Wilbur Fiske Stone.

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his age and with unfaltering purpose he wrested fortune from the hands of fate.

When ^nineteen years of age Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Sadie
Howells. who had come to Canon City from Ohio. As a young man Mr. Smith worked
with Rockafellow & Baker at Rockdale, the new coal camp of Fremont county. He
afterward engaged in business on his own account and now in connection with a part-
ner, S. R. Cox of the Union Stock Yards of Denver, owns ranches in Fremont, Chaffee,
Custer and Park counties, having altogether fifteen thousand acres, of which nine
thousand acres is in ranches. He remembers the days when elk and deer were so
plentiful that they never thought of using the front quarters of the deer. Hunting
for game in this region was his delight. Bears and mountain lions were also numer-



ous up to about ten years ago and on one occasion Mr. Smith ran a bear up a tree In
the Greenhorn mountains and three years ago killed a mountain lion in the Green-
horn range. His memory also goes back to a time when forty years ago his father sent
his mother to England for medical treatment and the trip had to be made by ox team
to Cheyenne, from which point she traveled by rail to the Atlantic coast.

Great indeed have been the changes which time and man have wrought. Today
Mr. Smith has a iine home in South Canon, where he transacts his business, keeping a
stenographer, and there he spends the winter months. In other seasons of the year
he is busy on his ranches and a part of the winters he spends in California. Most
substantial success has come to him as the reward of his judicious investments, his
careful management and his indefatigable effort. Peddling vegetables when a boy of
ten years not only to provide for his own support but also that of his parents, he has
progressed with notable rapidity toward the goal of success, following methods that
any might profitably emulate and winning not only most substantial prosperity but
also an honored name.


A highly honored and respected pioneer of the state, Felix Allen Richardson, at
the age of eighty-three years, is still active In the discharge of his important duties
as librarian of the supreme court of the state of Colorado, which office he has held
for the past thirty-two years — a record which is indeed seldom emulated. Mr. Richard-
son is a Kentuckian by birth; his native city being Glasgow, in the Blue Grass state,
where he was born on December 11. 1835, a son of Felix A. and Jane McMurtry (Steele)
Richardson, both members of prominent southern families. The maternal great-grand-
father, Andrew Steele, was a native of Londonderry county, Ireland, and came to
this country before the Revolution. His grandfather, Brice Steele, the only child of
Andrew Steele and his wife. Lady Ann Carr Steele, was born in Argyleshire, Scot-
land, in 1774, and came to America with his mother in 1792 and settled at Lexington,
Kentucky, which is still the seat of the Steele family. His great-grandfather, Andrew
Steele, came to America several years in advance of his wife.

The Richardson family record goes back to the fourth earl of Lothian and
members of this family also came to America before the Revolution. They took promi-
nent part in the early wars of this country. Felix A. Richardson, Sr., was a native
of Virginia and enlisted in the service of his country at the outbreak' of the revolu-
tion in Texas, in 1835. He was killed in action at San Jacinto and the pistol which he
carried while in service is still in the possession of his son, our subject, a cherished
relic of his venerated father, and a reminder of American heroism and valor. On
February 28. 1856. the legislature of the state of Texas passed a bill authorizing the
commonwealth to donate thirty-six hundred acres of public lands to the four heirs
of Captain Felix A. Richardson, who had died that the cause of freedom might live.
This land in many instances had been taken up, without title, by others and after many
years of litigation to establish the claim of the heirs was at last all disposed of. Mrs.
Jane McMurtry (Steele) Richardson died in Glasgow, Kentucky. She bore her hus-
band four children, two of whom are still living: Mrs. Eliza Ann Smith, who is in
her eighty-fifth year and a resident of Hot Springs, South Dakota; and Felix Allen
Richardson, of this review.

During his boyhood and youth Felix Allen Richardson attended the common
schools and Urania College at Glasgow, graduating from the latter institution. He then
entered the printing establishment of his stepfather, his mother having again mar-
ried. He was at that time only fourteen years of age but he quickly learned the art
of typesetting, and having become a full fledged compositor and thoroughly acquainted
with all the details of the print shop, he was given entire charge of the establishment,
which he directed during the next two years. His executive ability and knowledge
of detail enabled him to conduct the shop along remunerative lines and his efforts
resulted in three thousand dollars profit annually, greatly to his satisfaction. He
continued to follow the printer's trade until 1861. when he had commenced the study
of law; but the War of the Rebellion coming on he closed up his legal studies and
went into the military service of the United States and was appointed deputy provost
marshal of the Third District of Kentucky, and remained in said service for about
two and one-half years. When the war was practically over he resigned his position
and was appointed deputy post master of Glasgow, which position he held for nearly
six years. During his military service he conducted two drafts for the United States


army. On May 12, 1873, he came to Denver to regain his health, which was quite
impaired; and so well did the high altitude and climate agree with Mr. Richardson
that he and his wife never returned to their old home to reside there permanently,
although he has heen to Kentucky on thirty-two occasions, always receiving a royal
welcome from the townsfolk. The Glasgow Times always received him with an article
of welcome and on various occasions has written about Mr. Richardson as one of the
most respected sons of the city. After having made Denver his home for one year
in order to regain his health, he decided to stay, and upon recommendation of his
friend. Governor Elbert, was appointed to a position in the Denver post office, which
he faithfully and efficiently filled for ten years. He then received an appointment in
the United States mint at Denver and in that capacity he remained until 1886, when
he was appointed bailiff and librarian of the state supreme court of Colorado. The
appointment was made by Supreme Court Justice Elbert. Mr. Richardson has filled
the position of librarian ever since, earning the high encomiums of the justices
of the court. He is careful and systematic in the discharge of his duties and as
librarian has instituted valuable measures, improving the cataloguing of records, books,
etc. He is well fitted for the position and his faithfulness is rewarded by the appre-
ciation of his work. He is today one of the best known men in positions of this
character in the country.

In 1866, in Louisville, Kentucky, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Richardson
and Miss Mary Ellen Reader, a daughter of Samuel Parker Reader and Katherine
Wilkinson Boggs Reader. The grandfather of Mrs. Richardson, John Reader, was one
of those patriots who participated in the Revolutionary war, and was a member of
Captain William Tucker's Company, First Regiment, Hunterdon County, New Jersey
Militia, also a member of Captain John Mott's Company, same regiment, during the
revolutionary war. Mr. Richardson is faithfully devoted to the republican party, which
he has ever supported. His religious faith is that of the Christian church and he takes
active' part in its work. He belongs to the Pioneers Society and is a member of
Typographical Union. No. 49, having been admitted in February, 1874. He stands
high in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having for fifty-two years been an
honored member of United Lodge No. 4. Mr. Richardson is interested in the cause
of education not only of children but also of the grown-ups, and thoroughly believing
in the great value of libraries, has given one thousand volumes out of his home col-
lection to the public library of Glasgow, his native town. This act of kindness has
been highly appreciated there, and although it was hard for Mr. Richardson to part
from some of these books, which were like his old friends to him, he has done so gladly,
for he knows that now hundreds of his home folks will have the benefit of them. He
has always participated in progressive movements undertaken in the interest of his
adopted city, where he has many friends among the high oflJcials of the state as well as
among the public, all of whom unite in speaking of him with the greatest respect and
esteem, thoroughly admiring his qualities of character and heart. In his particular
sphere of work he stands as one of the foremost and efficient men of the nation, and
many of the systems which he has introduced in regard to library work and as regards
the duties of court librarian have been adopted by officers in similar positions in other
parts of the country.


A splendidly irrigated farm of one hundred and sixty acres was once the property
of Owen Kilker, who was actively and prominently identified with agricultural Interests
in Boulder county. He was born in Ireland in May, 1842, and was brought to America
when a little lad of but six years by his parents, who established the family home In
Indiana. Later they removed to Colorado and both his father and mother passed away
in Denver.

Owen Kilker was reared under the parental roof and no events of special importance
occurred to vary the routine of life for him in his boyhood days. He was married
in Kansas to Miss Bridget Lavell, a native of Ireland and a daughter of Anthony and
Rose (Kennedy) Lavell. who were also natives of the Emerald isle. The mother
there passed away and the father and daughter afterward came to America in the
year 1846. Mr. Lavell eventually passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs.
Kilker, at the age of eighty-four years.

It was subsequent to his marriage that Mr. Kilker came to Colorado and pur-


chased the land upon which his widow now resides. He lived thereon for about six-
teen years and passed away on the old homestead in 1894.

To Mr. and Mrs. Kilker were horn nine children: Mary, now the wife of George
Ellsberry; Mrs. Agnes (Kilker) Gorman, who died at the age of forty-five years;
John; Michael, who died at the age of twelve years; Anthony; Eugene; one who
died in infancy; James; and Patrick H. The sons now farm the land which is still
owned by Mrs. Kilker — an excellent farm property of one hundred and sixty acres, all
of which is under the ditch and has been Improved with good buildings. In fact this
is one of the attractive farms of the district and the name of Kilker has become a
synonym for enterprise and progressiveness in relation to the development of the
farming interests of Boulder county.


John Donaldson Fleming, dean of the School of Law of the University of Colorado,
was born in the village of Elizaville in Fleming county, Kentucky, in 1852, and is a
representative of an old and distinguished southern family. The branch of the family
to which he belongs and all of the Flemings in Fleming county, Kentucky, who spell
their name with one "m," are of Scotch origin, probably Scotch-Irish. The founder of
the family came from the County of Wigton, on the southwest coast of Scotland, about
opposite Belfast. Ireland, and settled near Jamestown, Virginia, so tradition says, in
the year 1616. This is also the statement of a very old record still preserved. That
was only nine years after the first English settlement at Jamestown and more than
three hundred years ago. This Virginia immigrant was known as Sir Thomas Fleming,
second son of the Earl of Wigton. The earldom was created by King James VI of Scot-
land, who became James I of England. The family was never wealthy and perhaps by
the time the second son started for the new world was practically impoverished, his
chief possession probably being his title, to which he succeeded perhaps on the death
of his elder brother. The family was of Protestant faith.

Sir Thomas Fleming removed from Jamestown to New Kent county, Virginia, where
his remaining days were passed. In England he married a Miss Tarlton and left,
besides several daughters, in Virginia, three sons — Tarlton, John and Charles. An
article in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, entitled "Ancestors and
Descendants of John Rolph, with Notices of Connected Families," states that the date
ascribed to Sir Thomas' advent in Virginia (1616) is certainly too early. The New
Kent records are totally destroyed; but if it is impossible to confirm the "old record"
as to the date of his first settlement, it is a fact that his two sons, John and Charles,
were living in New Kent in the latter part of the seventeenth century, and this Charles
Fleming was the progenitor of the branch of the family to which John Donaldson
Fleming belongs. He possessed estates in New Kent and in King and Queen counties
and in Goochland county. He married and had several daughters and a son, John, who
was born in 1697 and died in 1756. This John Fleming wedded Mary Boiling and they
had numerous sons and daughters. John Fleming lived at Mount Pleasant, on the
James, in what was part of Goochland county but later became Cumberland and is now
Powhatan county. His eldest child, John Fleming, known as Colonel John Fleming,
was a lawyer and a friend of Patrick Henry and assisted the latter in the Virginia
legislature in securing the passage of the famous autitax-stamp resolutions. He
became the father of the first Kentucky immigrant of tiie name, who founded Fleming
county — Colonel John Fleming, who was the great-grandfather of Professor Fleming of
this review. It is to be regretted that more definite record concerning him is not obtain-
able, but British and Indian depredations in Virginia, the destruction of public, parish
and private records during the Civil war, the ordinary vicissitudes of time, the care-
lessness or indifference of the pioneer settlers, and the American disregard of pedigree
generally, have all contributed to the inability of most Americans to point to complete
documentary evidence. An early historian of Collins, Kentucky, speaking of John
Fleming, the founder of Fleming county. Kentucky, says: "The witnesses of his life,
like the fabled leaves of the Sibyl's prophecy, have been so scattered by the hand of
death that it is impossible to give any save the following incidents"; and then he pro-
ceeds to give an account of the encounter with the Indians at Battle Run, where Colonel
Fleming received the wound which ultimately resulted in his death; and a few other
adventures. Colonel Fleming was married in 1788 to Mrs. Lucy Donaldson nee Pettitt,
a widow, and they became parents of three sons, William, John and Thomas. The last
named was the grandfather of Professor Fleming of this review. He married Kerrilla



Paris and to them w-ere born a son and a daughter, John Faris and Mary, who after-
ward became the wife of Thomas R. Botts, of Flemingsburg, Kentucky. For his second
wife Thomas Fleming wedded Emily Goddard and their children were: William;
Judith; Margaret, who became Mrs. Hutchcraft; Lucy; and Ella.

John Faris Fleming, born in Fleming county, Kentucky, in 1814, was a surgeon
of the Tenth Kentucky Cavalry in tl-.e Union army during the Civil v/ar in 1864 and
1865. He was graduated in medicine from the old Cincinnati College of Medicine
and practiced his profession in Fleming county, Kentucky, for sixty years. He was
there married to Sallie Ann Vaughan and to them were born three children: Lucy
Ann, who became the wife of C. W. Darnall, of MaysviUe, and had five children — Sally
Vaughan, Anna, Thomas, Florence and John, but the last named died in infancy;
Thomas W.. of Fort Scott, Kansas, who married Sallie Kirk, and had two sons, Charles
tind John; and Charles Ernest, of Elizaville, Kentucky, who married Anna Berry and
had two children, Mary Louise and Ernest. Following the death of his first wife John
Faris Fleming was married to Amelia Perrin Anderson and their only child is John
Donaldson Fleming of this review. The wife and mother passed away in 1852 and
Mr. Fleming afterward wedded Mary Jane Stuart, by whom he had four children:
James Stuart, who died in California; Sally Ann, of Carlisle, who married Frank
Congleton, of Carlisle, Kentucky; George Watson Andrews, of Pleasant Valley, Kentucky,
who married Miss Robinson of Nicholas; and Mary, who died at the age of twelve years.
The death of the father occurred in 1890.

John Donaldson Fleming, reared upon the home farm in Fleming county, Kentucky,
to the age of eighteen years, attended the country schools and also a classical academy
conducted by the Rev. James P. Hendrick, a Presbyterian minister, in Flemingsburg,
the county seat of Fleming county, from which he was graduated in 1871. He after-
ward became a student in Centre College of Kentucky at Danville, where he won his
Bachelor of Arts degree upon graduation with the class of 1875, on which occasion he
received the John M. Harlan prize for proficiency in English composition. He sub-
sequently took up the profession of teaching and after serving as tutor in the college
for a year became connected with the Boys' High School at Louisville, his salary there
enabling him to pay for his previous educational training and to meet his expenses
while studying law. He was instructor in Latin and GreeK in the Boys' High School
until 1879 and during that period he also pursued law studies in the law school of the
University of Louisville, from which he was graduated in 1878. After severing his
connection with the Boys' High School he entered the Uiiiversity of Virginia at Char-
lottesville, where he pursued a postgraduate law course under Professor John B. Minor,
which he completed in 1879. Immediately afterward he removed westward to Colorado
and took up the practice of his profession in Leadville, entering the law office of James
Y. Marshall. For the first three years of his residence in Leadville he was also manager
of the Robert E. Lee Mining Company, of which Mr. Marshall was the president. In
1883 he was elected mayor of the city, which then con'ained a population of thirty
thousand, and in 1886 he was appointed to the office of city solicitor, which position he
filled for one term. In 1889 he was appointed by President Harrison to the position
of United States attorney for Colorado and served for one term. Having removed to
Denver, he entered upon the private practice of law on the expiration of his official
service and enjoyed a distinctively representative practice until 1903, when he was
appointed to the position of dean of the School of Law of the University of Colorado
at Boulder. For some years prior to this time he had been a lecturer at the law school
on a special topic and since 1903 has chiefly given his attention to the administrative
work of the law department and to his duties as professor of law, although he has not
withdrawn entirely from practice as an attorney. In 1912 he was appointed to the
chair of the Thomson professorship of law of the State University at Boulder, a foun-
dation due to the bounty of the widow of Judge Charles I. Thomson, and from the
Central University of Kentucky, his alma mater, he has received the honorary LL. D.
degree. While Professor Fleming has made the practice of law and his work as an
instructor the chief features of his life of intense and well directed activity, he has also
continued in the mining field to some extent as a director of uie Allegheny Mining
Company of Leadville and the Gold King Extension Mining Company of San Juan
county, Colorado.

On the 27th of August, 1890, in Danville, Kentucky, Professor Fleming was married
to Miss Elizabeth Keith Stodghill, a daughter of John and Nancy (Smith) Stodghill.
Their children are as follows. William Donaldson, who was born in 1892, was graduated
from the University of Colorado in 1913 and from the medical school of the University
of Colorado in 1917, while at the present time he is serving with the rank of first lieu-
tenant in the medical corps of the United States regular army, upon the staff of the


Walter Reed General Hospital at Washington. Marjorie Elizabeth was graduated in
1916 from the University of Colorado and was elected a member of the Phi Beta Kappa
society the same year. In 1918 she went to Washington to engage in war work for the
government. The youngest of the family, Nancy Amelia, was graduated from the
Boulder high school with the class of June, 1916, and is now a junior in the University
of Colorado at Boulder.

Dr. Fleming is a republican in his political views. He belongs to the Phi Delta
Theta fraternity and he was one of the founders and charter members of the Denver
Club and also of the University Club of Denver. His religious faith is that of the
Episcopal church. It would be tautological in this connection to enter into any series
of statements as showing him to be a man of broad scholarly attainments, for this has
been shadowed forth between the lines of this review. His advancement has been the
direct result of an earnestness of purpose that has never faltered in the face of diffi-
culties or obstacles, while high ideals have actuated him at every point in his career
and are constituting a most important element in the development of the School of
Law of the University of Colorado, which through the efforts of Dr. Fleming and his
associates has been placed on a par with thi*oldest law schools of the country. In 1915
Dr. Fleming was elected president of the Colorado Bar Association and ably served in
that capacity for one term.


Henry R. Deering, the period of whose residence in Washington county covers a
quarter of a century, has been actively identified with farming and stock raising inter-
ests there since attaining his majority, now owning three quarter sections of valuable
land and also an additional tract of eighty acres. His home is on section 25, eight miles
northwest of Yuma. His birth occurred in Grafton, Nebraska, on the 23d of December,
1885, his parents being Henry and Elizabeth (Glantz) Deering. both of whom were
natives of Russia. On crossing the Atlantic to the new world they first located at Sutton,
Nebraska, and later removed to Grafton, that state, where Mr. Deering devoted his at-
tention to general agricultural pursuits until about 1S93. He then made his way west-
ward to Washington county, Colorado, and here took up a homestead which he success-
fully operated throughout the remainder of his life, passing away in September, 1911,
at the age of sixty-three years. His wife, surviving him for a number of years, was
called to her final rest on the 19th of August, 1917. at the age of sixty-six. Their loss
was deeply regretted, for they had gained many warm friends during the period of their
residence in this state. Henry Deering had followed farming in Russia, prior to his
emigration to the United States, and was widely recognized as an able and industrious

Henry R. Deering acquired his education in the schools of Nebraska and of Wash-
ington county, Colorado, being a lad of but eight years when he came with his parents
to this state. He remained at home until twenty-four years of age but prior to this
time, on attaining his majority, he took up a homestead claim which he improved and
to the operation of which he has since given his attention. To the original tract of one
hundred and sixty acres he has added by purchase until his holdings now embrace three
quarter sections of rich and productive land and also another tract comprising eighty
acres. In connection with the cultivation of cereals he devotes considerable attention
to the raising of pure bred stock, including Hereford cattle and Percheron horses, in
which branch of his business he has been very successful, making his start on the open
range before the country was fenced. He is a stockholder in the Farmers' Equity Union
and the Farmers' Cooperative Elevator Company, both of Yuma, and enjoys a well

Online LibraryWilbur Fiske StoneHistory of Colorado; (Volume 4) → online text (page 68 of 108)