Wilbur Fiske Stone.

History of Colorado; (Volume 4) online

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Thomas H. Woodward, was a plow manufacturer, who invented many improvements on
the cast iron plow of that period. He was born in Massachusetts, where the family had
been prominent since 1634 — not many years after the founding of Plymouth colony by
the Pilgrims. The family of Thomas H. Woodward, which had early removed to Ohio,
later settled in Rochester, New York, where Benjamin F. Woodward went to school until
his thirteenth year. In 1847 the family removed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and
there Benjamin F. Woodward soon obtained a position with the Atlantic & Ohio Tele-
graph Company, which a little later was merged with the Western Union. At the age
of eighteen he became the Pittsburgh office manager for that corporation. A remarkable
capacity for administration soon brought the young man to the attention of men of
large means and William McCutcheon, a wealthy wholesale grocer, offered him a co-
partnership and unlimited capital to establish a mercantile business in the west. This
offer he accepted, although but twenty-one years of age, and from 1856 until 1862 he
conducted business at Fulton, Illinois.

In that city Mr. Woodward was married in 1861 to Miss Helen S. Bassett, a daughter
of Dr. William Bassett. Failing health compelled him to seek a milder climate and
through the influence of General Thomas T. Eckert, who had never lost sight of his
Pittsburgh protege, Mr. Woodward obtained the position of cipher operator at General
Peck's headquarters at Suffolk, Virginia. There he remained until 1863, when he was
made manager of the Denver office of the Pacific Telegraph Company, then building
its line from Julesburg. Colorado, to Denver. In the latter city he began his great
constructive work for the new west. He was not alone the Denver manager for the
company but supervised the construction of the new telegraph line. On the 10th of
October, 1863, he opened his office in Denver, using at first the pony express to carry
and bring his messages from the daily changing terminals of the telegraph lines, until
finally, when the wire was extended to Denver, the unique service by pony express
was discontinued.

In 1S65 the Pacific Telegraph Company became a part of the Western Union, with
Mr. Woodward as manager. He had in those few years established a reputation for
business capacity and sterling integrity so that the best and most progressive men in



the community joined him when in the fall o£ 1867 he organized the United States
and Mexico Telegraph Company. In this enterprise he was associated with such men
as Henry M. Porter, William N. Byers, D, H. Moffat, F. Z. Salomon, L. B. Maxwell,
John Dodd and E. Spiegelberg. They completed a line from Denver to Santa Fe, opening
it for business in 1868. In the fall of that year Mr. Woodward and his associates
constructed the line to Cheyenne. In 1875 he was induced by General Palmer to accept
the important post of superintendent of the telegraph lines along the now rapidly extend-
ing Denver & Rio Grande system. When he left that position it was to develop his
real estate and other interests. He was one of the men who in the early days could
vision the future of Denver and Colorado. In those pioneering periods it took courage
to invest heavily in Denver really, but this Mr. Woodward did and thus laid the founda-
tion for the fortune which came to him by reason of his early faith and foresight.

Mr. Woodward was one of the most active members of the Central Presbyterian
church. He was one of its earliest members, was prominent in effecting the consolida-
tion of the old Seventeenth Street church with the Central. He was trustee for nearly
the entire period of his membership, and for many years its president. When the
present church edifice was erected he was one of the heaviest contributors. He was the
founder of Riverside cemetery, now one of the most beautiful of the city's burial places.
It is due largely to his initiative that the Young Men's Christian Association was made
a great and influential institution in Denver.

Benjamin F. Woodward was foremost in all that stood for civic progress, and his
labors were most far reaching and resultant. He recognized clearly the value of any
project or plan which he endorsed and he labored zealously for its adoption and success-
ful promotion. His death, which occurred March 22. 1908, while he was making a tour
of Mexico, was mourned by the entire community. He left one son, Frank L. Wood-

ward, who is today one of the leaders in the professional and social life of the city and


Frank Lincoln Woodward, son of Benjamin F. Woodward, was born in Denver,
June 16, 1866. As a child and man he stands as a type of that pioneering spirit which
has made a great productive center of this foothill district. It is this that has made
him a worthy successor to the giants of the early days, among whom his father was
by no means the least.

In the acquirement of his education Frank L. Woodward was graduated from the
East Denver high school in the class of 1884. In 188S he was graduated from Yale
University with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and in 1890 he left the Yale Law
School with the degree of LL. B. He next entered the lav,- office of the firm of Benedict
& Phelps in 1891, and the following year became connected with the law oflSce of
Rogers, Cuthbert & Ellis. In 1900 he entered upon the practice of law independently
and has since followed his profession with success, being classed among the prominent
representatives of the Denver bar. His activities in other lines have attracted nation-
wide attention. He has always been an enthusiastic golfer and early took the lead in
making Denver the center of western golfing affairs. In 1896 he was a member of
the first golf committee of the Denver Country Club. In 1901 he won the Colorado
state golf championship at the Cheyenne Mountain Country Club, Colorado Springs.

In January, 1913, the United States Golf Association elected him second vice presi-
dent, in 1914 he was chosen first vice president and in 1915 became the president. In
1912 it was largely through the efforts of Mr. Woodward that the Western Golf Associa-
tion held its annual tournament in Denver. In that year he was elected president of
the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association, and in 1914 he became president of the Western
Golf Association. In 1909 he was elected president of the Denver Country Club, and
has filled that office many times since — a tribute to his progressiveness, as the Country
Club of Denver is a model institution of its kind.

Mr. Woodward was the leading factor in bringing the Chicago Grand Opera Com-
pany to Denver for its most successful season in the far west, and he performed the
same service for the Boston Grand Opera Company in the following year. Since 1911
he has been president of the Denver Symphony Orchestra Association, which is
responsible for the yearly musical festivals so much appreciated by Denver lovers of
the artistic in music.

In 1913 he was elected secretary of the Denver Society of the Archaeological Insti-
tute of America, serving in that capacity until 1916, when he was chosen president of


the association, and still continues in that office. In 1913 he was elected president of
the Denver Federation of Charity and Philanthropy, and Is still serving in that capacity,
having been out of office but one year. In 1917 he was elected president of the Univer-
sity Club of Denver, succeeding himself in 1918. He was secretary of the Colorado Yale
Association in 1904, and elected president in 1905.

For years he has been a life member of the American Red Cross, and during
almost the entire period of his connection with that body served as a member of the
executive committee of the Denver Chapter.

He is a prominent member of the Denver Chamber of Commerce, and the Denver
Civic and Commercial Association, serving on its art committee, its good roads com-
mittee, its committee on Rocky Mountain National Park, and on other committees
which have to do with the development work of the organization. In 1918 he was
appointed by Mayor Mills as a member of the Denver water commission, which is in
sole charge of the newly purchased water system. He was prominent in the organiza-
tion of the Denver Morris Plan Company, a remedial and industrial loan organization
the parent organization of which was the Industrial Finance Corporation of New York.
He is a director of the Colorado Historical Society; and has for many years been a
vestryman of St. Barnabas church, of which Rev. Charles Marshall is rector.

When the country sent out its call for men to give their time and energy to
various departments of public service Mr. Woodward was one of the first to respond
among the famous dollar a year men. He is now deputy federal food administrator for
the state of Colorado, and is giving most of his time to that service, and as such sat in
the state council of defense organized by Governor Gunter.

On the 10th of February, 1891, Mr. Woodward was married at New Haven, Connecti-
cut, to Miss May Farnam, a daughter of Charles H. and Alice (Davies) Farnam.


Allan F. Wright, who for more than four years has served as a member of the
board of pardons in Colorado, makes his home in Denver and is well known as one of
the conductors on the Colorado & Southern Railroad. He was born in Detroit, Michigan,
on the 23d of April, 1873, a son of Malcolm and Elizabeth (McGlll) Wright, in whose
family were five children: Melville; Edna, the wife of L. G. Kay; Stella; Stanley; and
Allan F.

The last named was but five years old when his parents came to Colorado, establish-
ing their home in Denver. The father was a pioneer tanner here and followed that
business to the time of his death, which occurred on the 25th of December, 1907. He is
survived by his widow, who yet makes her home in Denver. Allan F. Wright pursued
his education in the Villa Park school, one of the public schools of Denver, and when
his textbooks were put aside started out in the business world as an employe of the
Windsor Hotel. Later he entered the employ of the Colorado & Southern Railroad Com-
pany, with which he has since been associated, and. advancing in that connection, he has
for some time served as conductor. He is popular with the traveling public because he
is courteous and obliging and he has made many friends among those who have occasion
to travel over the road.

Mr. Wright gives his political allegiance to no particular party. For 'more than
four years he has been a member of the state board of pardons, in which connection he
has done important work, giving much time to ihe duties of the board, and these duties
he discharges with a marked sense of conscientious obligation. He belongs to the
Knights of Pythias Lodge, No. 52, of Pueblo, Elks Lodge, No. 17, of Denver, to the Order
of Railway Conductors, and also to the Railroad Young Men's Christian Association. He
stands for all that is highest and best for the individual and for the community at large
and is a man whose sterling worth and splendid characteristics have commanded for
him the respect, confidence and goodwill of all with whom he has been brought in contact.


Ira Thornton Sheppard, who has extensive farming interests in Elbert county, was
born in Jacksonville, Illinois, December 25, 1867, a son of William Stewart and Mary
(McAllister) Sheppard. The paternal grandfather removed from Kentucky to Illinois.
He was a Baptist minister and his son, William Stewart Sheppard, also devoted his life


to the cause of the ministry. Both the Sheppard and McAllister families come of Scotch

Reared amid the refining influences of a cultured home, Ira T. Sheppard enjoyed
the educational advantages accorded by schools in the vicinity of Jacksonville, Illinois.
Through the period of his boyhood and youth he also became actively connected with
farming and followed that pursuit in his native state for a time, after which he removed
westward to Hutchinson, Kansas, where he engaged in the dairy business for eight years.
On coming to Colorado in 1914 he purchased an entire section of land in Elbert county,
which constitutes a part of his present holdings. Throughout the intervening period he
has concentrated his efforts upon the development and improvement of his property and
is the owner of one of the fine ranches in his section.

On the 8th of October, 1890, at Lynnville, Illinois, Mr. Sheppard was united in
marriage to Miss Percie Clyde Fisher. They have an interesting family of tour sons and
a daughter: Glen C, who is now a lieutenant with the United States army at Camp
Kearny; Guy Raymond, who is a corporal in active service in France; Fred Leroy, who
also offered himself for enlistment but was rejected on account of physical disability;
Ralph Benjamin, who is a student in the Colorado State Agricultural College at Fort
Collins; and Mary Electa, twelve years of age. Mr. Sheppard and his family are widely
and favorably known in Elbert county and he is regarded as a man of excellent business
ability and of enterprising spirit, who capably directs his ranching interests and at the
same time finds opportunity to cooperate in well defined plans and measures for up-
building the county and advancing its civic interests.


William W. Porter, engaged in the real estate and investment business in Denver,
was born in Monroe county, Missouri, November 30, 1850, and is descended from New
England ancestry, while the line is traced back still farther to England. His father,
the Rev. James Porter, was a native of Kentucky, in which state representatives of
the family settled at an early period in its development. He became a minister of the
Baptist church and devoted his entire life to that holy calling, his last days being
passed in Monroe county, Missouri, where he departed this life in 1855, at the age of
sixty-five years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Anna Walker, was a native
of Virginia and belonged to one of the old families of that state of English lineage.
To Rev. and Mrs. Porter were born eleven children, six sons and five daughters, two
sisters and four brothers of William W. Porter still living. He was one of twins.

William W. Porter acquired his early education in public schools and later he
attended a college at Huntsville, Missouri, while subsequently he was graduated from
Mount Pleasant College in 1871. He started out upon his business career on attaining
his majority and throughout all the intervening period has devoted his attention and
energies to the real estate business, which he followed in Moberly, Missouri, until 1882,
in which year he removed to the west with Denver as his destination. He arrived in
this city in November and immediately opened a real estate office. That he has pros-
pered as the years have gone by is indicated in the fact that he has continued in this
line in Denver for thirty-six years and has long been regarded as one of the foremost
real estate dealers of the city. He has conducted an extensive business, negotiating
many important property transfers, and there is no man more thoroughly informed
concerning realty values in this section of the state. At one time he was a director
of the People's Bank during the '90s.

On the 8th of October, 1872, Mr. Porter was united in marriage to Miss Lucy B.
Miller, a native of Missouri and a daughter of Dr. J. H. and Lucinda Miller, of Moberly,
Missouri, her father being one of the old-time and prominent physicians of that place,
a graduate of Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. To Mr. and Mrs. Porter have
been born three children: Miller B., who is associated with his father in the real
estate business; George, deceased; and one who died in infancy. Miller B. Porter mar-
ried Miss Bertha Bonsall and to them has been born a son, William W., named in honor
of his grandfather.

Politically Mr. Porter is a stalwart advocate of democratic principles, having
always supported the party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He
served for thirteen years as a member of the board of park commissioners. He did
splendid service in that connection, contributing much to the improvement of the city
through the development of its parks. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce
and also of the Denver Real Estate Exchange, serving at one time as a director of the



latter. His religious faith is that of the Baptist church and his life is guided by its
teachings. He is a man of sterling worth whose life has measured up to high stand-
ards, while his business career has been characterized by the utmost integrity. For
thirty-six "years a resident of Denver, he is widely and favorably known in its
circles and he also has marked characteristics which make for personal popularity.


Mrs. Mary Jane Danneman is widely known as one of the capable business women
and large landowners of Elbert county, her home being near Matheson. She was born in
Missouri and in 1S79, the year after the Indians had been driven out of Elbert county,
she took up her abode within its borders with her first husband, Sydney Housh. For a
year thereafter she never saw a woman's face. It was her wisdom and knowledge of
farming, however, that made the homestead a big paying proposition. She is a lady of
superior education who has not only promoted her own knowledge through extensive
reading and observation but has given her children the best educational opportunities
afforded by the schools of the state. At the same time she has carefully managed her
business affairs and made judicious Investments until her holdings have increased by
purchase and she is now the owner of one of the largest and best equipped farms near

Ten years ago Mrs. Housh became the wife of Richard Danneman, a well known
rancher, who has been an able aid to her in the development of her property.

.By her first marriage Mrs. Danneman has three living children, Edna, Nellie and
Robert, and the last named is now a member of the Aero Squadron at Chanute field.
There were also two daughters who have passed away: Bertha, who married Walter E.
Holt by whom she had two children. Bertha and Jack Holt, the former the wife of Norman
H. Mcllhenney; and Anna, who in February, 1909, married Fay White and died August
29. 1909, at the young age of nineteen. Mrs. Bertha Holt was married in 1895, and death
called her on October 7, 1917.

Mr. and Mrs. Danneman are among the most highly esteemed residents of Matheson,
both enjoying the greatest respect of their neighbors, in whose affections they hold a
firm place.


Reuben J. Morris, a prominent figure in mining, mercantile and banking circles,
his close identification with all these interests contributing in substantial measure to
the development of the state along those lines, is rated as one of the most progressive
business men of Colorado, being president of the North Denver Bank, of the Goss-
Morris Mercantile Company and of the Douglas Mountain Copper Mines Company. He
was born in Quincy, Illinois, July 19, 1852, a son of Commodore Perry and Mary Eliza-
beth (Perry) Morris, the former a native of Kentucky, while the latter was born in
Alabama. Commodore Perry Morris on leaving his native state became a resident
of Illinois and later was a pioneer settler of Kansas. He devoted his life to the
occupation of farming and passed away in Gilpin county, Illinois, prior to the Civil
war. His widow long survived him and died in Hamilton. Missouri, in 1906.

Reuben J. Morris, the elder of their two children, attended the public schools of
Illinois and after putting aside his textbooks and while still a boy in years he worked
upon the home farm, being thus employed to the age of nineteen years, when he
joined the United States army as a regular and was stationed at Nashville, Tennessee,
until called with his company to suppress the riots at New Orleans, Louisiana, in
which a number of people were killed. He was a member of Company P, of the
Sixteenth United States Infantry, and after completing his five year term of enlist
ment he received an honorable discharge. He then removed to northern Missouri
where he operated a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits for two years. On
selling that property he turned his attention to merchandising in Barton county, Mis-
souri, where he remained for three years, after which he removed to Denver in 1891,
While in Hamilton, Missouri, he had his first experience in the mercantile business,
being for several years with the firm of Anderson Brothers, prominent merchants
of that town. In Denver he secured a clerkship in the grocery store of J. W. Gilder-
sleeve, with whom he remained for five years, and on the expiration of that period


resigned his position to enter business on liis own account. In connection with C. F.
Goss, he organized the Goss-Morris Mercantile Company and established business at
No. 2900 West Twenty-fifth avenue, in North Denver. They started in a modest way
but as the years have passed their business has grown to wonderful size and propor-
tions. They started with a small stock of groceries, but later various departments
were added, including a meat and vegetable department, which has developed into one
of the extensive business interests of the kind. The next addition was a dry goods,
clothing and shoe department and through this avenue the income of the firm has
also been materially increased. At a later date Mr. Goss and Mr. Morris disposed of
their grocery and meat departments in order to devote all of their time and attention
to their dry goods and clothing trade, in which connection they have built up one of
the largest business enterprises of the kind in North Denver, enjoying an extensive
and well deserved patronage. They have closely studied the trade and have held to
the highest standards in the personnel of the house, in the business methods followed
and in the treatment rendered to patrons. Mr. Morris has also been very active in
financial circles. He organized the North Denver Bank, the only banking institution
in that section of the city, and from the beginning has remained its president. He was
also one of the organizers and was elected a director and member of the advisory
board of the Merchants Fire Insurance Company. He is the president of the Douglas
Mountain Copper Mines Company, which owns six hundred and sixty acres of the
richest copper bearing rock in that district. They own in Moffat county more than
fourteen distinct claims and have four leased properties. At a recent date the com-
pany has shipped to its properties on Douglas mountain. In the extreme western end
of Moffat county, all material necessary for a reverberatory smelter capable of handling
twenty tons of ore daily. This smelter was completed and ready for operation on the
1st of December and is expected to yield a daily net profit of more than four hun-
dred dollars. The company has more than three thousand tons of ore, averaging ten
per cent copper, at the mouth of the shaft of its Bromide mine now ready for the
smelter and about five thousand tons of fifteen per cent copper ore blocked out in the
mine. This mine has three levels and a total of thirteen hundred feet of workings.
It has recently been equipped with a complete set of mining machinery. Of the thirty-
one copper properties owned by the company, seven have shipped ores better than
fifteen per cent copper. Mr. Morris, as president of the company, is associated with
Vachael C. Walters, who is secretary of the company, and Robert Pherson, an experi-
enced copper mine operator, who is general manager.

On the 14th of September, 1881, in Hamilton, Missouri, Mr. Morris was married
to Miss Hattie Laura Goss, of that place. In politics he maintains an independent
course, but his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, elected him as
senator to the nineteenth and twentieth general assemblies. He is ai member of the
Civic and Commercial Association of Denver, also of the Merchants Association,
and is a loyal representative of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. There is an
old saying that "Nothing comes of nothing;" there must always be a basis for build-
ing and in the case of Mr. Morris, while he did not have financial assistance or
resources at the outset of his career, he did have various substantial qualities and

Online LibraryWilbur Fiske StoneHistory of Colorado; (Volume 4) → online text (page 16 of 108)