Transcribed by Lee Zion <email@example.com>, October 2001.
The Interesting Career of a Successful Physician and an Enterprising Pioneer
(Photo - Dr. E.J. Bales)
Among the early pioneers whose usefulness and genial qualities obtained speedy and wide recognition in Yuma county, the subject of this brief article is well entitled to a position of honor. Not only as the first physician in Wray, ever ready to respond to the calls of his profession with consummate skill and kindly sympathy, did Dr. Bales win the sincere esteem of the people of this section of Colorado, but, as a progressive citizen he took that deep interest in the welfare of the settlers and the advancement of the country which inspired for him a warm personal friendship.
Dr. Bales is a native of Zenia, Ohio, where he was born on a farm fifty-four years ago. For the generous education he acquired, the gentleman is largely indebted to his own persevering energy and laudable ambition, his early desires being concentrated on the medical profession. In his young manhood he taught school to earn the money with which to attend college, and he graduated with honors at Cincinnati in 1876. In 1877 he located in New Mexico and practiced his profession, at the same time engaging in the mining and cattle industries, which he conducted most profitably. Subsequently he sold his interests in New Mexico and moved to Mayville, Mo. After eighteen months, in 1885, he moved from there to Wray, where he has practiced his profession since that time.
The county was settled very sparsely, but as Dr. Bales' medical skill in his profession became known, his practice grew until it extended over a vast area of country and frequently taxed his physical strength and energy to the utmost. In 1886 he established the first drug store in Wray, which he conducted most successfully for three years, when he sold it owing to his increased medical practice.
The gentleman's worth as a useful citizen and his commanding position as a successful physician have received frequent recognition. He was elected coroner of the county two terms, has been pension examiner for many years and examiner for the old line life insurance companies. He has taken a deep interest in educational matters, having served as school director for many years.
As a result of the faith he entertained in the future of his chosen home, he owns a ranch of 640 acres of choice land a few miles southwest of Wray. He owns also a block of property on which he erected a beautiful home, situated in the most desirable part of the residence portion of the city of Wray, where he and his accomplished wife dispense the most generous hospitality to their host of friends throughout the county. Fraternally the gentleman is a Mason, being a member of the Royal Arch Chapter, as well of the Commandery, and he was a charter member of the local hive of Maccabees.
Politically, Dr. Bales has always been a zealous and devoted Republican, who has given generously of his time and means in advocacy of his party principles. In his party's darkest days in Colorado he remained staunch and true, and he has always been recognized as a shrewd and successful political leader.
In 1899 the gentleman married Miss Anna Oxley, an estimable lady of this county, and two interesting children have blessed the happy union.
Modest and unassuming in his demeanor, Dr. Bales' kind disposition and other pronounced qualities of mind and heart, have bestowed upon him a popularity which is the good fortune of but few men to attain.
Alexander Haldon is a native of Forfarshire, Scotland, and, like nearly all the canny Scots, he was the recipient of a liberal education. When a lad he spent six months on the ocean, making trips to Russia and coasting, after which he learned the tinsmith, gas fitting and coppersmith trades. Subsequently he engaged in business for himself at Brechin, Scotland, but after eight years he sold out and came to America. In 1863 he landed at Montreal, Canada, and there he remained eighteen months, after which he went to Chicago. After three years he engaged in business at Chenoa, Ill., in which he continued for fifteen years. Then he came to Yuma when the town was laid out and he has been one of its most honorable and progressive citizens ever since. He carries a large stock of hardware, tin ware, stoves, etc., and owns the fine building in which he does business, as well as other town property. Mr. Haldon is an intelligent, genial gentleman, whose reputation for integrity is firmly established. He minds his own business strictly, and is prospering greatly. The gentleman is highly esteemed by all who know him.
(Photo - W.D. McGinnis)
Among the young men whose ability, energy and progressive qualities have won well merited recognition in Yuma county, W.D. McGinnis, the efficient county clerk, occupies a front rank.
The gentleman, who is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. D.B. McGinnis, of Wray, is a native of Iowa, where he was born on September 26, 1869. Although raised on a farm, he received a liberal education, which he finished at Creston, in that state. In 1886 he accompanied his parents to Nebraska, where they remained two years and then moved to Colorado, locating in Yuma county. After spending a few years on the range, Mr. McGinnis obtained a homestead of 160 acres eight and one-half miles southeast of Wray, where he engaged in the cattle business. The energy and untiring industry with which he devoted his entire attention to this business were rewarded with a generous measure of success. In 1899, after six prosperous years, he sold his remaining cattle, rented his ranch and went into the livery business in Wray. In the campaign of 1901 he accepted the nomination for the office of county clerk on the Populist ticket, and went into the contest with his well known energy and determination. The prospect of success was not cheering, but after making a vigorous campaign, Mr. McGinnis' personal popularity won the day, and he was elected by two of a plurality in the three cornered battle. He and Miss Cunningham, the candidate for county superintendent of schools, were the only two Populist candidates who emerged triumphant from the avalanche of Republican ballots. After the election Mr. McGinnis sold his livery business preparatory to assuming his official duties on January 1, 1902. During the past two years the gentleman has made an enviable official record. He has applied to his duties as county clerk that energy, fidelity and integrity of purpose which marked his entire business career, while the ability he displays in discharging the trust imposed in him evokes general commendation. Those who visit his office on business are treated with the most genial courtesy, and it would be hard to find an official who has more thoroughly ingratiated himself into public favor than he. While Mr. McGinnis has always been consistent and honest in his political opinions, as he understood them, he has never been a bitter political partisan. Like many thousands of others who became Populists from honest convictions, he became weary of the vagaries and inconsistencies of the Populist leaders, and allied himself with the Republican party, on whose principles the prosperity of the nation and the welfare of the people seem to be founded. However, the gentleman displays no political bias in discharging his official duties faithfully and well, as a result of which he is exceedingly popular with all classes and conditions of our citizens, regardless of party ties.
In 1902 Mr. McGinnis sold his ranch but he owns valuable property in the city of Wray. His residence, which is situated in the western part of the town, is fitted out with the modern comforts and conveniences while the spacious lawn, shade and ornamental trees, shrubbery and floral beauty surrounding it, indicate the refining influences that permeate the pretty home. In addition to this, he owns two valuable business lots and five desirable residence lots in the city.
In September, 1893, Mr. McGinnis married Miss Alena May Shumaker, one of the accomplished daughters of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Shumaker, the happy union resulting in four interesting children, three of whom survive - two sons and a daughter.
The popularity of Mr. McGinnis is not confined to his official life, because his admirable qualities as a kind neighbor and an enterprising, useful citizen receives general recognition. He has an abiding faith in the future of Wray and Yuma county, and every movement calculated to enhance their moral or material welfare receives his generous support. He and his estimable wife well merit the general esteem in which they are held in the community.
That the same possibilities of success are presented in the western part of Yuma county as are found in the middle and southern portions, is illustrated by the experience of John Cochrane.
Mr. Cochrane is a native of England, where he was born in August, 1872. When nine years of age he came to the United States with his parents and they settled in Illinois, where his father engaged in the coal mining business. When fifteen years of age the lad and his parents came to Colorado and located in Yuma county, where they commenced farming and stock raising six miles southeast of the town of Yuma. When the subject of this brief sketch had attained manhood he homesteaded 160 acres of land adjoining his father's farm and commenced operations on his own account. He prospered from the beginning and since then he purchased 320 acres additional land near his homestead, making his holdings 480 acres in all. Some people were under the impression that the western part of the county was not adapted for general farming, but the experience of Mr. Cochrane and many others proves the contrary. Mr. Cochrane cultivates eighty acres and he grows fine crops of wheat, corn, cane and vegetables. His corn has yielded as high as thirty-two bushels per acre and his other crops have made an equally good showing. While the young man owns a number of horses and a growing herd of cattle, he is comparatively a new beginner. With his energy, industry and good judgment, coupled with his laudable ambition, the day is not far distant when he will be one of the most important ranchmen in the county, vying with any in solid prosperity. While the gentleman is still a bachelor, it may be possible that leap year will encourage some enterprising lady to grasp a desirable husband and a comfortable home. Mr. Cochrane is an honorable gentleman and a good citizen who enjoys a wide measure of popularity.
Perhaps one of the most pleasing illustrations of what can be achieved on a Yuma county farm is presented in the career of John G. Gerber, a prosperous farmer near Idalia.
Mr. Gerber is a native of Switzerland, where he was born in 1862. He came to the United States in 1885 and located near Leavenworth, Kansas, where he engaged in farming on rented land. In 1890 he abandoned farming in Kansas and started on a tour of the Northwest, with a view of finding some place in which to make a permanent home. He spent some time investigating Manitoba, across the Canadian line, Washington, Oregon and Montana after which he came to Colorado in May 1892, and settled on a homestead a few miles north of Idalia, in that portion of Arapahoe county that is now a part of Yuma. At that time the gentleman was in very moderate circumstances, and after he had finished settling on his claim he did not have a dollar left. He had plenty of courage however, fortified by a spirit of untiring industry, and he persevered in his laudable ambition to own a home of his own. He raised good crops and prospered, notwithstanding the two years of drouth, until 1896, by which time he had accumulated considerable property. In that year, however he was overwhelmed with dire misfortunes which swept away everything he owned and left him penniless. Undismayed by this disaster, Mr. Gerber again commenced the battle of life with undiminished courage, and from that time kind fortune has smiled upon him. Now he owns 800 acres of magnificent land in one block about four miles north of Idalia, on which he has a handsome residence, good barns and ample shed room for his stock. He owns fourteen horses, fifty cattle and a large herd of hogs, and he is generously supplied with the latest improved farming implements.
Mr. Gerber has well earned the reputation of being one of the best and most successful farmers in Colorado. As an indication of what he does on this farm, he has harvested 2,300 bushels of wheat, 1,500 bushels of corn and 500 bushels of oats in one season, besides good crops of cane and vegetables. He has grown potatoes which weighed two pounds each and harvested 150 bushels an acre.
This is the property Mr. Gerber has accumulated in eight years of energetic industry on a Yuma county farm, and the gentleman is in easy financial circumstances. How long do you suppose it would take a framer in the East to commence with no capital in either money or property and accomplish as much? He could hardly do it in a lifetime.
In 1884, Mr. Gerber married Miss Elizabeth Kammermann, an estimable Swiss lady who accompanied him to America and has been such signal assistance to him in achieving such creditable results. They have seven children.
Mr. Gerber has been a member of the school board for several terms and he takes a generous interest in every public movement for the benefit of his community and the county. He is an honorable gentleman who stands high in public estimation.
(Photo - Residence of Howard Klugh)
Among those who have taken a deep interest in the progress and prosperity of Wray and Yuma county, few, if any, contributed more freely of their time energy and means in aid of these objects than the gentleman whose name heads this article. In securing the county seat for Wray, especially, the gentleman's wonderful activity and shrewdness, coupled with his generous spirit, were most potent instruments in accomplishing the result desired.
Mr. Klugh is a native of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, where he was born thirty-nine years ago. He received a liberal education and after his boyhood days he devoted his attention to mercantile pursuits, in which he displayed pronounced ability. In 1886 he came to Colorado and located in Wray, then an insignificant hamlet. He obtained a position in a general store, but after three years resigned and purchased the drug store on Chief street now conducted by Mr. Shumaker. His genial disposition and honorable business qualities made his new venture a success from the beginning. He not only retained the established trade of his predecessors, but increased it steadily and he soon enjoyed a very large and lucrative business. After nearly ten years of unvarying success, he sold his drug store to Mr. Shumaker on July 18, 1899, and since then he has devoted his attentions to dealing in real estate and loaning money. The gentleman owns extensive property interests in the city and county, and to every movement calculated to enhance the moral or material interests of the community he contributes generously of his time and means. His qualities as an honorable business man and useful citizen have received public recognition on several occasions, by his election to membership in the city council, and his popularity is most pronounced. He is a member of the Masonic order and senior warden of the Wray lodge.
On October 27, 1889, Mr. Klugh married Miss Viola Shumaker, an accomplished daughter of Mr. J.H. Shumaker, one of the leading farmers of the county, and the estimable couple own one of the most beautiful homes in Wray.
Among the enterprising livery firms of the city of Wray, that of R.F. Aten merits special mention. His barn which is situated on Chief St., in the business heart of the city, is 34x90 in size and it is well stocked with a superior class of horses and fine vehicles of all kinds. Indeed, in this respect it occupies a most creditable position, and, if you state for what kind of a drive you want a team or single conveyance, you will be furnished a rig that will give you satisfaction, and at reasonable figures, too. He keeps horses which are so gentle that a lady can drive them with perfect safety, and others which display high spirit and going qualities that would delight any lover of good stock. Mr. Aten has thirteen fine horses and an ample supply of stylish conveyances, furnishing careful and reliable drivers when necessary to do so.
Mr. Aten is a native of Illinois, where he was born on a farm fourteen miles from the town of McComb, about thirty-five years ago. After his school boy days he followed farming operations in his native county until eight years ago, when he came to Colorado and located in Kit Carson county. There he homesteaded 160 acres of choice land and engaged in the stock industry. His means were somewhat limited, but he gave his new business his careful and diligent attention and his efforts were crowned with the most generous success. Last spring he sold his farm and stock in Kit Carson county and moved to Yuma county, where he engaged in the livery business in Wray. In his new business the gentleman is meeting with a fair measure of success and the future is very promising.
Mr. Aten is a courteous genial gentleman, who treats his patrons in such a manner as to win their good will and his business is making satisfactory progress. He is recognized as a public-spirited, generous-hearted gentleman, who displays much interest in the progress and prosperity of Wray and Yuma county. Note his advertisement in this issue of the Gazette, and give him a share of your patronage.
B. Metts, one of the prominent and progressive farmers of the western part of Yuma county, is a native of Maryland, where he was born on a farm near Cumberland in 1844. In October, 1861, when only seventeen years of age, he enlisted in the Third Maryland regiment of infantry, in which he rendered gallant service until September, 1862, when he was mustered out of the service owing to sickness. While in the army he took part in some of the most important battles of the war. When he regained his health he followed farming and other pursuits until 1882, when he moved to Nebraska. After two years he went east and located in Pennsylvania, where he remained until 1886, when he returned to Nebraska. Subsequently he came to Colorado and settled on a homestead sixteen miles northeast of the village of Yuma, where he engaged in farming and the cattle business. Subsequently Mr. Meets spent a few years in the irrigated section of Colorado, near Boulder, but after a fair trial he found that he could make more money in Yuma county under natural conditions than he could near Boulder with the aid of irrigation, and he returned here. Since then the gentleman has been enjoying a generous measure of prosperity and he is recognized as one of the most progressive of Yuma county farmers. He cultivates about 250 acres of his ranch, and grows fine crops of wheat, corn, cane, millet and vegetables. Like that of many others, the experience of Mr. Metts demonstrates that wheat and other cereals, as well as cattle, can be made a source of much wealth in the western part of the county. Mr. Metts is a pleasant, industrious gentleman who merits the prosperity that is smiling upon him.
(2 Photos - Front view of the C.T. Grant Saloon. Interior view of the C.T. Grant Saloon.)
One of the most attractive and orderly resorts for gentlemen in Eastern Colorado is the saloon conducted on Chief street, Wray, by C.T. Grant. The building is an elegant brick structure 25x60 feet in size, and fitted with every modern convenience. The interior is furnished most attractively, the bar especially being decorated with rich and artistic furnishings of modern design. In the vestibule are several potted palms and other natural decorations situated near the windows, which give a very inviting view from the outside. There are an elegance and attractiveness about the place which are most pleasing and especial care is taken to maintain good order, neatness and cleanliness. The average man knows a good thing when he sees it, and this fact, in connection with the superior quality of the goods he sells is the secret of the pronounced success which Mr. Grant has achieved.
The bar is supplied with only the purest domestic and imported wines and liquors and the best brands of cigars. So, if you have a headache next morning, the chances are you did not bargain for it at Mr. Grant's resort. Of course, too much of a good thing is sometimes quite as bad for a man as a small quantity of a bad thing, but every gentleman ought to use discretion and judgment in partaking of even the good things in life, and inebriety is not encouraged at this popular place.
Mr. Grant is a native of Missouri, where he spent his boyhood days and followed farming pursuits until 1892, when he moved to Colorado and located at Wray. He opened a grocery and gents' furnishings store which he conducted several years and subsequently engaged in the saloon business, in which he has been very successful owing to his pleasing personality and careful attention to the requirements of his trade. In addition to the fine brick building in which he conducts his business, he erected the large two-story Smith Hotel and owns considerable other property in the city. Mr. Grant is a good, progressive citizen, as well as a pleasant genial gentleman, and to every movement calculated to promote the prosperity of Wray and Yuma county, he contributes most generously of both time and money. Note his advertisement on another page of today's Gazette.
One of the most prosperous and progressive ranches in Yuma county is that owned by J.J. Bond, twenty-three miles south of Wray. Indeed there are few cattlemen who display such an enterprising spirit in making their ranches up-to-date in all improvements calculated to please the eye and bring increased prosperity.
Mr. Bond is a native of Staffordshire, England, where he was born forty-eight years ago. In 1876, after he had attained his majority, he came to the United States and located in Philadelphia, where he engaged in business for eight years, with gratifying success. During his stay in the Quaker City, he purchased 160 acres of land in Yuma county, Colorado, which comprises a portion of his present extensive ranch. In 1884 he moved to Nebraska, but after two years in that state he came to Colorado and located in Denver, where he conducted a hotel and other business pursuits most successfully for fourteen years, in the meantime adding to the acreage of his Yuma county ranch from time to time, as the opportunity presented. In 1890 Mr. Bond moved to Wray and engaged in business, but sold out in 1892 in order to devote his entire attention to his ranch industry.
The gentleman owns 800 acres of choice land in one block and has control of 1,000 acres of leased grazing range immediately adjoining, all being enclosed by an excellent wire fence and suitably subdivided by cross fences. He cultivates 160 acres of his ranch, on which he grows large quantities of corn, cane, millet and other feed for his stock, in addition to which he harvests a great store of native hay for the same purpose. At present he owns nearly two hundred cattle and fifteen horses.
It is seldom a ranch is supplied with such an attractive residence and fine barns and other conveniences as can be found here. The residence is a handsome building of seven rooms, elegantly fitted with all modern comforts and conveniences, including plumbing for water, which is supplied by an elevated tank having a capacity of 125 barrels. An inexhaustible well of absolutely pure water supplies this tank by windmill power, and it is connected with drinking tanks for cattle, situated in the yards. From this elevated tank the spacious stone milk house is also supplied with an abundance of water, arranged with a view to convenience in handling the dairy products. In addition to a generous supply of sheds, corrals and other comforts for stock, Mr. Bond is now erecting what is destined to be the most substantial and valuable barn in Eastern Colorado. The dimensions are 34x54 feet, with stone walls two feet thick extending fourteen feet high on the sides and twenty-eight feet to the gable ends. Pipes extending from the elevated tank will supply the barn with water as required. Indeed, with the valuable improvements made by Mr. Bond, he owns one of the most desirable cattle ranches in the section of Colorado, from which he obtains generous financial returns.
In 1892, at Denver, Mr. Bond married Mrs. E.M. Mason, who is now manager of a valuable rooming house the couple own on Curtis street in that city.
In addition to his ranch in this county, Mr. Bond owns two valuable lots in the city of Wray. Mr. Bond is a genial, whole-souled gentleman who takes a generous interest in every movement calculated to promote the city and county, and he is held in the most cordial and general esteem in the community.
Among the energetic and progressive business men of Yuma county the above gentleman occupies a prominent position, and his general merchandise store in Wray has won a most pronounced measure of popularity.
Mr. Fisk is a native of Iowa, where he was born thirty-five years ago. During his infancy his parents moved to Washington county, Kansas, where the subject of this brief sketch grew to manhood on a farm. In 1886 the family moved to Colorado and located in Yuma county, where they continued farming operations. When twenty-two years of age Mr. Fisk engaged in mercantile pursuits for several years after which he resumed farming in Dundy county, Nebraska, for three years. Subsequently the gentleman came to Wray and established a meat market on Pawnee street, which he conducted most successfully for two years. On August 1, 1902, he bought the general merchandise business of Harger & Harger, in which he is now engaged. He keeps a large and complete stock of dry goods, groceries, clothing, shoes, etc., and he is making gratifying progress. Of a genial disposition, the gentleman has established a flattering reputation for business integrity and this, in connection with the excellent values he offers in all kinds of merchandise, is one of the secrets of his large and growing trade. He is recognized also as one of our most public spirited citizens, and every movement calculated to enhance the material and moral welfare of Wray and Yuma county receives his generous support. The gentleman is an honored member of the Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen fraternal organizations.
In 1898 Mr. Fisk married Miss Lena Drummond, the accomplished daughter of Mr. James Drummond, a wealthy Nebraska farmer who lives near the Yuma county line, and they have an interesting family of four children, two boys and two girls. The estimable couple well merits the general esteem in which they are held in the community, of which they are such worthy members.
(Photo - Residence of B.D. Prentice)
A most pleasing illustration of what an energetic and industrious pursuit of the cattle industry can accomplish in Yuma county, can be found in the career of Burton D. Prentice, one of our progressive ranchmen. He came to this county eighteen years ago in moderate circumstances and today is regarded as one of the most substantial ranchmen in Eastern Colorado, surrounded by every desirable comfort and the owner of a handsome competence, the results of his own intelligent management and untiring industry.
Mr. Prentice is a native of Ohio, where he was born in 1860. When twenty-three years of age he decided to "pitch his tent" in the West, where his laudable ambition would find room to expand. First he located in Kansas, but after a short time, in 1886, he came to Colorado with a team of horses and a small herd of calves, selecting Yuma county as his permanent home. He secured a homestead, pre-emption and timber claim - 480 acres in all - three and one-half miles northeast of Wray and there he engaged earnestly in the battle of life. From the beginning the gentleman bestowed upon his cattle business that intelligent management, close attention and untiring industry for which he is now noted and prosperity smiled upon his efforts. In 1892 he bought 200 acres of land in the valley of the Republican river, seven miles east of Wray and immediately adjoining the village of Laird, on which he moved his family. He utilized the rich soil of which this tract of land is composed to the best advantage, and he has converted it into an exceedingly valuable ranch. He cultivates 120 acres, all under irrigation, devoted principally to alfalfa, of which he harvests four crops each season. His extensive sheds, corrals and stock yards are models of neatness and convenience. The yards extend into the bed of the Republican river which flows through his land and in close proximity to his home, and the entire arrangements facilitate the easy care and handling of stock. The residence is a handsome two-story structure, beautifully situated and provided with every comfort requisite for a delightful home.
Almost a year ago, Mr. Prentice purchased an additional 160 acres of choice land three miles south of Laird. All of this is under cultivation and upon it he grew excellent crops of wheat and corn last season.
On an average the gentleman keeps 600 cattle, twenty horses and 200 hogs, although he has grown as many as 700 of the latter some seasons. His cattle are exceptionally well bred, Shorthorns and Herefords predominating. On his home ranch he keeps his calves and 120 cattle he is preparing for market. The latter are fine animals, two years old, which would average 1,300 pounds in weight at the present time, but they will continue to feast on corn and alfalfa for a few weeks more before being shipped to market. The hogs, too, are large fat animals.
Mr. Prentice uses his original 480 acres strictly for pasture, and his cattle have not only plenty to eat, but are furnished with protection from excessive cold weather.
One year ago Mr. Prentice encountered a serious loss by fire. A new barn 140 feet long, his sheds, corrals and 330 tons of hay were entirely consumed. The fire is supposed to have been caused by a spark from his residence chimney igniting a hay stack. He was insured for $1,850, but, unfortunately his policy was issued by one of the mutual frauds, as a result of which he has not been paid a dollar of his loss yet and probably never will be. While the loss was a heavy one, the enterprising gentleman was not dismayed, but immediately commenced to replace the destroyed property with new buildings, which have arisen to replace the old.
In 1882, shortly before he came to the West, Mr. Prentice married Miss Ideliah Knight, a charming and accomplished Ohio lady, whose sunny disposition has brightened his home, while her industrious spirit has materially aided him in his successful career. They commenced their new career in the West together, they endured trials and overcame obstacles cheered by each other, and now surrounded by the comforts and luxuries of life, they are enjoying the well merited rewards of honorable endeavor and untiring industry. They have an interesting family of nine children.
It is not alone as a successful ranchman that Mr. Prentice commands wide recognition is Yuma county. He is known and respected as a kind neighbor, as well as an honorable, progressive citizen, and he and his estimable wife and family enjoy the cordial esteem of the community. Fraternally, the gentleman is a member of the local camp of the Woodmen of the World.
(Photo - Residence of Jacob Cox)
Eastern home-seekers in the West ought to find food for earnest thought in the great prosperity achieved by Jacob Cox in Yuma county.
Mr. Cox is a native of Ohio, where he was born in 1842. When nine years of age he accompanied his parents to Illinois, where he spent the balance of his boyhood days on a farm. In 1862 he enlisted in the Ninety-ninth Illinois infantry, which was assigned to the western army for service. Mr. Cox and his regiment took a gallant part in the Vicksburg campaign and the capture of that Confederate stronghold. In 1863, however, the young patriot was incapacitated for service by reason of sickness incurred in the army and he was mustered out of the service. He returned to Illinois, where he remained until 1877, when he moved to Nebraska. In 1886 he came to Arapahoe county, now Yuma, filing on pre-emption and timber claims seven miles south of Wray, and engaged in farming. Owing to his energy and industry, combined with his through knowledge of farming pursuits, he prospered from the beginning, and ere long he bought 1,000 acres more of land, making his real estate holdings in the county more than 1,300 acres. He cultivates over 600 acres, on which he grows wheat, corn, barley, oats, rye, flax and vegetables. Like the rest of Yuma county, the soil on Mr. Cox's ranch is very productive and he has harvested as high as 6,000 bushels of wheat, alone, in one year, in addition to thousands of bushels of corn and other crops. He has had wonderful success in growing vegetables, and one of his many exhibits at the county fair a few years ago was a squash that weighed 120 pounds. He made the stock business, in a small way, a success also, and he owns now sixty-five cattle and thirty-five horses. He has a good residence and requisite buildings of all kinds on his ranch which presents every appearance of prosperity.
Recently Mr. Cox decided to enjoy some well-merited relaxation from the exacting activities of ranch life, and he moved to Wray, where he owns a cozy home and twelve valuable city lots. He leased his ranch and from it derives a handsome revenue.
In 1864 Mr. Cox married Miss Elvira Hickerson, an estimable Illinois lady, and they have had sixteen children, nine of whom survive.
Mr. Cox is blessed with a sunny disposition and he is an exceedingly companionable gentleman. He is recognized as one of the most progressive and prosperous farms in the county, as well as one of the most honorable, and he and his interesting wife and family enjoy general esteem.
Among the enterprising and progressive merchants of the county, the above firm merits generous mention.
The firm, which is composed of N.J. Payne, W.B. Payne and Henry Vogel was established in January, 1902 and its place of business was established at Idalia in the southern part of the county. The active management of the business is in charge of N.J. and W.B. Payne as Mr. Vogel has other extensive business interests requiring his personal attention.
N.J. Payne, who is twenty-four years of age, is a native of Kansas where he received a liberal education. He spent eight years in a railway office at Topeka where he acquired a thorough knowledge of correct business principles. His brother, W.B. Payne, who is twenty years of age, is a native of Colorado and he too is enjoying the benefits of a generous education and good business training. They are both affable young gentlemen who have won already a flattering reputation for integrity of purpose and honorable dealings. In conducting their business they are guided by the golden rule and they will accord a child just as honorable and generous treatment as could be obtained by one of mature years. They keep a large and well assorted stock of dry goods, groceries, clothing, shoes, notions gents' furnishings, provisions and, in fact, everything usually found in a general store. They own their own store building and pay cash for their goods, thereby obtaining the most favorable terms, with the usual discounts for cash, as a result of which they are able to sell goods at very low prices. This, in conjunction with their courtesy to customers, is one of the chief secrets of their marked success and explains how they secured such a large and profitable trade in such a comparatively short time.
Mrs. Vogel, the bright and accomplished mother of these two young men, has charge of the Idalia post office, which is situated in the store and admirably managed. It receives daily mail from Wray and all outside points, and is the distributing point for Lansing and other country postoffices in the southern part of the county.
Payne Bros. & Vogel buy butter, eggs and produce and as a business factor in the progress of that part of Yuma County they merit generous consideration. The indications are that there is a brilliant and most successful future before them.
In another article in this edition we discuss the busy and prosperous career of Mr. Vogel, the third member of the firm.
(Photo - Elijah Bohrer)
Elijah Bohrer, who owns a fine ranch a few miles north of Idalia, presents another illustration of what can be accomplished on the fertile prairies of Yuma county.
Mr. Bohrer is a native of West Virginia, where he was born on a farm in 1836. He pursued farming operations for many years in that state, but the conditions were not satisfactory, and in the autumn of 1886 he came to Colorado and filed on homestead, pre-emption and tree claims five miles from Idalia, in what is now Yuma county. At that time he was in very moderate circumstances, and the expense of moving and settling on his homestead left him almost penniless. However, with a courage and industry that well merited the success he achieved, the gentleman vigorously applied himself to the work of improving his claims. He engaged in general farming, devoting part of his attention to cattle and horses in a small way, and he prospered gradually, but surely from the beginning. At first he grew corn, millet, cane and flax, subsequently extending his operations to embrace wheat and rye, which he found very profitable. While the gentleman grows abundant crops every year, as a rule, in a favorable season he has harvested as high as 2,000 bushels of wheat alone, with the yield from other crops in proportion.
He owns 480 acres of as fertile land as could be found in Eastern Colorado, with a comfortable residence, good barns, sheds, etc., and he is liberally supplied with agricultural implements of all kinds. In addition to his deeded land he has 640 acres of leased school land, all being under a good wire fence.
He owns twenty-five horses and a herd of twenty cattle, many of the latter being milch cows. The horses, which are well bred, are of a superior quality, and it is very seldom a herd of such fine animals can be found on a ranch. Mr. Bohrer never fails to obtain exceptionally high prices for his horses.
Naturally, after accomplishing the above results, the gentleman is well pleased with Yuma county and could not be induced to change his residence. He realizes that a man can make much more money on the same amount of capital, and easier, than he could in the East under the most favorable conditions.
Although in the evening of life, Mr. Bohrer looks much younger than he is, and he displays as much vigor and activity as many men do at fifty. He is an intelligent, broad-minded gentleman and a splendid citizen who takes a deep interest in everything calculated to benefit the country. The gentleman is highly esteemed because of his many estimable traits of character.
Previous Part | Index | Next Part