he has farming interests comprising one hundred and sixty acres of valuable farm-
ing land in Morgan county. At all times he is a patriotic and loyal citizen and at
DAVID J. VAN BRADT
22 HISTORY OF COLORADO
the present time he is serving as county attorney, having been appointed to the
office in January, 1913, since which time he has been the Incumbent in the position.
He served as deputy district attorney from January, 1913, until January, 1917. He
has also served as government appeal agent in the selective draft since the begin-
ning of the war and has devoted at least halt of his time to that work without
compensation, even paying his own expenses. He is putting forth every effort in
his power to advance the interests of his country in this great world struggle, actu-
ated by the most patriotic spirit and by the highest ideals.
HON. GEORGE CONRAD FAHRION.
Many there are who would accord to George Conrad Fahrion the place of prom-
inence among the citizens of Elbert county. For thirty-seven years he sat upon the
bench of the county court and, although a democrat, was never defeated in a county
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which has a normal republican majority. The record of no other county Judge In
the history of the state can parallel this, and the fairness and impartiality of his
decisions constitute an unblemished record. Judge Fahrion was born in Leonberg,
Wurtemberg, Germany, in April, 1832. and came of that fine stock of Germans who
preferred to live under the flag of a free country rather than under the military rule
of the fatherland. He was seventeen years of age when he came to the new world
and in 1860 he made the trip by team across the plains 'to Colorado. Here he soon,
took advantage of the opportunities denied him in his native land and homesteaded
some of the best land in Elbert county. He had been educated at Stuttgart, Germany,
and throughout his life he remained a student of books and of events and was a close
and keen observer of men and their motives. He came to Colorado when they needed
men to fight for the Union cause and he soon enlisted. His service was largely along
the Mexican border and he rendered valuable aid to his adopted country there. Today
his widow is on the government pension roll, a tribute to his valor and honorable career
as a soldier in the Civil war.
It was in 1865 that Mr. Fahrion was married to Miss Elizabeth Swena, of Denver,
and with his young bride he removed to Elbert county. He was identified with farm-
ing and cattle raising for many years and at one time owned as high as two thousand
acres of land. In 1918 his heirs sold a thirteen hundred acre tract which had been
left to them by their father. There are five sons and one daughter in the family,
including Mrs. E. N. Wood, who is secretary of the Kiowa school board.
George Conrad Fahrion possessed a mind judicial in character and one that could
not be swerved by personal prejudice. Wliile he had not pursued the study of law in
early manhood, he was called to the bench and for thirty-seven years served as county
judge, being again and again re-elected on the democratic ticket in a republican county.
He was the most noted representative of the county bench in the state. Time and again
he called litigants before him and settled their disputes without the expense of lawyers
or court costs. From all over the county people who had trouble over property rights
would come to him and agree to let him decide the case privately. His clear vision
and his sterling Integrity made his name a synonym for uprightness and fair dealing
In every household. He was county judge of Douglas county during the period when
Elbert county was created and there began a career on the bench which continued to
the time of his death, on December 6, 1909. His picture now occupies the place of honor
on a wall of the Elbert county courthouse. His record should ever be a source of
inspiration and encouragement to those who knew him and his memory remains as a
benediction to all with whom he came in contact.
OSCAR LEE YOUNG.
Oscar Lee Young, the president and manager of the Kansas-Colorado Oil & Re-
fining Company of Denver, was born in Allen county, Ohio, September 3, 1850, a son
of William and Jane (Ralston) Young. The father was born in Maryland and the
mother in Pennsylvania. They became residents of Ohio in early life and there the
father followed the occupation of farming. He afterward removed from Ohio to
Dekalb county, Indiana, where he passed away, and his wife also died in that locality.
Oscar Lee Young is the only surviving member of a family of nine children.
Three months out of the year he attended the country schools and during the remainder
HISTORY OF COLORADO 23
of the time devoted his attention to farm work, but by diligent night study he secured
sufficient information to enable him at the age of sixteen years to take up teaching
in the country and village schools of Ohio. He afterward entered the law office of
Judge L. M. Ninde, of Indiana, and was admitted to general practice in the courts of
that state in 1876. He entered upon the practice of law at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and
afterward removed to Duluth, Minnesota, where he remained for twenty years a
prominent figure of the bar of thai city. For fifteen years of that period he devoted
his attention to corporation work, especially in regard to laws affecting the mines and
mining Interests. His knowledge in that department became so widely recognized
and his fame spread abroad to such an extent that the officers of one of the larga
corporations decided to make Mr. Young an offer to devote his entire time to the in-
terests of the corporation and relinquish all outside practice. From that time he
was connected with a number of very important cases for the said corporation. At
length, however, he severed his connections and in 1917 came to Denver, where he
immediately began investigating oil interests with the result that he entered into
active association with the Kansas-Colorado Oil & Refining Company, which has hold-
ings in the Wyoming fields, where operations are now being conducted. Of this com-
pany Mr. Young is the president and is most wisely and carefully directing its
interests. He is also preparing to open law offices in Denver and his established
reputation as an expert on mining law will undoubtedly insure him an extensive
clientage. He belongs to the Denven Bar Association and the Colorado Bar Associa-
tion as well as to the Minnesota State Bar Association.
On the 24th of May, 1882, Mr. Young was united in marriage to Miss Jane M.
Walker, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. They became parents of two children, of whom
one has passed away. Walker R., born in Butler, Indiana, in May, 1885, was grad-
uated from the high school of Duluth, Minnesota, and from the University of Idaho
and is now with the United States government in the engineering department reclama-
tion service, located in Denver. He married Miss- Marguerite Bush, of Boise, Idaho,
and they have one child, Jane Bush Young, who was born in Boise. They are main-
taining their home in Denver.
With limited opportunities in youth, Oscar Lee Young has nevertheless steadily
advanced, wisely utilizing the talents with which nature endowed him and taking ad-
vantage of every opportunity offered. Step by step, therefore, he has progressed until
he has long occupied an enviable position in legal circles and is today also well known
as a prominent representative of oil interests.
HENRY RICHARD PHILLIPS.
Henry R. Phillips, prominent in railroad construction work and contracting, has
been a resident of Colorado from the pioneer epoch in its history. He was born in
Garnett, Kansas, April 12, 1870, a son of E. C. and Stella J. (Barnheiser) Phillips, the
former a native of Ohio and the latter of Indiana. The mother removed to Brecken-
ridge, Colorado, with her parents when but nine years of age and they were married
at Golden. In early life E. C. Phillips also removed to the west and was one of those
hardy trail blazers whose efforts constituted an initial element in the early development
of this state. Afraid of neither man nor beast, he engaged in freighting and braved
the dangers and hardships of pioneer life. His freighting trips took him between St.
Joseph, Missouri, and Butte, Montana. During the Civil war he volunteered for active
duty and served his country through four and a half years of that crisis, enlisting in an
Ohio regiment. In the early days of railroad building he gave up his freighting outfit
and became a railroad builder through Kansas, continuing in that work for many
years. At a later period in his life he resided at Longmont, Colorado, where he passed
away in March, 1912. His widow survives and is still a resident of Longmont. In their
family were four children: Henry R., of this review; Mrs. A. H. St. Clair, of Longmont;
Mrs. L. C. Rash, and Mrs. Charles C. Lewby, also living in Longmont.
Henry R. Phillips was a pupil in the schools of Salina, Kansas, after which he
entered college as a student in the WeSleyan University there, in which he pursued a
business course. He then returned home to become the active assistant of his father
in railroad construction work and continued with him along that line of business for
fifteen years or until 1905, when he decided to conduct business on his own account in
that way. Removing to Denver, he organized the Phillips Construction Company, with
offices in the Railroad building, and has since been very successful as a railroad builder
and contractor. His business has taken him to various parts of the country and his con-
24 HISTORY OF COLORADO
tract work has been of a most important character along various lines aside from rail-
roading. He and his associates had the contract for the building of a considerable
portion of the pipe lines for the Denver Union Water Company, also built the interurban
street car line between Denver and Boulder and has executed many other large and
notable contracts. His business is conducted under the name of the Phillips Construc-
tion Company, of which he is the president.
In 1894 Mr. Phillips was united in marriage to Miss Maude Cushman, who was bom
in Boulder, Colorado, and died in Salina, Kansas, in 1901. She was a daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. Washburn Cushman, of Longmont, Colorado. In 1907 Mr. Phillips was again
married, his second union being with Miss Anna Belle Davis, of Denver. Mr. and Mrs.
Phillips are well itnown socially and receive the hospitality of many of the best homes
of Denver. Mr. Phillips belongs to the Denver Motor Club and is widely and favorably
known. The extent and importance of his business interests have gained him a large
acquaintance in various sections of the country and his ability has brought him promi-
nently to the front along the line which he has chosen as a life work. One element
of his success is undoubtedly the fact that he has always continued in the field of labor
in which he made his initial business step. He has never dissipated his energies over
many lines but has concentrated his efforts and attention with the result that he has
gained expert knowledge and skill in his particular field.
WILLIAM J. BARKER.
"William J. Barker, vice president and general manager of the Denver Gas &
Electric Light Company, has risen to his present position by a method which has
come to be known all over the world as distinctively "American." This means that
ability met with its reward wherever someone was needed for the next higher job.
By the exercise of his native powers, whereby these powers have grown and developed,
William J. Barker has reached the notable place which he occupies today in connection
with one of the leading corporations of his city.
Mr. Barker was born in London, England, December 24, 1855. In 1869 he came to
America to fight his way to the top. It was, however, much of a boyish adventure —
this coming to America, for first of all he had worked his way to Australia on a sail-
ing vessel — an experience that gave him some notion of what hard toil means in this
world. But in this, as with everything else he has since done, he mastered the "sail-
ing" business and there was nothing in connection with a full-rigged craft that he did
On one of these trips and while still a very young man, Mr. Barker made his
way to New York and the hustling, bustling spirit of America appealed so strongly to
him that he decided it would be worth his while to anchor here for life. He finally
landed in Cleveland, Ohio, and worked as an engineer. With a mind trained to look
for and apply needed mechanical improvements, he soon attracted the attention of
employers. The climax was reached when he came into the employ of E. W. Rollins,
a great genius whose success was based largely upon his ability to put the right man
into the right place. Mr. Barker was now given every opportunity to develop his
talents along mechanical lines. When electric lighting was needed in Denver, it was
to W. J. Barker that the Denver company turned for effective installation. He found
Denver an ideal spot for the best work along his new lines. He found in the office
of the general manager, Frank Frueauff, now president of the Denver Gas & Electric
Light Company, one of the most progressive minds in the industrial world. Later
there came into office Robert W. Speer, one of the greatest mayors the country has
known. The result of this combination is the "best lighted city in the world." At the
time of the triennial conclave of the Knights Templar the illumination was of so
unique a character that Mr. Barker and his associates in the work achieved a nation-
wide fame. In fact the lighting at all of the great national conventions held in
Denver has done much to make these gatherings memorable. No city in the country
has a "Movie Row" as wonderfully lighted as is Curtis street. In the street lighting
of Denver it was Mr. Barker who supervised the work, suggesting many valuable im-
provements to Mr. Speer and the Art Commission which had general charge of the
matter. He has now for some years been the general manager of the company and
the wheels run as smoothly in the large Gas & Electric Light building on Champa
and Fifteenth streets as the myriad clusters of lights that have made this structure
the greatest feat in illumination in America.
A friend, in writing of Mr. Barker's more intimate life, has said: "His hand
WILLIAM J. BARKER
26 HISTORY OF COLORADO
is open to those in need; he is a booster of the first rank; he believes in Denver and
always does his sBare; he never forgets the friends of his youth; the worthy and
deserving never appeal to him in vain; he enjoys companionship; he is a never
failing friend; he Is a good husband and father; all in all he is a man, and when he has
finally been gathered to his fathers there will be real mourning in ranks high and low,
and it can be well said of him: 'The world was brighter and better for Bill Barker
living in it.' "
AKTHUR L. HOYT, M. D.
Dr. Arthur L. Hoyt, a well known and representative citizen of Akron, is the
efficient treasurer of Washington county. He was born in Monticello, Iowa, on the
12th of January, 1867, a son of Lyman and Adeline (Hallett) Hoyt, who were natives
of New York and Michigan respectively. In 1850 the father removed to Iowa, locating
in Jones county, where he purchased and improved a tract of land which he successfully
cultivated throughout the remainder of his life. His demise occurred on the 4th of
April, 1879, while his wife was called to her final rest in April, 1882.
Arthur L. Hoyt was reared in the state of his nativity and after completing his
more specifically literary education went to Iowa City to enter the medical department
of the State University, which institution conferred upon him the degree of M. D. in
1896. He first located for practice at Popejoy, Iowa, where he remained for six years,
and next removed to Dows, Iowa, there successfully following his profession until 1911.
In that year he came to Colorado for the benefit of his health and took up his abode
in Akron, Washington county, where he opened a drug store. He did not practice
medicine but continued in business as a druggist until the 1st of January, 1915, when
he was elected county treasurer, in which capacity he has since served. In this con-
nection he is making a most creditable and commendable record, discharging his duties
with marked promptness, ability and faithfulness. He has farming interests in this
state and has now long been numbered among the substantial and esteemed citizens
of his community.
On the 15th of March, 1888, Dr. Hoyt was united in marriage to Miss Louetta Swisher,
a daughter of Philip O. and Margaret Elizabeth (Swisher) Swisher, by whom he had
three children, namely: Otto J., who is engaged in the jewelry business in Akron; and
Phillip Otho and Audrey Lyman, both of whom died in infancy. Dr. Hoyt gives his
political allegiance to the republican party, while his religious faith is that of the Pres-
byterian church. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America.
ROBERT WILBUR STEELE.
Denver's history records no more illustrious name than that of Hon. Robert Wilbur
Steele, whose developing powers brought him to the highest judicial position within the
gift of the people of the state. He lives in the memory of his friends, enshrined in the
halo of a gracious presence, as a man of marked professional ability and the highest
sense of personal honor. He was born in Lebanon, Warren county, Ohio, November 14,
1857, and was the second in a family of five children, an elder sister and younger brother
passing away in early life. His parents were Dr. Henry King and Mary Frances
(Dunlavy) Steele. The former was born in Dayton, Ohio, April 1, 1825, and was a son
of Dr. John and Cornelia (King) Steele, who were representatives of pioneer families
of Ohio and Kentucky. After attending Center College at Danville, Kentucky, Dr. Henry
Steele pursued a course in medicine and surgery at the University of New York and
became a successful practitioner of Dayton, Ohio, to which city his father had removed
from Kentucky in 1812. The latter was a son of Robert Steele, who was one of the
founders of Transylvania College at Lexington, Kentucky. Thus it was that he came
of an ancestry honorable and distinguished and his own lines of life were cast in
harmony therewith. Dr. John Steele cared for the sick and wounded in the Dayton
Military Hospital in 1812 and Dr. Henry Steele was surgeon of the Forty-fourth Ohio
Infantry and later of the Eighth Ohio Cavalry in the Civil war.
During this period the family largely resided at Dayton, Ohio, and there Robert
Wilbur Steele began his education. He was not a robust, but was always a likable lad
and was greatly beloved by his relatives. It was the desire to improve the condition
DR. ARTHUR L. HOYT
28 HISTORY OF COLORADO
of his son's health that led Dr. Henry Steele in 1870 to remove with his family from
Ohio to Colorado. That was the year which distinctly marked the ending of the
pioneer epoch and the beginning of an era of modern day development. Dr. Steele
became a most prominent and influential resident of Denver, was appointed a member
of the state board of health in 1S79 and again called to the office in 1891. He was
among the organizers of the Colorado Medical Society in 1871 and served as its presi-
dent in 1875, while in 1877 he became the first dean of the medical department of the
University of Denver. He passed away January 20, 1893, and the Steele Memorial
Hospital has been most appropriately named in his honor.
Robert Wilbur Steele was a youth of but thirteen years when he accompanied his
father to Denver and he became a member of the first graduating class of the city,
completing his course in 1877. Almost from the time of his arrival in Denver he earned
all of his own spending money and it was not long before he was substantially con-
tributing to his own support. He was employed in the Union Bank in a minor capacity
and also acted as collector for Dr. Williams, who was associated with Dr. Steele in
practice. In those early years he spent his summer vacations upon a ranch owned by
his cousins, in the San Luis valley, near Villa Grove, and the outdoor life contributed
much toward the development and maintenance of his health. In his schooldays he was
not a particularly brilliant scholar, set off from others by his intellectual attainments,
but is well remembered by his classmates, owing to the charm of his personality and
his ability as a speaker. He won the prize in the third Woodbury contest for oratory,
which was held June 14, 1876, on which occasion he declaimed Webster's famous oration
in reply to Hayne. Even in his schooldays he manifested a deep interest in politics,
coupled with the capacity of readily making friends— traits of character which are of
unmistakable worth to the political leader. Of him at this period in his life it was
written: "Sincerely democratic in his thought and attitude toward others, affable
to all of whatever rank or station, just in his judgments, yet always willing to find an
excuse for the weak or misguided, he had all the dangerous weapons of the demagogue,
yet without any of the demagogue's disposition to use them wrongfully. He was inter-
ested, though not so profoundly as in later years, in the fundamental principles and
problems of government; he had a lively and active interest in men as men; and he was
also interested in the practical problems of political organization and in the results
that may be accomplished by the union and coordination of individuals in political
parties." He seemed to turn naturally to the study of law, having almost intuitive
interest in questions which concerned legal practice, while his oratorical ability also
constituted a potent force in his chosen life work. He began his reading in the office
and under the direction of the firm of Wells, Smith & Macon, very prominent attorneys
of Denver, and the next year he became a student in the Columbian University, now
the George Washington University of Washington, D. C. The climate of the east,
however, proved detrimental to him and in 1879 he returned to Colorado and resumed
his law studies with the firm of Wells, Smith & Macon, being admitted to the bar in
1881. Not long afterward the board of commissioners appointed him clerk of the county
court of Arapahoe county, of which Denver was then the county seat, and he devoted
his attention for three years to these duties, during which time he completed the study
of law, history and general literature. In 1S84 he resigned to engage in the active
practice of his chosen profession.
On the 28th of February, 1884, Judge Steele was married to Miss Anna B. Truax
and they became the parents of three sons and two daughters: Henry; William;
Frances Edwina, who died in early childhood; Robert, born in 1891; and a daughter,
Jane, who is yet a resident of Denver.
It was not long after his marriage that Judge Steele formed a law partnership with
William H. Malone, and he continued actively and successfully in the private practice
of law until called to the office of district attorney. In 1885 he was appointed land
attorney for Colorado for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, which
was extending its line through the state, and in the capacity of attorney Mr. Steele
became familiar with the districts through which the line was being built and utilized
his opportunity for judicious investment, acquiring large land holdings, from which
he afterward derived a handsome income. Moreover, he became extensively interested
in land law practice, in which field of jurisprudence he was regarded as an expert.
Thus he was steadily advancing along professional lines and at the same time his inter-
est and activity in politics was bringing him prominently to the front in that connection.
In the fall of 1890 he was elected chairman of the republican central committee of
Arapahoe county, at which time there were two very decided factions in -republican
ranks. He immediately set to work to heal the breach and with notable tact and
ability brought the two opposing sides together. He was elected to the office of district
HISTORY OF COLORADO 29
attorney and his course was generally endorsed as that of an extremely fair-minded
and capable man, who. as one of the local papers expressed it, was "a prosecutor and
not a persecutor."
Up to the year 1893 Colorado was the leading state among those which advocated