substantial benefit. In 1800, the gentleman moved to Nebraska, where he taught school for several years with the most gratifying success. In June 1886, however, he came to Colorado and located in what is now the southern part of Yuma county, twenty-two miles south of Wray, where he entered pre-emption and homestead claims. Subsequently he bought 160 acres more, making 480 acres in all. The gentleman devoted his ranch to general farming and stock raising and his efforts have been crowned with success. He cultivates 125 acres of his ranch, growing fine crops of wheat, corn, oats and cane. For several years he grew broom corn most profitably. In 1902 Mr. Kester harvested 1,000 bushels of corn besides other crops, and as a rule he obtains generous returns from his ranch each year. The gentleman owns a number of good horses and a herd of fine cattle, and his ranch is well supplied with a comfortable home and the necessary outbuildings for farm purposes. During nearly all this time in Yuma county Mr. Kester has been teaching school, in addition to conducting his ranch. As a successful teacher he is well and favorably known, and his services are in demand.
At Benkelman, Neb., on December 15, 1887, Mr. Kester married Miss Lillian A. Pembleton, eldest daughter of Mayor M.L. Pembleton, an estimable Haigler, Neb., lady and the happy union has been blessed with ten children, nine of whom survive. That the gentleman achieved such pronounced success, while raising such a large family of children, is a tribute to the fertility of Yuma county soil, as well as to his persevering industry and good judgment.
Mr. Kester is exceedingly popular because of his pronounced qualities as an excellent neighbor and good citizen.
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