Wilbur Fiske Stone.

History of Colorado; (Volume 4) online

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tical experience concerning the best metliods of tilling the soil and caring for the
crops. Later he purchased about two hundred and eighty acres of land, which he
continued to cultivate and improve until his death, which occurred on the 8th of
November, 1897.

It was on the 27th of October, 1881, in Golden, Colorado, that Mr. Brewer was united
in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Belgen, a daughter of Solomon and Mary Ann (Clark)
Belgen. Mrs. Brewer was born in England and came to Colorado with her parents,
being reared and educated in this state. To Mr. and Mrs. Brewer were born the fol-
lowing named. Halvin, the eldest of the family, married Margaret J. Waterhouse and
has one child, Margaret J. Linus is the second of the family. Ted married Ethel
Hedensbury and has two children. Nora and James. Earl is with the United States
army in France. Frank has also responded to the call of the colors and is with the
United States troops. Fannie is at home. Elizabeth is the wife of George Johnson.
Elma Ora gave her hand in marriage to William Heebner, who is mentioned on an-
other page of this work. Three children have passed away.

Mr. Brewer filled the office of school director and was a stalwart champion not only
of the cause of education but of every plan and measure for the welfare and benefit
of his community. His religious faith was that of the Congregational church and he
lived an upright, honorable life that commended him to the confidence, high regard
and goodwill of all with whom he was associated. His widow still occupies the old
homestead farm, which she received at her husband's death, and in its management
and control she has displayed excellent business ability. Her social qualities, too,
have won her many friends in the community in which she makes her home.


J. B. Cornell, who is identified with the farming and stock-raising Interests of
Jefferson county, was born in Michigan on the 10th of October, 1866. a son of Hannah
and Thomas ( Pelton ) Cornell. The father was born in Pennsylvania, while the
mother's birth occurred in Ohio. In the '40s he removed to Michigan, where his re-
maining days were passed, and in that state the mother is still living. They had a
family of five children, all of whom survive.

The youthful days of J. B. Cornell were passed in his native state, his time being
divided between the acquirement of a public school education, the pleasures of the
playground and such duties as were assigned him by parental authority. He came
to Colorado in 1903 and subsequently took up his abode upon the ranch on which he
now makes his home, comprising fourteen hundred and eighty acres of land, of which
one hundred acres is under ditch. He successfully conducts a dairy business, keeping
about thirty head of high grade Holstein cows. Everything about his dairy is con-
ducted in a most sanitary and scientific manner and he closely studies the value of
every animal as determined by the amount of butter fat that the milk produces. He


is a member of the Milk Association and is a progressive business man, standing for
advancement and Improvement at all times.

In 1908 Mr. Cornell was united in marriage to Miss Grace Gray, who was born
In Georgetown, Colorado, a daughter of William S. and Mary E. (Shock) Gray. Her
father was a native of Kentucky, while her mother's birth occurred in Ohio. They
came to Colorado in 1866, when the work of progress and improvement seemed scarcely
begun In this state, and located at Georgetown. For a considerable period they were
actively identified with the pioneer development of Colorado. The father, however,
passed away in San Francisco, California, but the mother survives and Is now living
in Denver. To Mr. and Mrs. Cornell were born three children, Josephine M., Aaron
G. and Elinor Loretta.

Mr and Mrs. Cornell attend the Presbyterian church. They are people of genuine
worth, highly esteemed by a large circle of warm friends, and the hospitality of the
best homes of this locality is cordially extended them. Mr. Cornell votes witli the
republican party and does not lightly regard the duties of citizenship but has never
been an office seeker. Energy and ambition — his dominant characteristics — are lead-
ing him steadily forward along business lines and he is now one of the well known
farmers and stockmen of Jefferson county.


One of Denver's best known and most substantial business establishments, and
the oldest in point of years in continuous existence, is the Babcock Brothers Hat &
Fur Company, owned jointly by the three Babcock brothers, who bought out a small
store in the city on the 1st of May, 1888, and who have developed the enterprise to
one of extensive and profitable proportions. In fact they are now the leaders in their
line in Denver.

Charles W. Babcock, a member of the firm, was born in Monmouth, Illinois, on
the 29th of February, 1856, his parents being John and Lorinda F. Babcock. both of
whom were natives of Wales, Massachusetts. They removed to Illinois as early as
1840 and took up their abode in Monmouth, that state. In 1872 John Babcock came
west to Denver and three years later was here joined by his family. His last days
were spent in honorable retirement from business, his demise occurring in 1900, when
he had reached the age of seventy-five years, while his wife died In Denver in 1915.
at the age of seventy-nine years. They had gained an extensive and favorable acquaint-
ance during the long period of their residence in this city and their loss was sincerely
mourned. They were the parents of five children. F. E. Babcock. the eldest of the
sons and one of the partners in the Babcock Brothers Hat & Fur Company, was one
of Denver's volunteer firemen in the early days and many times faced danger and
death in the performance of his duty. On one occasion the walls of a building which
was ablaze gave way and buried several of the brave fire fighters, two of whom were dead
when carried out of the ruins. Mr. Babcock, however, was rescued alive and spared
for future deeds of heroism in similar danger. His brothers and sisters are as fol,-
lows: John, who is associated with his brothers, F. B. and C. W., in the hat and fur
business; Mrs. Maxey Tabor, a resident of Denver; Mrs. H. M. Graves, who makes her
home in San Francisco, California; and Charles W., of this review.

The last named attended Monmouth College in his native city and after putting
aside his textbooks came to Denver. At the end of a year spent in this city he made
his way to Leadville, Colorado, where he turned his attention to mining. Meeting
with indifferent success, however, he abandoned his activities in that direction in
1879, embarked in business as a dealer in men's hats and conducted a profitable enter-
prise of that character until 1889. In the latter year he disposed of his interests In
Leadville and returned to Denver, where he purchased the hat and fur store of Owens
& Webber, who had established the business in 1873. The undertaking has been carried
on continuously during the intervening period of forty-five years and is the oldest
establishment in the state dealing in men's hats and furs. Babcock Brothers have
conducted the business most successfully for twenty-nine years and for twenty-seven
years have occupied the same quarters. They carry a complete line of Knox and Stet-
son hats and also the finest furs on the market, and they enjoy a steadily increasing
and enviable patronage. The brothers are men of excellent business ability, enter-
prising, progressive and alert, and have long been accorded recognition among the
highly esteemed and representative citizens of Colorado.

In politics Charles W. Babcock is independent, supporting men and measures


rather than party. His religious faith is that of the Baptist church. He belongs to
the Denver Club and the Denver Athletic Club and is popular in both business and
social circles of the city.


Ulrich Furrer, engaged in the cultivation of one hundred and eighty acres of land
near Derby, which he largely devotes to the raising of beets, alfalfa, wheat and potatoes,
is of Swiss birth. He was born on the 5th of February, 1864, in the land of the Alps,
a son of Ulrich and Magdalena Furrer, whose family numbered four sons, of whom he
is the youngest. His education was acquired in the schools of Switzerland, which he
attended until he reached the age of sixteen years, after which he did all kinds of
farm work throughout continental Europe. In 1893, however, he crossed the Atlantic
to the new world and after spending six months in Pennsylvania made his way west-
ward to Denver, Colorado, where he engaged in farming. He started with his brother
John and was connected with him in the dairy business at Edgewater for a year.
He afterward removed to Rose Hill, where he conducted a dairy for seven years, and
he also spent two years in Denver, where he engaged in teaming. In 1907, however,
he came to Derby and now leases one hundred and eighty acres of rich and productive
land on which he raises good crops of potatoes, beets, wheat and alfalfa. Everything
about his place is orderly and systematic, his work promptly done, and his crops are
substantial and gratifying.

On the 18th of August, 1889, Mr. Furrer was married to Miss Rosa Schertz; a
native of Switzerland, and they have become parents of two children, William and
Anna, the latter at home. The son married Emma Rudy and operates the home farm,
while his father is in a measure living retired, although he assists the son to some
extent in carrying on the work of the home place.

The religious faith of the family is that of the Lutheran church and Mr. Furrer
has supported the democratic party since he became a naturalized American citizen.
He is well known in this section of the state, where he has resided for many years
and where his substantial qualities have won him the friendly regard and goodwill
of those with whom he has been brought in contact.


Frank L. Hornbaker is identified with farming and stock raising interests in
Boulder county, his home being pleasantly and conveniently situated a mile north of
Niwot. He is numbered among the native sons of Boulder county, his birth having
occurred within its borders on the 6th of August, 1S66. His parents were H. H. and
Sarah J. (Way) Hornbaker, the former a native of Indiana, while the latter was born
ip Iowa. They crossed the plains in 1864, makmg the journey with ox team and wagon,
and took up their abode upon the present farm of Frank L. Hornbaker. which the
father secured as a homestead claim. He afterward built thereon a log cabin covered
with sod root and lived in that primitive dwelling for several years, he and his family
bravely facing the hardships, privations and dangers that always feature in a frontier
settlement. The mother passed away on the old homestead, but the father is still
living and makes his home in Longmont, Colorado. To him and his wife were born
six children who yet survive.

Frank L. Hornbaker was reared and educated in Boulder county and after reach-
ing his majority engaged in stock raising. He also acted as guide to tourists over
the mountains for twelve years and then settled on the old homestead which he now
occupies, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of land which he has greatly im-
proved, bringing the place under a high state of cultivation and development. He is
likewise a stockholder in the milk condenser at Lovell and is interested in a silver
mine at Caribou, Colorado. The major part of his time and attention, however, is
given to the cultivation of his crops and to his stock raising interests and along these
lines he is meeting with well merited success.

Mr. Hornbaker has been married twice. He first wedded Miss Cora A. Wellman,
who was born in Boulder county, Colorado, a daughter of Henry Wellman, who came
to this state in 1859 and passed away here. To the first marriage of Mr. Hornb&ker
three children were born: Roy, now deceased; Verlie, the widow of William Johns;


and Jessie B. The wife and motiier passed away in 1902 and was laid to rest In Boul-
der cemetery. In 1904 Mr. Hornbalier was married to Mrs Mintie McLaren, who by
her fir.st marriage became the mother of four children, of whom three are living:
Elbert; Winnie, the wife of Ira Holland; and Fred, who is now in the United States
Army in France. Upon their service flag were two blue stars but one of these has
turned to gold, for the son Cecil died in France while serving his country in the effort
to save the world from the rule of Prussianism.

Fraternally Mr. Hornbaker is connected with the Elks and also with the Odd
Fellows lodge at Niwot, in which he has filled all of the chairs. His political endorse-
ment is given to the democratic party, and while he has never sought political office,
he has served for a number of years on the school board. He is a public-spirited
citizen, interested in all that has to do with the general welfare, and he heartily co-
operates in various movements for the public good.


Clark Blickensderfer is a well known figure in real estate circles and is the capable
manager of the Blickensderfer estate. He was born in Denver. September 17, 1882,
a son of Dr. James Clark aiid Eva (White) Blickensderfer, the former a native of
Ohio, while the latter was born in Kentucky. They came to Denver in early life and
were married in this city. The father was a graduate of a medical college and entered
upon practice in Denver, where his marked ability won him a most liberal patronage.
He also accumulated a large fortune through successful investments in business prop-
erty which he improved, several of the substantial buildings of the city standing as
monuments to his foresight and sound judgment. One of these is the large California
building on Seventeenth and California streets. It is one of the leading office iand
store buildings in the city, an ornament to Denver and a source of substantial income
to the owners. His keen sagacity enabled Dr. Blickensderfer to purchase property from
time to time that continually increased in value and made his estate one of great
worth. He was also prominent in his profession and at all times kept in touch with
the trend of modern scientific thought and research as relating to the laws of health.
He was prominently connected with the various medical societies and he was also a
leading and honored member of a number of fraternal organizations. He died in Den-
ver in March, 1916, after reaching the Psalmist's allotted age of three score years
and ten. His widow still survives and yet makes her home in Denver.

Clark Blickensderfer, their only child, began his education in the public schools
of Denver and continued his studies in the East Denver high school. He also spent
one year as a student in the University of Denver and later he pursued a course in
civil engineering in Columbia University. He was graduated therefrom in 1906 and
upon his return to the west he opened offices in his native city, where he followed
his chosen profession successfully for several years. Later, however, he gave this
up to take charge of his father's property interests and upon his father's death took
over the management of the estate and is now caring for his own and his mother's
interests, which are large and bring to him a most gratifying financial return annually.

On the Sth of June, 1910. Mr. Blickensderfer was married to Miss Elizabeth Walker,
a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Walker. They have become parents of two children:
James Clark, born in Denver, March 2, 1912; and Richard Holmes, born October 3,

Mr. Blickensderfer has membership in the Denver Civic and Commercial Asso-
ciation, also in the Denver Country Club and he belongs to the Theta Xi and the Tau
Theta Phi, two college fraternities. He is likewise connected with the Cole Mountain
Club. There are few residents of Denver more widely known than Clark Blickensderfer,
who has spent his entire life in the city as a representative of one of its pioneer fami-
lies. Through many decades the name has been associated with development and
progress here and Clark Blickensderfer, like his father, is actuated by a spirit of
advancement in all that he undertakes in a business way. The Blickensderfer inter-
ests have constituted an important element in the development and improvement of
Denver and in the management of his property the son displays the same substantial
business qualities and foresight which characterized his father. To accumulate a for-
tune requires one kind of genius; to retain a fortune already acquired, to add to its
legitimate increment and to make such use of it that its possessor may derive there-
from the greatest enjoyment and the public the greatest benefit requires another kind
of genius. Mr. Blickensderfer belongs to that younger generation of business men of


Denver called upon to shoulder responsibilities differing materially from those resting
upon their predecessors. In a broader field of enterprise they find themselves obliged
to deal with affairs of greater magnitude and to solve more difficult and complicated
financial and economic problems. He is proving adequate to the demands made upon
him, however, and his worth is widely ackowledged in both business and social circles
of his native city.


William Michael is the owner of an excellent ranch of one hundred acres near Barr
Lake in Adams county, which he has developed, converting it into a very productive
tract of land. He was reared to farm life, having been born on the old family home-
stead in Decatur county, Indiana, December 1, 1866. He is a son of Henry and Luvisa
(Toothman) Michael, both of whom were natives of Indiana, where the father fol-
lowed the occupation of farming.

At the usual age William Michael became a pupil In the district school near his
father's home in Decatur county, Indiana, and pursued his education in that way
until he reached the age of eighteen. He continued to work at farm labor in his native
state until he reached the age of twenty-five years and was then married, after which
he continued his residence ih the state for six years longer. In 1897 he came to Colo-
rado and during the first summer was employed by others. He next homesteaded one
hundred and sixty acres but after living upon the place for four months gave it up.
He afterward purchased sixty acres of unimproved land near Barr Lake, to which he
has since added a forty-acre tract in 1915. This land is very productive now and he
has developed his present excellent ranch property from practically nothing. Un-
wearied industry and indefatigable energy, combined with sound business judgment,
have been the potent forces in winning for him the position which he now occupies
in the agricultural circles of Adams county.

Mr. Michael was married in Decatur county, Indiana, on the 1st of March, 1892,
to Miss Loretta Elliott, a daughter of Michael and Hulda Elliott. Mrs. Michael is a
native of Virginia but was reared in Indiana. By her marriage she has become the
mother of one child, Mary, who is attending school.

Mr. Michael belongs to the Grange and is interested in all that has to do with
ranching interests in the state. He has membership in the Non-Partisan League and
his religious faith is indicated by his connection with the Baptist church. His life
has been governed by high and honorable principles and the sterling worth of his
character is attested by all who know him.


R. M. Aitken is at the head of one of the prosperous and prominent oil companies
of the west whose range of trade extends throughout the mountain states and as far
south as the Gulf states. Operations are conducted under the name of the Mountain
& Gulf Oil & Refining Company, with properties in the big oil fields of Wyoming, Colo-
rado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. As president of the corporation Mr. Aitken is
directing its affairs and interests and the results attained are gratifying.

A native of Illinois, he was born in Mercer, August 4, 1S82, the third in a family
of four children whose parents were Richard and Mary (McKinney) Aitken. the former
a native of Scotland, while the latter was born in Ohio. The father came to America
in early life and resided in Illinois until 1899, when he came to Colorado, settling in
Colorado Springs, where he engaged in the manufacture of wagons and carriages and
where both he and his wife still make their home. Their children are: L. L., living
in Colorado Springs; A. D., of the same city; R. M., of this review; and Mrs. Thomas
Hunter, of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

After attending public school in Illinois in early life R. M. Aitken was employed
along various lines until he came to Colorado with his parents. Soon afterward he
secured an option on oil lands in Texas and Louisiana and later in Colorado and
Wyoming and these became highly productive fields. As a result of the indications for
splendid development the Mountain & Gulf Oil & Refining Company was organized and
Mr. Aitken became its president. Their fields now largely extend through Colorado,
Kansas and Texas to Oklahoma, Louisiana and Kentucky. The company is operating


actively in all these fields with large producing wells. The business was incorporated
in 1917 with M. M. Aitken as the president, L. L. Altken as the vice president and
Mr. Gardner as secretary.

In 1906 Mr. Aitken was married to Miss Zadie Zinn, of Colorado Springs, and they
now have a son, Richard Lyle, who was born in Colorado Springs in 1907 and is now
in school. Mr. Aitken belongs to the Denver Athletic Club and is well known in the
city, his social qualities making for personal popularity, while his business ability
has gained him a position of leadership along the line in which he operates.


John Franklin Townsend. engaged in ranching near Aurora, was born in Atchison
county. Missouri. January 16. 1854, a son of James and Elizabeth (Williams) Town-
send. The grandfather was a native of Tennessee and removed to Indiana during the
territorial days of that state. In the family were seven brothers who lived near
Indianapolis, but all have now passed away. James Townsend was a soldier of the
Civil war, enlisting in a company of the Twenty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with
which he served as a private for two years. Later he started from Missouri to meet
Price and at the close of the war received an honorable discharge. He devoted his
entire life to the occupation of farming.

John F. Townsend pursued a district school education in one of the little log
schoolhouses of Atchison county, Missouri, and also studied for a year in Mount Vernon,
Missouri. He then took up the occupation of farming, which he followed in his native state,
and when twenty-eight years of age he removed to western Kansas. At a later
period he returned to his birthplace in northern Missouri and purchased eighty acres
of improved land, which he cultivated for a time and then sold. He next took up his
abode in western Nebraska, where he homesteaded and proved up on the property. He
was married and spent ten years upon his place in western Nebraska, but for three
years there was no rain and the drought caused him to seek a home elsewhere. He
made his way to Colorado, arriving in Sullivan on the 6th of December, 1894, at which
time he began to work as a common laborer at a dollar per day and on that salary
maintained his family. He afterward engaged in ranching in connection with the
Platte Land Company and eventually he purchased eighty acres of land in Adams
county. He has since leased other property and he now has thirty acres planted to
beans and fifty-six acres in corn. He produces good crops as the result of his practical
and progressive methods and an air of neatness and thrift pervades his place. Every-
thing about the farm is kept in good condition and the work is systematically done,
so that substantial results accrue.

On the 1st of January, 1888, near Max, Nebraska, Mr. Townsend was united in
marriage to Miss Corabelle Davis, a daughter o5 Elijah G. Davis. Their children are
four in number: Charles; Lula, the wife of Frank Lydon, by whom she has three
children: Corabelle, the wife of John Willis, by whom she has two children, Ralph
and Bessie; and Joy, now in school.

In his political views Mr. Townsend is an earnest democrat and has served as

Online LibraryWilbur Fiske StoneHistory of Colorado; (Volume 4) → online text (page 105 of 108)