Wilbur Fiske Stone.

History of Colorado; (Volume 4) online

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ducting an extensive business, shipping caskets to New Mexico. Kansas, Utah, Wyom-
ing and Nebraska, and in the business from fifteen to twenty expert workmen are


Rufus E. Spencer, president of The R. E. Spencer Lumber Company of Denver,
was born in Lynchburg, Tennessee, December 31, 1878, a son of J. W. and Jacynthia
(Waggoner) Spencer, who were likewise natives of Tennessee, where they remained
until 1913, when they came to Denver, in which city they now make their home. The
father was for many years engaged in farming but is now living retired. Their
family numbered seven children, five of whom survive: William M., a resident of
Colorado; Ernest W., now in France; Mrs. George Berry, living in Denver; Mrs.
Joseph Waggoner, of Tennessee; and Rufus E., who was the third in order of birth
In the family.

In his boyhood days Rufus E. Spencer was a pupil in the public schools and when
in his nineteenth year completed his studies in the Lynchburg (Tenn.) high school.
He afterward spent two years as a student in the State College at Lexington, Ken-
tucky, and for one year subsequent to that time engaged in clerking in an attorney's
office in Whitley county, Kentucky, but resigned his position to become bookkeeper
and cashier for the Kentucky Lumber Company, with which he remained for two
years. On the expiration of that period he came to Denver in 1901 and secured a
position as bookkeeper with the Hallack Lumber & Supply Company, remaining with
that house for two years. He next obtained a similar position with the E. W. Robin-
son Lumber Company of Denver but after eighteen months returned to the Hallack
Lumber & Supply Company as manager of the yard, acting in that capacity for five
years. In 1909 he resigned and organized The R. E. Spencer Lumber Company, which
has since been successfully conducted under his immediate control. He is the presi-
dent and manager of this business, which is a close corporation, successfully carrying
on a large business as general dealers in lumber and builders' supplies of all kinds,
together with paints and oils, and automobile tires and accessories. Mr. Spencer has
also installed a fine gas and filling station near his yard, which is in charge of his
father. Extending his efforts, he became one of the organizers of the Chapin Lumber
Company, of Aurora, Colorado, of which he is the vice president, and he likewise owns
a half interest in a lumberyard at Hereford, Colorado, which is managed by his '
brother. He is likewise a director of the Thomas Realty Company and a stockholder
in the Drovers State Bank and in the Merchants Bank of Denver. Forceful and re-
sourceful, he has thus carried his activities into various connections, each one of
which has profited by his cooperation, sound judgment and keen sagacity.

On the 22d of January, 1902, Mr. Spencer was married to Miss Bessie P. Forman,
at Loveland, Colorado, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Forman, of a well known
family of Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Spencer have become parents of four children.
Paul R., born in Denver on April 13, 1903. Is attending the Manual Training high
school. Ruth Elizabeth, born in 1906, is also a high school pupil. Nancy D., born



in Tennessee in 1911, is a legally adopted daughter, a child of Mr. Spencer's deceased
sister. Richard O., born in Denver, December 6, 1915, completes the family.

Mr. Spencer is a Mason, belonging to lodge, chapter, commandery and to the
Mystic Shrine. He also has membership in the Denver Motor Club, in the Civic and
Commercial Association and in the Colorado-Wyoming Lumber Dealers Association.
He stands for all that is most worth while to the individual and to the community at
large and cooperates generously and heartily in all movements for public progress and
improvement in the community in which he lives. He is possessed of many sterling
traits of character and his business qualifications are such as have enabled him to
work his way steadily upward from a humble position to one of prominence in con-
nection with the lumber, hardware supplies, and retail coal trade of the city. He is
now controlling a business of substantial proportions and his close application and
indefatigable energy have constituted the foundation upon which he has built his


Samuel C. Yoder Is one of the more recent additions to the citizenship of Elbert
county, where he is now extensively engaged in farming. He was born on a farm In
Iowa county, Iowa, September 14, 1867. a son of Cornelius D. and Barbara Yoder, who
removed to the middle west from Somerset county. Pennsylvania. The father is
descended from Swiss ancestry, while the mother's people were of German lineage.

Samuel C. Yoder acquired a public school education in Iowa while spending his
youthful days upon his father's farm, where he was early trained to the work of the
fields, soon becoming familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring
for the crops. He never sought to change his occupation, finding pleasure and success
in his farm work, in which he continued in Iowa until 1912. On the 22d of February
of that year he arrived in Elbert county, Colorado, and purchased his present large
holdings, comprising three hundred and twenty acres of land in the vicinity of Matheson.
He is carefully, systematically and successfully promoting the work of the fields
and his large ranching interests are valuable, while his progressive methods are
recognized by all.

On the 3d of October, 1893. in Iowa county, Iowa, Mr. Yoder was married to Miss
Barbara Miller and to them have been born three children, a son and two daughters.
Already the family have become well known in this section of the state and have gained
the warm friendship and kindly regard of those with whom they have


Thomas Stark is numbered among the self-made men living in El Paso county.
He has been dependent upon his own resources from the age of twelve years and has
met many difficulties and obstacles, but working his way upward, has in the course
of years become one of the substantial residents of his part of the state. He was
born in Pike county. Missouri, July 10, 1848, a son of Thomas and Eliza (Goldsbury)
Stark. The father, a native of Kentucky, was reared in Pike county, Missouri, to which
place his mother had removed after the death of her husband in 1857. The family
are direct descendants of General Stark of Revolutionary war fame. The grandfather
of Thomas Stark was a soldier in the War of 1812, in which he was wounded, and his
injuries caused his death soon after his discharge.

Thomas Stark had very little opportunity to acquire an education. He was but
twelve years of age when the Civil war broke out. His father was a large slave
owner in the south and conditions were so radically changed by the events then occur-
ring that Thomas Stark had little chance to continue his education. In 1870 he came
to the west, dividing his time between Colorado and Wyoming, where for two years
he was employed in government survey work. While in Wyoming in 1871 he sat on a
jury in a famous murder case, in which there were also two women acting on the jury,
the first time that women were ever given representation on a jury in the country.
On this occasion the defendant was convicted.

In 1872 Mr. Stark removed to Englewood, Colorado, where he was employed on a
farm for one season and then made his way on foot to Colorado Springs, carrying


with him his bed and Winchester. He was willing to do almost anything that would
earn him a few dollars and finally he secured employment at the Wilson coal bank at
a wage of one dollar per day. In 1874 he went to Missouri, where he purchased sixty
head of cattle, which he drove through to a ranch in Elbert county, and thereon he
engaged in cattle raising and ranching for twenty-five years. His interests in that
connection rapidly increased and he was extensively engaged in that business until
the range land was all taken up by the homesteaders. He then disposed of his cattle
and has since lived retired in Colorado Springs save that he followed the turf for a
few years and became nationally known as the owner of fast horses. At Memphis,
Tennessee, his horse Porto Rico made a mile in 2:11, while at Lexington, Kentucky,
Red June made a mile in 2:10y4 flat. He is still a lover of good horses, which he
keeps for his own pleasure.

In 1884 Mr. Stark was married to Miss Ella I. Whitney, of Maine, and they have
become parents of two daughters, Elizabeth W. and Louisa E., both of whom are high
school graduates and are with their parents in Colorado Springs, the family having
a pleasant home at No. 517 East Pike's Peak avenue.

Mr. Stark gives his political endorsement to the democratic party, but the honors
and emoluments of office have had no attraction for him. His time and attention, his
thought and purpose, have been concentrated upon his business affairs and although
he started out in the world empty-handed at an age when most boys are in school, he
has today won a place among the substantial citizens of Colorado Springs, being now
the possessor of a competence that is the reward of earnest, persistent labor.


Edward Roberts Murphy, now living retired in Denver, was formerly general
auditor of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Company and is well known in railroad
circles throughout the west. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the
20th of December, 1S43, a son of William C. and Almira (Roberts) Murphy. The
father, espousing the cause of the Union, served with the rank of captain in the
Civil war.

In the public schools of his native city Edward R. Murphy pursued his early
education and passed through consecutive grades until he became a student in the
Quaker high school, from which he was graduated with the class of 1S61. He started
out upon his business career as an employe in a country store, being thus employed
for two years. Prompted by a spirit of patriotism, he then responded to the country's
call for troops and enlisted for active duty with Company K of the One Hundred and
Twenty7first Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, but physical disability won him an
honorable discharge owing to the fact that he had sustained an injury to his spine.
He afterward had charge of the business of manufacturing shell fuses in the Frank-
ford arsenal until the end of the war and was later bookkeeper for the Cooper
Firearms Company at Frankford, Pennsylvania. Mr. Murphy took a course in law
at the University of Pennsylvania, and for a short time practiced his profession in
Philadelphia, but preferring a business rather than a professional career he gave up
the law in 1S66 to enter the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, with
which he was identified until 1880. He left the position of chief clerk in the comp-
troller's office to become auditor with the Texas & Pacific Railroad Company, in
which capacity he served for a year. In 1881 he was made auditor of the Denver
& Rio Grande Railroad Company and so continued to act until June 30, 1917, when
he was retired on account of his age. He had spent fifty years in railroad service
and was a most trusted and capable representative of the corporation which he served.
For more than a third of a century he had been with the Denver & Rio Grande and
was widely recognized as one of the able officials of the company.

Mr. Murphy was twice married, but the wife whom he wedded in early manhood
passed away. On the 19th of May, 1910, in Denver, he married Minnie B. (Hall)
Perry, who was born May 2, 1863, a daughter of Charles L. and Mary M. (Hill) Hall.
A sketch of her father appears elsewhere in the work. Mrs. Murphy had by her
first marriage a daughter, Mary Antoinette, born June 27, 1888, in Denver, who is
now Mrs. Frank W. Frueauff of New York, and has a daughter, Margaret Hall, born
February 23. 1913, in Denver.

Mr. Murphy gives his political endorsement to the republican party. He was
reared in the faith of the Society of Friends and still retains membership in the Race




Street Meeting House of Philadelphia. He is a well known representative of the
Masonic fraternity, having joined Oriental Lodge, No. 87, A. F. & A. M., of Denver, upon
its organization, and he also held membership with the Royal Arch Chapter but was
demitted from both in December, 1895. He belongs to the Denver Club, to the Denver
Motor Club and to the Denver Artists Club and is well known in these organizations,
where his social qualities have won for him popularity among the membership. He
has now passed the seventy-iifth milestone on life's journey and the rest from business
cares that he is now enjoying is Indeed well merited.


In the early Christian Science work of Colorado Mrs. Minnie B. Hall Murphy was,
in company with her mother. Mrs. Charles L. Hall, a pioneer and directly responsible
for the establishment of the work in the state.

Mrs. Murphy is a native of Colorado,* having been born in Denver on the 2d day
of May in the year 1863, the daughter of Charles L. and Mary Melissa Hall, both of
whom are mentioned more extensively on following pages of this work. Here she received
the rudiments of her liberal education, much of it being obtained from a tutor while
living on her father's ranch at Colorado Salt Works in Park county. In later years,
however, this early training was supplemented by courses at Battle Creek College in
Michigan and in the schools of Maquoketa, Iowa. Mrs. Murphy is also enrolled as
a member of the alumni of Wolfe Hall. Denver. In art work and as a leader in
various enterprises, particularly those of charitable nature, Mrs. Murphy has been a
leader. At the age of sixteen she began the study of china painting, then oil painting
with Henry Read of Denver, and later studied at the Chicago Art Institute and with
the New York Art League, with Franz Bischoff of Detroit and with other notable
teachers. Mrs. Murphy is now a member of the National Arts Club of New York and the
Denver Art Association; also has her work displayed in annual national exhibits.

In 1885 Mrs. Murphy, then Miss Minnie B. Hall, first learned of the work of
Christian Science. In the early part of this year she accompanied her mother, Mrs.
Hall, to the east, where specialists were to treat her mother for blindness and lame-
ness. Many physicians had pronounced her case as hopeless, but every means was
sought to bring relief. En route to the east they stopped in Chicago, where they
learned of a friend who had been cured of a very grievous affliction by Christian
Science and they immediately determined to try the new art of healing upon Mrs.
Hall. Several weeks were spent there under the care of a Christian Science practitioner,
with the result that Mrs. Hall was completely cured of both her blindness and lameness.
This so strengthened their belief in the theory of Christian Science, that the mother
and daughter immediately returned to Denver, resolved to establish the work here.
In the face of much opposition and not without much difficulty they succeeded in their
efforts, their first work being the healing of a crippled old scissor-grinder who came
to their house. This old man discarded his crutches within three weeks and the visible
cure effected in him brought scores of others to Mrs. Murphy and her mother. Regular
meetings were 'held at their home, 412 Broadway, and later at No. 3 La Veta place.
On January 4, 1S86, an association known as the Metaphysical Christian Science
Institute Association was organized at the Hall home and the charter, No. 20, was
secured from the National Christian Science Association of Boston in the following
year. Previous to this time Mrs. Murphy had received a charter, numbered sixteen,
authorizing her to conduct the Colorado Christian Science Institute. In her work
here, Mrs. Murphy was under the instruction of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy and in May,
1886, she received word from Mrs. Eddy to come to Boston, there to take the regular
Normal Course in Christian Science. This she did. taking the full course under the
personal instruction of Mrs. Eddy and forming a personal friendship with the founder
of Christian Science which was to mould and influence her whole subsequent life and

In addition to inaugurating the work at Denver, Mrs. Murphy began the work at
Canon City, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Greeley and at several other points outside
of the state; in a few of these lectures she was assisted by Mr. T. H. Donehue, her
student. In July, 1887. the first Sunday school was organized by Mrs. Nettie Hall
McQuade, C. S. D., a sister, at the Hall home, an account of which is to be found
In Volume V of the Christian Science Journal. The First Church of Christ, Scientist,
was formally organized at Denver. January 11, 1891, and the first meeting held in
Winkler's Hall, Sixteenth and Tremont streets; services were held in various other


places until the building of the church, wherein the first services were held on Christ-
mas day, 1891.

In the activities connected with war work in Denver Mrs. Murphy has been
very prominent, having begun immediately after the declaration of war to engage in
the various enterprises for the benefit of the soldiers. She established a unit of the
comforts forwarding committee of Boston in Denver, the first of this work in Colorado
which, joined with three other units, was later under the supervision of the Comforts
Forwarding Committee, on Fifteenth street in Denver, Colorado, with headquarters in
Boston. The situation in Denver in the days of April and May, 1917, was such that
some concerted action was necessary. There was no fund in the state treasury with
which to feed and clothe the hundreds of young men who were coming into the city,
on their way to be mustered into tlie federal service. Appreciating the situation Mrs.
Murphy conceived the idea of giving a military eutertainlnent and, with the funds
secured, provide some means of filling the wants of these boys. Within a short time
she secured the loan of El Jebel Temple and had made all other arrangements neces-
sary for the entertainment, which was given successfully on the night of May 5th. Over
eighteen hundred dollars was taken in at this entertainment, which was used by
General Baldwin, the Red Cross and the National League of Women's Service. Then
her idea was carried out to start a cafeteria tor the soldiers. In other lines of war
work, in knitting, in generous support of the government and Red Cross calls and in
the work of the Comforts Forwarding Committee, Mrs. Murphy gave her efforts un-
ceasingly. About forty women joined Mrs. Murphy in making garments for soldiers,
at Mrs. Murphy's home, and she designed and executed a comfort kit, which won words
of commendation from both oflicers and enlisted men, here and overseas. Mrs. Murphy
was appointed one of a committee of three from the First Church to raise twenty-five
thousand dollars for Christian Science Camp welfare work, among the soldiers.

Minnie B. Hall was first married on September 7, 18S7, to William R. Perry of
Denver, who is deceased. To this union there was born in Colorado in 18S8. one
daughter, Mary Antoinette, now the wife of Mr. Frank Frueauff of New York city,
and who has won considerable fame in the theatrical and literary circles of the
country, having been leading woman for several seasons with David Warfield in
"The Music Master" and the author of a charming book of verse and songs. Margaret
Hall Frueauff. granddaughter of Mrs. Murphy, is of the third 'generation to be born
in the state of Colorado, and in Denver, her birthday being February 23. 1913. Mrs.
Perry was married on May 19, 1910, to Mr. Edward Roberts Murphy, of Denver.


Charles L. Hall, intrepid Pike's Peaker and one of the most successful of Colo-
rado's citizens, was born on the 22d day of November, 1835. in Sherman, New York,
and died August 15, 1907, in Denver, Colorado. He was the son of Asahel and Betsey
Wood (Ripley) Hall; the former was born October 9, 1797, and died March 4, 1877,
and the latter was born in 1800 and passed away May 15, 1856; their marriage occurred
in the year 1816. Asahel Hall was the son of Richard Hall and Alice (Arnold) Hall;
Richard Hall was born April 21, 1762, and died November 15, 1843. at New Haven,
Vermont; Alice Arnold, of Mansfield, Connecticut, was born April 18. 1762. and died
December IS, 1839; their marriage took place October 2, 1781. The father of Richard
Hall was Lieutenant Nathaniel Hall, born in Mansfield. Connecticut, February 8, 1724,
and died July 27, 1816. at New Haven. Vermont, who was an oflicer during the Revo-
lutionary war in the Continental army; Nathaniel married in 1745 Martha Storrs, who
was born April 28. 1728, and died June 16, 1808. Nathaniel Hall was the son of Theo-
philus Hall, whose birth date is not known, but who died August 29, 1747, and Ruth
Sargeant; the last named was born March 29. 1697, and married Theophilus Hall,
March 21. 1720 or 1721. The next in the ancestral line was Captain William Hall,
who was baptized June 8, 1651, and died June 11, 1727. The father of Captain William
Hall was John Hall, born about 1609 and who died July 23, 1696; he came to the
colonies with Governor Winthrop and was number sixteen or nineteen on the mem-
bership roll of the first church at Charlestown, which became the first church in Boston.
John Hall married Elizabeth Learned, whose father came to this country about 1630.
Charles L. Hall is a descendant of John Arnold, who as one of the minute men
fought in the battle of Bunker Hill and rose to the rank of ensign. Mr. Hall is also a
descendant of John and Elizabeth Howland and of Mr. and Mrs. John Filley, all of
whom came to America on the Mayflower in 1620.

When Charles L. Hall was a lad of nine years his parents moved from New York




state to Maquoketa, Jackson county, Iowa, and there he received his primary schooling,
finally entering Iowa College at Davenport, where he remained until 1859 studying law,
also pursuing various courses of study designed to fit him tor the ministry.

When twenty years of age young Hall left school for a time and started in the
flouring business at Maquoketa. Iowa, but found this occupation unprofitable. The
stories he heard concerning the wonderful Pike's Peak country had made a profound
impression upon his imagination and he ultimately decided to seek his fortune in
Colorado. Accordingly he left Iowa and came overland to the Rockies, locating on
Ralston creek, where he started a cattle ranch. For a few months he operated this
property, then sold and on December 14, 1859, left Denver for California Gulch, now
Leadville, where strikes were being made and hundreds of prospectors were settling.

Here he was moderately successful in prospecting and mining and in the following
winter visited the San Juan district. As early as 1860 vague rumors of wonderfully
rich leads of ore in the southwestern part of Colorado reached the miners then
operating at Clear Creek, on Tarryall Creek and in California Gulch, and early in 1861
a large party of experienced prospectors, including Mr. Hall, was formed to explore a
region then totally unfamiliar to them. The start was made by Hall, with two com-
panions—Harris and O'Neill— and no incident of unusual character occurred until
the party began the ascent of the mountains from the south on the brink of the Animas
canyon, about twenty miles above where the town of Durango is now situated. This
was in the latter part of February. 1S61. It was during this trip that Mr. Hall had
an experience which for hardship, peril and threatened starvation is without equal
in the annals of the Rocky Mountain region. With his two companions, Mr. Hall
reached the Uncompahgre, passed the site of Ouray, and came to Cow creek, where
their quest for gold was unsuccessful. Previously they had made a camp in Baker's
Park and here they decided to return. The trip around by the wagon road seemed
too long for their supply of provisions, so, believing the next river over the divide
from the Animas was the Los Pinos, by which they could find a short cut, they started
over the mountains, but instead of striking the Los Pinos they came upon the Lake
fork of the Gunnison. A man named Nate Hurd had a camp on the Uncompahgre,

Online LibraryWilbur Fiske StoneHistory of Colorado; (Volume 4) → online text (page 26 of 108)