Wilbur Fiske Stone.

History of Colorado; (Volume 4) online

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St. Joseph in 1873. his parents being John M. and Esther J. (Olds) Nichols, the former
a native of Indiana and the latter of Pennsylvania.

R. C. Nichols was reared under the parental roof and in the acquirement of an
education attended the common schools in his native state. After laying aside his
textbooks he began life's active duties in connection with the United States and Pacific
Express Companies at St. Joseph, with which he was connected for three years. Sub-
sequently he was for eighteen years on the pay roll of the St. Joseph & Grand Island
Railroad, holding first the position of fireman and later that of locomotive engineer.
Carefully husbanding his resources, he acquired the means which enabled him to set
himself up independently. In order to enjoy greater opportunities for a more rapid
advancement he decided to remove farther west and concluded that he would find in
the state of Colorado a field that would suit his tastes and ambitions. In 1914 he
arrived in this state, locating at Arvada and subsequently going to Littleton, and for
a few years was there engaged in the stock and poultry business. In 1918, however,
he. in partnership with a brother-in-law, acquired title to seven hundred acres of
valuable ranch land and here he now resides. This property is known as the Patter-
son ranch, his brother-in-law being F. E. Patterson, of Denver, an accountant for the
Sigel-Campion Company. One hundred and twenty-five acres are under cultivation,
the rest being devoted to pasture. Mr. Nichols has now one hundred head of high
grade shorthorn cattle and in fact his efforts largely run to live stock, ranching and
dairying. Having thoroughly studied local conditions, climate, soil and other subjects
which might enter into his success, he employs the most modern ideas in order to make
advancement and a prosperous future may be presaged for him.

In 1894 Mr. Nichols was united in marriage to Miss Anne Neff, of St. Joseph,
Missouri, and to this union were born seven children now living: Charles R., a high
school and business college graduate, who enlisted in the famous United States Marines
and is now stationed at Quantico. Virginia; Marie A., who attended high school and
business college at St. Joseph and is connected with an important industrial enterprise
at that city in the position of forelady; and Elizabeth T.. Louis M., Margaret, Harley
and Donald.

Although Mr. Nichols and his mother have made their residence in this district
for but a few months they have been well received by all those who have made their
acquaintance as they are truly worth while people. Mr. Nichols inspires confidence
and being a public-spirited citizen and a man of enterprise, promises to be of great
value to the community. In his political affiliations he is a republican, having ever
supported that party, but the honors and emoluments of public office have never
had attraction for him. Along fraternal lines he is a member of the Brotherhood
of Locomotive Engineers and also belongs to the Expressmen's Mutual Benefit Asso-


ciation, his connection being ■with the lodges at St. Joseph. Having worked for a
number of years in the employ of others, Mr. Nichols has attained that desirable
position in which he is permitted to guide his affairs according to his own plans,
and being a man of good Judgment, it may be predicted for him that his future in this
state will be a bright one.


Every state owes a great debt to its pioneer settlers but none greater than that
■which Colorado owes to those who first penetrated within her borders to claim the
rich mineral resources or to use its broad plains as pasture lands. Cut off from the
comforts and conveniences of the older east, they faced untold hardships, trials and
privations but they met these with courageous spirit and in the course of years their
labors wrought a change which transformed the western wilderness into a populous
and prosperous region. To this class of early pioneers belonged John Ramsey Rothrock,
who was probably at the time of his death the oldest settler in Boulder county. He
arrived in 1858. then a young man of twenty-four years, his birth having occurred
in Bellefonte. Center county, Pennsylvania, on the 3d of April, 1834. His youthful
training was that which is generally received by the farmbred boy and his educational
opportunities were those accorded by the public schools near his father's home. He left
the east about the time that he attained his majority and made his way to Nebraska
as a member of a surveying party, assisting in the survey of the sixth principal
meridian and the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth meridians of longtitude. He
was engaged in this work until 1858, when he became one of a company of thirty-two
who traveled over the country with ox and horse teams to Colorado. This company
was formed at Nebraska City and Mr. Rothrock joined near Kearney, Nebraska. They
arrived in Boulder county in November of that year and made their way to the site
of the present city of Boulder. Nineteen out of the thirty-two returned eastward that
fall, but thirteen remained to spend the winter in little pioneer cabins which they
built back of the rocks at a point sometimes known as the Needles. Mr. Rothrock
was the last survivor of the original thirteen. When they took up their abode in that
district a band of Indians were camped near the creek on a grassy spot. They mani-
fested a most friendly attitude until they learned that the white men had discovered
gold, when they became very hostile and tried to drive them away, giving them three
days in which to leave. The white men, however, decided that they would remain
and fortified their cabins, for they had plenty of arms and ammunition and resolved
to fight if necessary. After three days had passed the Indian chief. Old Bear, came
to the cabins and reported that he had had a fearful dream, which he interpreted
as follows: "The water in Boulder creek would rise, so he was informed by the Great
Father, until it would overflow both the Indian and the white camps, unless an ox was
slaughtered, in which case he would allay the flood." The white men knew that if
they slaughtered one ox and gave it to the Indians that another would be demanded
just as soon as the first one was gone, so they made up their minds that they would
not accede to the request and after a couple of days the Indians withdrew, leaving
the white men in peace.

From the earliest point of Boulder's development Mr. Rothrock was connected
with the work of progress and improvement. Associated with John Hall he surveyed
the public square and the first one hundred lots in Boulder. In the spring of 1859 he
engaged in gulch mining on Gold Run, near Gold Hill, and subsequently went with
the John Gregory party on a prospecting trip in North Park. Upon his return he was
associated with George Williamson in the purchase of several placer claims in Spring
Gulch, in Gilpin county, and in 1860 he made his way to California Gulch, near Lead-
ville. In the fall of that year he returned to Longmont and took up the business of
ranching and stock raising. Owning land, he began its cultivation and carried forward
the work of improving his farm along the most progressive lines. He built the
second ditch ever constructed in the state and was a close student of irrigation prob-
lems and of the best methods of bringing water into arid districts. Notwithstanding
the fact that difliculties and obstacles confronted him, Mr. Rothrock persevered in his
undertakings. In the early days all supplies were very high in price. His first plow,
for which he paid seventy-five dollars, was made in Denver from boiler iron, and
the second, which was made of cast iron and was brought by freight from the States, was
purchased at a cost of one hundred and ten dollars. He had to pay twelve and a half
cents a pound or seven dollars and a half per bushel for the first seed wheat which



he purchased, but notwithstanding all these drawbacks Mr. Rothrock prospered as the
years passed by. In 1878 he removed to Longmont, making his home just over
the Longnumt lin£_lQ the east, on a farm of forty acres. He also extended his activ-
ities into other fields and for several years was in the dry goods business with Sam
Williams, under the firm style of Williams & Rothrock. He bore an unassailable repu-
tation in business and his enterprise carried him into important relations.

On the 2d of January, 1867, Mr. Rothrock was united in marriage to Miss Eliza
C. Buford. a daughter of William and Mary A. (Jones) Buford, and to them were
born two sons: William H., now living in Longmont; and John E., who is interested
in the Howe-Allen Mercantile Company of Denver. Mrs. Rothrock still resides in

While Mr. Rothrock was ever an upright and honorable citizen, he did not unite
with the church until he had reached the age of eighty years and then identified
himself with the people of Presbyterian faith in Longmont. Integrity was ever one
of his dominant characteristics and in all his business dealings he was thoroughly
reliable. With his passing Colorado lost one of its honored, worthy and substantial
pioneer settlers whose work was of great worth in the development of his section
of the state. Shut off by distance from all the comforts and conveniences of the east,
he bravely faced the conditions of western frontier life, involving many hardships
and sometimes dangers, and there was no fea'ture of the state's development with which
he was not thoroughly familiar. He was connected with the mining camps as well as
with the early agricultural progress of the state and at all times he had firm faith in
Colorado and its future. This faith found justification in the success which ulti-
mately came to him and which enabled him to leave his family in very comfortable
financial circumstances. His memory is cherished by all who knew him and his name
is ever spoken in terrjs of the highest regard. His demise occurred on the 23d of
April, 1915, when he had attained the age of eighty-one years and twenty days.


Charles M. Deiters is the vice president of the Ferris-Conaway Real Estate &
Investment Company of Denver. He has been identified with this corporation since
1913 and through the intervening years has contributed in substantial measure to its
success. He was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. April 9, 1S75, and is a son of
Charles H. and Indiana (Fulton) Deiters, both of whom were natives of West Vir-
ginia. The mother was a distant relative of Robert Fulton, who was the inventor
of the steamboat. Both of the parents of Charles M. Deiters remained in West
Virginia and the father was for many years prominently identified with political
activities in Wheeling. He served as clerk of the district court for many years
and made a most creditable record in office. Later he turned his attention to farming
and gave his energies to agricultural pursuits until he retire'd from all business life.
He is now enjoying a well earned rest in Wheeling, West Virginia, where he is
numbered among the honored citizens. During the period of the Civil war he enlisted
in a West Virginia regiment, in the artillery service, and was commissioned adjutant
general under Captain Carlin. He commanded two heavy guns at the siege of Vicks-
burg, Mississippi. His wife died at their home in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1890.
In their family were seven children, of whom Charles M. was the second. Six of the
number are living, namely: Harry A., still a resident of Wheeling: Mrs. John R.
Pogue. living at West Alexander. West Virginia; Mrs. J. A. Miller, of Wheeling: Mrs.
Samuel Bane, whose home is in Wellsburg, West Virginia; Mrs. Ellen Wiedman,
located at Elm Grove, West Virginia: and Charles M. of this review.

The last named is indebted to the public school system of Wheeling for the
educational opportunities which he enjoyed. He passed through consecutive grades to
his graduation from the high school and afterward he more thoroughly prepared for
a commercial career by a course of study in the Wheeling Business College. He
next entered a military school, from which he was graduated in 1S91. Later he
established himself in the candy manufacturing business in Wheeling and became one
of the most successful manufacturers and business men of the city. He continued
at the head of the business for twenty-two years and developed it to large propor-
tions. His enterprise, thorough reliability and progressiveness brought to him a
very substantial trade, but, attracted by the west, he at length disposed of his interests
in his native place and came to Denver, where he arrived in 1913. He soon found an
opening consistent with his active ideas and laudable ambition and invested his capital


In the Ferris-Conaway Real Estate & Investment Company, of which he was made
vice president. He has since been active in promoting the interests of the company
and they are now conducting a very large business in the investment field. The officers
are among the well known and representative men of the city and the clientage is
extensive and of an important character. Their business methods will bear the
closest investigation and scrutiny, their success being the direct result of close
application, unfaltering purpose and indefatigable energy.

On the 14th of March, 1900, Mr. Deiters was united in marriage to Miss Lulu
Stringer, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Stringer, of West Virginia, and they
havfe become parents of a daughter, Lucille, who was born in Wheeling in 1905 and
who is attending the Park Hill school of Denver.

In politics Mr. Deiters maintains an independent course. Fraternally he is a
Scottish Rite Mason, having attained the thirty-second degree in Colorado Consistory.
He and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and they occupy
an enviable social position, having many warm friends in the city, the number of
whom is constantly increasing as the circle of their acquaintance widens.


Edward L. Keehn, a man of inventive genius and marked mechanical skill and
Ingenuity, removed from Ohio to Colorado in the year 1873 and his remaining days
were passed in this state, covering a period of forty years. Mr. Keehn was in the
employ of the city of Denver for a quarter of a century and was the engineer of the
first waterworks system that was installed in the city. He remained for a long period
with the water company and then accepted a position with the fire department as
engineer. It was he who had charge of the first fire engine in Denver. Later he was
transferred to the electrical department of the city service and there continued until
he tendered his resignation in 1912. He possessed marked inventive ability and
brought out many valuable devices which have come into general use. It was he who
invented and patented the harness hangers which are in use in the different fire
stations in Denver today, and many other examples of his skill, handiwork and
initiative are yet to be seen.

On the 3d of February, 1880, Edward L. Keehn was united in marriage to Miss
Mary F. Griffin, a daughter of John and Johanna (Kennedy) Griffin, who are mentioned
elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Keehn became the parents of three children:
Tina, now the wife of Harry Huffman, of Denver; Alma; and Roy. Mrs. Keehn is
very active in social and club circles in Denver and she is a valued member of the
Territorial Daughters of Colorado. She is continually engaged in some service for the
public good and by reason of her charming personality, executive ability and wide
vision is in great demand as a social worker, her efforts being attended by most sub-
stantial and gratifying results.


John Randolph Brewer, a retired farmer of Adams county, dates his residence in
Colorado from 18G3 and in 1864 the family home was established upon the farm which
he now owns and cultivates. He was born in Carrollton, Kentucky, September 14, 1851,
his parents being John I. and Hannah C. (Zllar) Brewer. The father was born amid
the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, while the mother was a native of Kentucky.
Mr. Brewer devoted his time and energies to the occupation of farming and on leaving
Kentucky in 1861 removed to Missouri with his family, living in that state for two
years. In 1863 he came with his wife and children to Colorado and settled in what is
now Adams county, taking up his abode upon a farm. The following year he entered
as a claim a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, upon which his son, John R., now
resides. With characteristic energy he began the development and improvement of the
place and as the years passed added to it modern equipment. Both he and his wife
died on this farm.

John R. Brewer was one of a family of five children, three of whom are now living.

His youthful days were spent in the usual manner of the farmbred boy who divides his

time between the acquirement of a public school education and the work of the farm

and after attaining his majority he began farming on his own account on the old home-

voi. rv— 27



stead which he now owns, comprising seventy-two acres of irrigated land. His work
is evidenced in the excellent appearance of the place and in the improvements which
he has put upon it. His has been an active and useful life and whatever success he
has achieved has come as the direct reward of his persistent and earnest efforts at
farming and stock raising.

Mr. Brewer is a democrat in his political views but has never sought or desired
oflBce. He belongs to the Grange and is interested in its work to disseminate knowledge
that will promote the agricultural development of the county. There are few residents
of Adams county who have so long resided within its borders as Mr. Brewer, who has
made his home here for flfty-five years. There is no phase of its growth and develop-
ment with which he is not familiar and his reminiscences of the early days are most


A glance at the history of past centuries will indicate at once what would be
position of the world if mining interests had had no part in industrial and
cial life. Only a few centuries ago agriculture was almost the only occupation of
man. A landed proprietor surrounded himself with his tenants and his serfs, who
tilled his broad fields, while he reaped the reward of their labors. But when the rich
mineral resources of the world were placed upon the market industry found its way
into new and broader fields, minerals were used in the production of hundreds of
inventions and the business of nations was revolutionized. When considering these
facts we can in a measure determine the value to mankind of the mining interests.
One who was connected with the development of these interests of Colorado was
John Griffin, who became a pioneer in this field of labor and remained a mining man
throughout his life.

Mr. Griffin was born in Ireland but at a very early age was brought to the United
States by his parents. When he arrived in Colorado he cast in his lot with those brave
men who were facing hardships and dangers in order to develop the rich mineral
resources with which nature had endowed the state. He courageously bore his part
in the arduous task and ever continued in active connection with the mining interests
of Colorado.

Mr. Griffin was united in marriage to Miss Johanna Kennedy, who was born on the
Atlantic while her parents were en route from Ireland to the new world. Mr. and
Mrs. Griffin became the parents of ten children, of whom four daughters are living,
Mrs. Mary Keehn, Mrs. James Dooley, Mrs. Anna Katen and Mrs. Frank McNerney,
all of whom are yet residents of Denver. The parents have now passed away, the
father having died in 1883 and the mother in 1S84. Mr. Griffin, however, is still remem-
bered by many of the old mining men of the state, where his labors constituted an
Initial element in the utilization of Colorado's vast mining interests.


William A. Hover, chairman of the board of directors and president of the
United States National Bank at the corner of Seventeenth and Stout streets in Denver
and senior member of the firm of W. A. Hover & Company, wholesale druggists, was
born at Mazomanie, Wisconsin, on the 9th of March, 1856, and there led the quieb
and uneventful life of a village lad. He is the son of William Ulysses and Harriet
(Harbaugh) Hover, both of whom are now deceased. He was graduated from the
high school of his native town at the age of seventeen years and matriculated in the
University of Wisconsin at Madison, becoming a freshman in that institution in 1873.
There he was graduated with honors, winning the degree of Bachelor of Mining
Engineering. The succeeding year was spent by him in Columbia College, now
Columbia University, as a student in the School of Mines, after which he made his
way directly to Colorado, settling at Lake City, where he engaged in assaying.

The year 1878 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Hover in Denver, where he became
associated with J. 0. Bosworth, a retail druggist, under the firm name of Bosworth
& Hover. A year later he purchased Mr. Bosworth's interests and established the
firm of W. A. Hover & Company. Their trade increased but after a time they dis-
continued retailing and concentrated their efforts and attention upon the wholesale


trade exclusively, developing one of tlie largest wholesale drug houses of the west.
In the conduct of his interests Mr. Hover has ever held closely to the highest stand-
ards of commercial ethics. He has built up his business along constructive lines and
his path has never been strewn with the wreck of other men's fortunes. His identifica-
tion with the United States National Bank dates from its inception. He became its
first president but afterward resigned that position and is now chairman of its board
of directors. He was, however, reelected president and chairman of the board at the
death of the acting president. He has studied banking with the same thoroughness
with which he has studied the wholesale drug trade and his developing powers have
placed him in the front rank among the financial leaders of the state.

On the 1st of September, 1886, Jlr. Hover was united in marriage to Miss Marianna
Vought, a native of Milwaukee. Wisconsin. The children of this marriage are William
Tracy, Mary Throckmorton, Ruth Grandin, Harriet Harbaugh, Dorothy Adgate, James
T., Anne Vought, Charles Stedman and Lloyd Barberie.

Mr. Hover is well known in the club circles of the city, having membership in
the Denver, the Denver Athletic, the Denver Country and the University Clubs. In
religious faith he is an Episcopalian, having membership in St. Mark's church. For
years he was chairman of the traffic bureau of the Denver Civic and Commercial
Association and has thus been actively and helpfully interested in many plans and
measures which have to do with the upbuilding and development of the city. His
business activities, too, have been an element in substantial growth and progress in
Denver. The firm of W. A. Hover & Company occupies a fine modern structure in a
central location — at the southwest corner of Fourteenth and Lawrence streets in
Denver. Mr. Hover's beautiful home is at the corner of Colfax and Lafayette streets
in Denver. His interest centers in his family, to whose welfare he is most devoted,
and he is a kind and loving husband and father. In business circles he has the reputa-
tion of being a man of absolute integrity as well as enterprise.


Guy E. Loomis, cashier of the First National Bank of Berthoud, was horn near
Fort Collins, in Larimer county, Colorado, May 16, 1869, a son of Abner and Isabelle
(Allen) Loomis, who were natives of New York and of Missouri respectively. The
father was a stockman who in 1850 went to California and in 1860 came to Colorado,
at which time he located on the Poudre river in Larimer county, where he purchased
land and engaged in the stock business. He was also interested in the Poudre Valley
National Bank of Fort Collins and was its president for a number of years. He con-
tinuously resided in Fort Collins from 1872 and was one of the most valued and
respected citizens as well as prominent financiers and business men of that place.
He died in August, 1904, having for a number of years survived his wife, who passed

Online LibraryWilbur Fiske StoneHistory of Colorado; (Volume 4) → online text (page 52 of 108)