Fraternally Mr. Wich is connected with the Knights of Pythias and with the
Improved Order of Red Men and was formerly a member of the Denver Manufacturers'
Association and the State Manufacturers' Association. He has certainly never had
occasion to regret his determination to come to the new world, for in this land he has
found the opportunities which he sought and in their utilization has made steady
progress. He found here conditions that do not hamper the efforts of the individual
but which stimulate imagination and ambition, and wisely utilizing his opportunities,
he has advanced step by step until, with a handsome competence secured through his
own labors, he is living retired, enjoying ease and comfort.
CHARLES MILTON HOBBS.
Charles Milton Hobbs, who died in Denver. January 27, 1910, left the impress
of his individuality in various ways upon the life and thought of this city. He was
prominent in railway and business circles for many years and was equally well known
as a philanthropist and man of letters. His birth occurred in Carthage. Indiana,
October 4, 1S54. his parents being Dr. Wilson and Zelinda (Williams) Hobbs, the
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former a prominent physician of the Hoosier state, who removed from Carthage to
Knightstown, Indiana, and there spent his remaining days.
It was in the common schools of his native state that C. M. Hobbs mastered the
elementary branches of learning, while later he became a student in the University
of Indiana at Bloomington. Following his removal to the west he was employed
for a time in the United States Government Signal Service, Bureau of Observation, and
was stationed at Pike's Peak. In the year 1878 he entered the employ of the Denver
& Rio Grande Railroad Company and remained in the responsible position of purchasing
agent for the line, for twenty-five years. In 1904 he went to Nevada, where in company
with Rodney Curtis, Lawrence Phipps, Delos Chappell and other prominent men of
Denver, he organized the Nevada & California Power Company, of which he was
made manager, thus directing the important interests of that corporation. In business
affairs he displayed keen judgment and marked sagacity, readily recognizing the diffi-
culties as well as the opportunities of every situation and bending his energies with
determination to the mastery of the former and the utilization of the latter. Failure
had no part in his scheme of things. He recognized the fact that there can always
be carved out paths whereby one may reach the desired goal, and energy and determina-
tion brought him far on the highroad to success.
On the 9th of August. 1879. Mr. Hobbs was united in marriage to Miss Ina S.
Blaine, of Colorado Springs, who survives him and is prominent in the social life
of Denver. She belongs to several clubs and is interested in the various activities
promoted by Denver women for the benefit of the city. In this she follows the lead
of her husband, whose efforts in behalf of public progress were far reaching and
Mr. Hobbs was a member of the Central Presbyterian church, in the work of
which he took a most helpful part. He was vitally interested in the Young Men's
Christian Association and was president of the Denver branch for ten years. His
political allegiance was given to the republican party and along more strictly social
lines his connection was with the Denver Club and the Denver Athletic Club.
He was a profound student and took great interest in literary matters, his reading
being broad and most comprehensive. He had great pride in collecting a magnificent
library, with the contents of which he was intimately familiar, and he was the author
of a number of published lectures, notably "Colorado vs. Switzerland," which he
delivered throughout the east by request of various railroad and civic associations.
CHARLES M. HOBBS
194 HISTORY OF COLORADO
The entire trend of his aid and influence was toward uplift and advancement, for the
individual and for the commonwealth, and association with him meant expansion and
CHARLES W. EGGERT.
Charles W. Eggert is the president of the Eggert Ice Company of Denver, one of
the largest natural ice companies of the west. He came to this city with eighty cents
in his pocket, riding a bicycle, in which way he made the trip from his old home at
Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He started upon his business career here as driver of an ice
wagon and from that point has steadily progressed until he is now at the head of one
of the wholesale ice industries of the state. He was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
December 4, 1875. a son of Fred and Bertha (Schultz) Eggert. who were of European
birth. The father came to America with his parents when a lad of eight years and the
mother was but two years of age when brought by her parents to the new world. Both
families established a home in Wisconsin, where the paternal grandfather. John Eggert,
settled at a very early day as one of the pioneers of Manitowoc. There he cleared land,
developing the virgin soil into a very productive farm. Many times in those early days
he was obliged td leave the plow and take up a gun in order to protect his family from
bands of marauding Indians. He continued a resident of Wisconsin until called to his
His son. Fred Eggert. was educated in the country schools of Wisconsin and after-
ward learned the shoe business, since whicli time he has been active in that trade,
ranking for many years as one of the leading shoe merchants and highly respected
citizens of Manitowoc. His wife was also reared and educated there and their marriage
occurred in that city. They had a family of eight children: Fred, now residing in
California; Edward, of Manitowoc, Wisconsin; William, of Denver; George, who has
passed away; Mrs. Eleanor Kohls, of Manitowoc, Wisconsin; and William and Minnie,
who are also deceased.
Charles W. Eggert was the fourth in order of birth in this family. He attended
school in Wisconsin and after completing his education was there connected with the
stationery business for five years. He became a sufferer from asthma, however, and in
1S95 started for Colorado for the benefit of his health. He rode a bicycle the entire dis-
tance, living in the open on the advice of his physician and reaching Denver with less than
a dollar in his pocket. It was imperative that he obtain immediate employment and he
secured a position as deliveryman in connection with an ice business. He worked for
a time for wages, saving what he could, and at length he resigned and purchased two
ice delivery wagons and horses and started out in the business on his own account.
His patronage has steadily increased until he is today at the head of one of the largest
wholesale ice enterprises of the west, handling natural mountain ice. The Eggert Ice
Company of Denver has built three large reservoir lakes, covering many acres, in the
Rockies. These are situated up the Platte canyon, two at Singleton, Colorado, and one
at Pine Grove. A gravel bottom has been built and each spring that supplies a lake,
is kept thoroughly clean so as to ensure absolute purity of the water. The ice. which
comes direct to the company's large storage ice houses in Denver, has been specially
tested by expert chemists and is pronounced one hundred per cent pure. So rapidly has
the wholesale ice trade of this company grown that in 1917 seventeen hundred carloads
of full capacity were shipped from the Denver ice houses to the Pacific coast and large
shipments are constantly being made to other parts of the country. When one considers
the modest beginning, the growth and development of the undertaking seem marvelous,
but the outcome is the direct result of the business energy and enterprise of the founder,
who started the business in 1899 and incorporated it in 1907. He became the president,
with G. A. Kartack as the vice president, and the business was capitalized for one
hundred thousand dollars. Both a wholesale and retail trade is conducted and seven-
teen wagons are used.
Mr. Eggert has been married twice. He first wedded Miss Clasina Nielsen, of
Denver, on the 22d of November, 1899, and on the 2d of October, 1913, she passed away.
She w^as a daughter of Captain Paul Nielsen, a well known navigator of the Great
Lakes. She left one child. Charles Eggert. Jr.. who was born in Denver. June 15, 1903,
and is now attending school. On the 18th of January, 1915, Mr. Eggert was married to
Nemma L. Jones, of Denver, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh R. Jones, who were
pioneers of the west, the father having come with ox teams to Denver in 1859, reaching
his destination after various encounters with the Indians while en route. By a former
HISTORY OF COLORADO 195
marriage Mrs. Eggert had two children: Hugh, born January 28, 1902; and Laura, born
September 26. 1904.
Fraternally Mr. Eggert is a Mason who has tilled all of the chairs in Harmony
Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and has served on the building committee. He also belongs to
the Royal Arcanum and to the Royal League, while in politics he maintains an inde-
pendent course. He does not seek nor desire office, for his business affairs make full
demand upon his time and attention. He has constantly enlarged his facilities to meet
the demands of a growing trade and his is a notable career of successful achievement,
resulting from close application and persistency of purpose that has never faltered in
the face of difficulties but has pressed forward to the goal of success.
Nels Nelson is the owner of a splendidly improved ranch property situated in
Elbert county and comprising six hundred and forty acres of rich and valuable land.
Mr. Nelson is one of the substantial citizens that Sweden has furnished to Colorado.
He was born In that country November 25, 1864, and was a young man of twenty-
three years when he bade adieu to friends and family and sailed for the new world,
reaching Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1887. Soon afterward he made his way westward
to Denver, where he worked at his trade of cabinetmaking, which he had previously
learned in Sweden. There he resided for a considerable period but in 1896 took up his
abode in Elbert county, homesteading a part of his present big ranch, which is
situated halfway between Elizabeth and Parker. He is now the owner of six hundred
and forty acres of valuable land and has one of the best farms in the county. This
he has brought under a high state of cultivation, adding many modern improvements,
and the fields annually produce substantial crops.
Mr. Nelson married Miss Ida Ventemeyer. By a former marriage he had five
children: Joy; Philip, who is now in France; William, who has enlisted and is ready
for service overseas; and Adolph and Clarence, who are farming with their father.
For a year Mr. Nelson was road overseer for Elbert county and he has been an
active supporter of many plans and measures for the general good. He has sought to
improve the district in every possible way and his activity along agricultural lines
has to a degree set the pace which others have followed. His labors show what can
be accomplished when there is a will to dare and to do. Taking over a tract of un-
developed land, he has converted it into rich and productive fields which annually
return to him golden harvests, and his farm is now one of the best ranch properties
of the district.
MRS. MARY MAGUIRE COOK.
Mrs. Mary Maguire Cook, with extensive landed possessions in Elbert county, is well
known as a business woman, at the same time holding a prominent position in social
circles. Moreover, she is one of the pioneer women of the state, having been born at
Russell Gulch, in Gilpin county, her parents being Thomas and Letitia Maguire. Like
so many sturdy pioneers of that period, Thomas Maguire crossed the plains with an ox
team and made a number of such trips in the days when the Indians were still a men-
ace to travel. He first arrived in the state in 1S53 and was engaged in business at Rus-
sell Gulch. In 1873 he removed to Elbert county and became one of the leading cattle
men of that section, developing interests of large extent. It was through his efforts and
those of his fellow ranchers that Elbert county became noted for the high class of its live
stock, forming one of the centers of the live stock industry in the state. During the
period of his residence in Gilpin and later in Elbert county he was one of the stanch
supporters of the Methodist church.
Mary Maguire. the daughter, was an associate in both the public and Sunday schools
of Central City, Gilpin county, of Emma Teller, the brilliant daughter of the late Sena-
tor Henry M. Teller. Soon after the removal of the family to Elbert county the daugh-
ter Mary was married in the Bijou, where her father lived, to Joseph Cook, Jr., who
was another of that splendid group of pioneer farmers whose faith in Elbert county was
rewarded by a rich return both in crops and in cattle. He developed his business In-
terests to extensive proportions and when he passed away in 1912 left to his widow one
of the best ranch holdings in the state. Mr. and Mrs. Cook became the parents of three
198 HISTORY OF COLORADO
daughters, all of whom are married to prosperous Colorado farm owners. These are
Mrs. F. W. Trask, Mrs. E. R. Mourning and Mrs. C. A. Clow.
Nature was most gracious to Mrs. Cook in her physical and intellectual endowments
and her beauty and intellect are matched by her splendid business ability and executive
force. She is an excellent financier and has vastly increased the holdings left by both
her father and husband. In her home she is a most gracious hostess, and is one of the
social leaders of the county in which she has so long resided.
REV. GEORGE BEDELL VOSBURGH. Ph. D., D. D.
Rev. George Bedell Vosburgh, an eminent representative of the Baptist ministry and
a distinguished lecturer, was born in Stockport, Columbia county. New York, on the
ISth day of November, 1849, a son of Bartholomew C. and Anna Eliza (Bedell) Vos-
burgh. The ancestors of the family in the paternal line came to this country in 1685
from Holland. The mother was of English lineage, the Bedell family having been
founded in America also in 1685. The Vosburghs lived in what is now Columbia
county, on the east side of the Hudson river, and the Bedell family home was in what
Is now Greene county, on the west side of the river, opposite the Vosburgh home.
The Bedells were Quakers.
In the acquirement of his education Dr. Vosburgh was graduated from the Albany
(New York) Normal College in 1870, from Colgate University of Hamilton, New York,
with the Bachelor's degree in 1S73 and from the Hamilton Theological Seminary in
1874. He received the degree of Master of Arts in 1883 and the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy in 1884 from the University of Chicago, both degrees being granted as the
result of post-graduate work. In 1892 Shurtleff College conferred upon him the hon-
orary degree of Doctor of Divinity. Before completing his training for the ministry
he had taught school in early life. He was ordained to the Christian ministry at
Cooperstown, New York, in June, 1874, and he was in the active pastorate from that
date until October, 1911. His successive pastorates were as follows: First Baptist
church of Cooperstown, New York. 1874-1877; Bergen Baptist church of Jersey City,
New Jersey, 1877-1879; Millard Avenue Baptist church of Chicago, 1879-1883; First
Baptist church of Decatur, Illinois, 1883-1890; First Baptist church of Elgin, Illinois,
1890-1893; Stoughton Street Baptist church of Boston, Massachusetts, 1893-1897; First
Baptist church of Denver, Colorado, 1897-1911. He is regarded as the leading Baptist
minister of Colorado and as one of the foremost Baptist ministers of the United States.
His opinion has great weight throughout the country. He was president of the
Colorado Baptist Convention for four years and has been president of the Baptist
Pastors' Conferences of Chicago. Boston and Denver. His pastoral record has been
one of marked achievement. The churches he has served have all enjoyed permanent
growth of a definite nature in numbers, strength and influence. It is worthy of note
that in most of his pastorates large sums of money have been raised for the payment
of debts, for important improvements, or for new edifices, and that deep spiritual
awakening, resulting in the conversion of hundreds, took place. His administrative and
executive qualities are as remarkable as his literary and oratorical gifts. He has a strong
and attractive personality. In his written productions he is a consummate master of
expression and on the platform he is an orator of impressive power. His mind is
marked by vitality and resiliency and as a thinker he is clear, cumulative and con-
Dr. Vosburgh was married on August 24, 1881, in Arlington, Massachusetts, to
Miss Florence Louise Learned, a daughter of Albert C. and Lucy (Coolidge) Learned,
both representatives of old colonial families whose ancestors came from England at
an early period in the settlement of the new world and were represented in the war
for independnece. Dr. and Mrs. Vosburgh have one daughter, Edna Hays, who was
educated in the United States and in France, where she spent four years, in the study
of art. Her paintings have been accepted in the salons of the old world, where they
have received high praise. She became the wife of Bernard Lentz, a graduate of
West Point and at that time a lieutenant in the Twenty-first Infantry, their marriage
being celebrated on the 18th of August, 1909. They spent several years in the
Philippines and Major Lentz, who in 1918 was made a colonel, is now a member of the
General Staff at Washington, D. C. They have two sons. Paul Leonard Vosburgh,
the only son of Dr. and Mrs. Vosburgh, was born at Decp,tur, Illinois, May 30, 1887.
and was educated in the public schools of Denver and in the University of Denver. He
is a thoroughgoing, strong-minded business man and is now (1918) at the head of the
HISTORY OF COLORADO 199
Wadhams & Kerr Brothers wholesale grocery house at Walla Walla, Washington. He
was married in Chicago, Illinois, October 20, 1910. to Miss Opal Parr and they have
one child, a son, Richard Parr Vosburgh.
Dr. Vosburgh has traveled extensively in Mexico, Europe, Egypt, Syria and the
Orient. Fifteen times he has crossed the Atlantic. In 1896 he made an extended
journey through Egypt. Syria, Turkey and Greece. In 1911 and 1912 he made a leisurely
journey around the world, spending much of the time in India. Java, the Philippines,
China and Japan. He has been a close and sympathetic student of the economic,
political, social and religious customs and ideas of the peoples among whom he has
traveled. As a result he has written much and informingly upon his travels, while
his travel lectures, of which he has given thousands, are among the finest utterances
of their type now heard upon the American platform. In addition to tlieological pur-
suits, he has read widely and thought deeply upon economic and industrial problems,
while the study of art has been an avocation that he has pursued with delight for
years. He has thus become a writer and lecturer of wide repute on social questions
and upon art. In view of his intimate knowledge of the higher life of the whole world
he was appointed a few years ago lecturer on "Civilization in the Twentieth Century"
in the University of Denver. This position is probably unique in the universities of
our country today. He spends half of each year in residence at the University and
the other half in extension work in Colorado and adjoining states, especially In higher
institutions. Tliere are very few, if any, men who address each year so many young
men and women of college grade. He is chaplain of the Colorado Society of the Sons
of the Revolution, a member of the National Institute of Social Science, a member of
the Denver Civic and Commercial Association and is a thirty-second degree Mason.
He has always taken a deep Interest in civic affairs and in all state, national and
international questions. All that pertains to the welfare of man is of interest to him,
whether concerning the Bible, economics, capital and labor, art, literature or music.
While he is intensely an American, he understands and appreciates the life problems
of all peoples and is interested in them. He is not a provincialist but is a true cos-
mopolitan. A man of broad scholarship and varied attainments, he is a guiding spirit
in public thought and action.
WILLIAM S. WILL.
The well devised business plans and capable management of William S. Will,
have brought success to the Midland Casket & Manufacturing Company of Denver, of
whose interests he has had control for a number of years. He was born in Ripley
county, Indiana. May 17, 1869, a son of William and Katherine (Hill) Will. The
father was born in Europe, while the birth of the mother occurred in Kentucky.
William Will, Sr., came to America when but ten years of age with his parents, who
settled in Ohio, where he was reared. When a young man of twenty he went to
Indiana and with the outbreak of the Civil war he volunteered and joined the Sixth
Indiana Infantry, with which he went to the front, participating in many stirring
engagements. He was wounded several times. On one occasion a cannon ball struck
him in the back of the neck, wounding him severely, but after several months spent
in a hospital he recovered and returned to the fighting line. At the close of the war
he received an honorable discharge and returned to Versailles, Indiana, where he was
married and engaged in merchandising on his own account. He remained in business
there to the time of his death, which occurred December 13, 1909. His wife removed
from Kentucky to Indiana in her girlhood days with her parents, Mr. and Mrs.
Jonathan Hill, who were pioneer settlers of that region. Mrs. Will is still living
at the advanced age of eighty years, her birth having occurred October 29, 1838, and
she yet makes her home in Versailles. Indiana. They had a family of seven children,
six of whom are living: Anna M., a trained nurse residing with her mother: Mrs. Ida
Thompson, whose husband is a newspaper editor of Versailles, Indiana; William S.;
Mrs. C. S. Gookins, who is diagnostician at the Reed Hospital at Washington, D. C;
Joseph A., proprietor and editor of a newspaper at Rising Sun, Indiana; and Mrs.
Nancy L. Schrader, of Limon, Colorado.
In his boyhood days William S. Will was a pupil in the public schools of Ver-
sailles, Indiana, and after completing his high school work he entered a newspaper
office as a printer's devil at the princely salary of fifty cents per week. After serving
his apprenticeship on the Versailles Republican he resigned and went to North Vernon.
Indiana, where he continued in newspaper work. Under the presidential administra-
200 HISTORY OF COLORADO
tion of Benjamin Harrison he was appointed deputy postmaster of North Vernon,
Indiana, and served for four years. In the meantime he resigned his position in news-
paper circles and after his term as postmaster expired he returned to his former occu-
pation, becoming editor of the Four Counties Chronicle at Aurora, Indiana. After two
years he sold out on account of failing health and Came to Colorado, settling at
Elizabeth, where he conducted the postoffice, and also assisted in the Elizabeth State
Bank, where he continued for two years. He then became connected with the Russell
Gates Mercantile Company, with which he remained until April, 1912. In that year
he became interested in the Midland Casket & Manufacturing Company of Denver, which
was maintaining a precarious existence, endeavoring to keep out of the bankruptcy
court. From the time when Mr. Will assumed the management of the business it has
steadily grown and is today one of the successful manufacturing concerns of Denver,
of which he is the secretary, treasurer and general manager.
On the 30th of September, 1909, Mr. Will was married to Mrs. Belle C. Richards,
the widow of Everett Richards, of Zanesville, Ohio. Fraternally he is connected with
the Knights of Pythias and his religious faith is that of the Congregational church.
There have been no unusual or spectacular phases in his career. He has worked per-
sistently and energetically since making his initial start in the business world, wisely
using his opportunities and advancing step by step until he is now in active control
of an Important and profitable commercial and manufacturing concern, which is con-