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promoting his efficiency.



DANIEL ALBERT EITEL.



Daniel Albert Eitel is the owner of an extensive ranch in the Riverbend district
of Elbert county and displays marked business ability and enterprise in its conduct.
He was born in Adair county, Missouri, April 21, 1882, a son of John F. and Eva
Eitel. While spending his youthful days under the parental roof he pursued his edu-
cation in the public schools of Missouri and after arriving at years of maturity he was
married to Miss Fannie Leavengood, of Sullivan county, that state, the wedding being
celebrated in the year 1911.

Mr. Eitel afterward successfully followed farming in the Mississippi Valley but
in 1917 came to Colorado, settling in Elbert county, where he purchased one of the
largest farms of the Riverbend district. He knows thoroughly the business of farming
and cattle growing and his production in the present year of 1918 surpasses any-
thing previously done upon this extensive place. Closely studying the situation which
confronted him when he came to the county, he has made the best possible use of his
time and opportunities in the further development and improvement of his land and
year by year will add to its productiveness because of the practical value of his service
in crop raising.

Mr. and Mrs. Eitel are the parents of two children, Charles Sherman and Clara
June. Already the family have made many acquaintances in Elbert county and have
gained the high regard of those with whom they have been brought in contact.



BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ROCKAPELLOW.

The Rockefellers do not all spell their name alike. When, however, it comes to
genealogy there is but one spelling, and the book issued once every five years is called
the "Record of the Rockefeller Family Association." Of this organization Benjamin
Franklin Rockafellow. of Canon City, has for over eight years been president. The
book is an exceedingly interesting series of volumes, for it traces the family history
back to Raimond Perellas Rocafull, sixty-third grand master of the Order of Malta,
1697 to 1719. From this point it is easy to trace the ancestral line back to the thir-
teenth century. There are French ancestors who spell the name Roquefeuille: Ger-
mans who spell it Rockenfeller. while the English use the form of Rockefeller; but
all have the motto dating from 1250. "Nonquam Propius Erunt." The immediate
ancestor of the American branch of the family was a German, Johann Peter Rocke-
feller, 1723. The great-grandfather of John D. Rockefeller, the oil magnate, and the
great-grandfather of Benjamin Franklin Rockafellow, the subject of this review, were
brothers, and the misspelling in America began with these two ancestors.

For eight years this great-grandfather of B. F. Rockafellow fought in the Revolu-
tionary war and his own military career was probably inspired by this notable fact.

B. F. Rockafellow was born November 18. 1835. in Nunda. Livingston county. New
York. Captain Rockafellow attended first the district schools of Conesus, New York.
In this' town his father was engaged in the general milling business, shipping his
product to New York city. This was before the days of railroads, and canal transpor-
tation was utilized. The Geneseo Valley Canal carried the flour and other merchandise
to the Erie Canal, on which the cargo was carried to Albany and thence down the
Hudson river to New York city. In taking up his more advanced schooling Captain
Rockafellow entered Temple Hill Academy at Geneseo. New York, later was a student
at the Wesleyan Seminary of Lima, New York, and concluded his collegiate work at
Oberlin College of Oberlin, Ohio, in the early '50s. His college expense was met from
his own earnings. When he was nineteen years of age the family removed to Lyons.
Michigan, and there despite his youth, he became prominent at once, building the



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BENJAMIN F. ROCKAFELLOW



Vol. rv— 37



578 HISTORY OF COLORADO

Gothic steam mills. The funds for the erection of this property were secured through
a successful speculation in what was then known as Oak Openings, wild land, a
project in which his favorite aunt, Miss Abigail Warner, gave him substantial assistance.
This mill was removed as soon as the first water power plant was completed, which
he and a partner operated under the firm name of Rockafellow & Hathway, becoming
one of the best known milling firms in that section of Michigan as long as it was in
operation. In the summer of 1862 he enlisted in the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, was
commissioned second lieutenant and soon rose to the rank of captain. He had been
seriously wounded in the battle of the Wilderness. May 6, 1864, and his commission
was dated back to March 16th of that year; and "Captain" Rockafellow he has been
ever since. It was the officers of the Sixth Michigan who told President Lincoln
when he visited them that they proposed to present General Jeb Stuart, the Confed-
erate leader, to him. "I should much rather see General Stuart than all of you,"
was the president's reply. General Stuart was killed in an action in which the Sixth
Michigan participated. Captain Rockafellow was one of the brave men who destroyed
the pontoons back of Lee's army in July, 1863, thus delaying the Confederate gen-
eral's movement seven days. Captain Rockafellow's wounds were slow in healing and
after he had seemingly recovered his wounds again broke out and later after he con-
valesced he was for a time commanding the first division at Remount Camp Stone-
man, near Washington. In 1865, however, he was with his regiment in Sheridan's
famous Charlottesville and James River raid.

After the rebellion was ended Captain Rockafellow" pai:ticipa,ted in General P. E.
Connor's Powder River Indian expedition. In November, 1865, he was sent to Port
Bridger and assigned to command Company D of the reorganized First Michigan
Veteran Cavalry and ordered to Camp Douglas, Salt Lake, where trouble with the
Mormons was brewing. In March. 1866. he was mustered out and came by team
to Denver. His father had arrived in the state in 1860 and with him the Captain
began mining the placer fields below Hamilton. That fall he removed to Canon City,
in the development of which he has been the greatest individual factor.

After selling his mining properties to Philadelphia parties Captain Rockafellow
returned east and was married on the 30th of April, 186,7i to Miss Kittle M. King, of
Greenfield, Michigan. They made their permanent home in Canon City. Their honey-
moon trip was replete with danger. The railroad had been built only to North Platte
and for two nights and a day they were on the, way between Kearney. Julesburg and
Denver by relay coaches. This was just before the worst outbreak of the Indians.

In 1869 Captain Rockafellow was appointed postmaster of Cafion City and held
that position continuously until 1879. He was one of the promoters and incorporators
of the original coal companies at Rockvale and Brookside. Some of the properties of
these companies the Santa Fe Railroad finally secured through his effort.

In 1882 Mr. Rockafellow was elected to the legislature and framed and secured
the passage of the first coal mining law. He has ever closely studied questions and
issues bearing upon the welfare and development of his state and has looked beyond
the exigencies of the moment to the opportunities and possibilities of the future.
His opinions have been carefully formed after wide reading and investigation and have
exerted considerable infiuence in molding public thought.

Captain Rockafellow was the first man to plant a great orchard in Fremont county,
which is now one of the most important fruit raising sections of Colorado, and his
orchard is among the largest in this section. Throughout all the intervening years
Captain Rockafellow has been a member of the Loyal Legion an^l of Greenwood Post,
G. A. R., at Canon City, and of the latter was for several terms commander. He
was also for eleven years on the State Agricultural College board and has been for
years and is today one of the authorities on horticulture in Colorado.

On the 30th of April, 1917, in the old home in Canon City, the Captain and his
wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Their children are: George F.,
president of the Fremont County National Bank, with which institution he has been
connected for twenty-nine years; Charles Custer, cashier of the Costilla County State
Bank at San Acacio: and Mrs. Wilbur T. Little, whose husband. Dr. Little, was sta-
tioned as Captain of the Raritan arsenal of New Jersey and is now assistant to the
surgeon in chief at the big government recuperation camp at Aurora, Colorado. All
these children and the grandchildren were present at the golden wedding. Mrs.
Rockafellow is active in church and social life, as she has been throughout her entire
connection with Cafion City. She was a charter member and was long president of
the ladies' library, which is now the public library. Her life, however, has also been
one of constant devotion to her home and family.

Both Captain and Mrs. Rockafellow have exercised marked influence over events



HISTORY OF COLORADO 579

which have had to do with the social, intellectual and moral progress of the com-
munity and with its upbuilding along many lines, and no history ot Canon City
would be complete without extended reference to them.



TITO CAPOPERRO.



Tito Capoperro, who is engaged in the raising of vegetables on the Globeville
road, near Westminster, was born in southern Italy on the 13th ot February, 1852. a
son of Richard and Angelina Capoperro. He attended school in his native country
and remained under the sunny skies ot that land until about twenty-six years of age,
when he crossed the Atlantic to the new world, seeking better business opportunities.
For a time he engaged in farm work in the east and in 1881 made his way westward
to Denver, where ho was employed for three years, working in a hothouse at Thirty-
first and California streets. He then rented ten acres ot land in Adams county and
began farming on his own account. There he remained for eight years, during which
time he carefully saved his earnings until his economy and industry had brought
him sufficient capital to enable him to purchase ten acres. He thus acquired his pres-
ent place and has since followed gardening. He raises fine vegetables which find a
ready sale on the market and by reason of its extent his business makes continuous
demands upon his time and energies and brings to him a gratifying reward for his
labors.

In 1894 Mr. Capoperro was married to Miss Rose Arciere, the wedding being cele-
brated in Denver on the 16th ot July of that year. They have two children: Jerry,
at home; and Angelina, the wife of Vito Albanese, by whom she has one daughter,
Dominca. Their religious faith is that of the Catholic church. Mr. Capoperro has
prospered since coming to the new world and has never had occasion to regret his
determination to seek his fortune on this side of the Atlantic. He found that in
America labor is king and that diligence and determination will win success.



ST. CLAIR ROSS, Jr.



St. Clair Ross, Jr., a representative business man of Henderson whose activities
have been well directed, bringing him a substantial measure of success, was born in
Keithsburg, Illinois, March 21, 1855, a son of Rev. St. Clair and Lucy (Davidson)
Ross. The father was the first minister of the United Brethren church in Colorado,
to which state he removed in 1869.

Mr. Ross of this review pursued his education in district schools of Colorado near
what is now the town of Henderson. He made the trip here on the first passenger
train out of Denver, June 21, 1870. The father purchased two hundred and forty acres
of land and St. Clair Ross remained at home, assisting in the development and improve-
ment of the farm. His uncle, G. J. Ross, had homesteaded this land. Throughout
much of the time in his early manhood Mr. Ross of this review has engaged in farming
and is well known among the leading agriculturists of the community. He engaged
in mining in Leadville in the early days and he is now the owner of a blacksmith shop
in Henderson which is being conducted by his son. In 1882-83 he was engaged in the
undertaking business in Denver under the firm name of Ross & Behymer, and is also
engaged in the mercantile business both at Henderson and Erie. He is the owner of
valuable realty, while at a recent date he sold one hundred and twenty acres of land.

Mr. Ross was married to Miss Sophronia L. Gilson, a daughter ot Robert H. and
Euphrasia Gilson. Mrs. Ross was born in Idaho Springs, her people having removed
to Colorado from Kansas in 1860, taking up their abode at Idaho Springs. The trip
across the plains was made with oxen and Mr. Gilson engaged in mining in Gilson
Gulch. He was born in 1830 and his wife in 1832, their birth states being Indiana and
New York respectively. Mr. Gilson died on September 11. 1905, but his widow is yet
living at the ripe old age of eighty-seven years. To Mr. and Mrs. Ross have been
born the following named: Leo H., the eldest married Lela Holmes and they have two
children, Hubert Holmes and Grace Adele. Rose became the wife of Edward Murphy,
a son of J. William Murphy, and their children are Edward and Floyd. Maude is the
wife of Chris Anderson and they have a son, Giles. Arthur married Martha Jorgensen
and they have two children, Deane and Viola. Irene is the wife of Clark V. Nicholls
and their children are Lillian and Doris,



580 HISTORY OF COLORADO

In his political views Mr. Ross is a republican but has never been an office seeker,
although he has very efficiently served on the school board. His activities have been
carefully and wisely directed and his energy and enterprise have been dominant factors
in winning tor him the competence that is now his.



HENRY F. STOFFT.



Henry F, Stofft is the owner of an excellent farm property situated a mile and a
half north of Henderson and comprising forty acres of land which he has splendidly
improved and brought under a high state of cultivation. Mr. Stofft is a native son
of Indiana. His birth occurred in that state September 8, 1874, and his parents, John
G. and Christina (Kuhlman) Stofft, were also natives of Indiana and of German descent.
They always remained residents of Indiana and there passed away. They had a fam-
ily of six children, of whom Henry F. Stofft was the fourth in order of birth.

Reared and educated in his native state, Henry F. Stofft mastered the branches of
learning taught In the common schools and in 1904 he left that section of the country
to come to Colorado, making his way to Denver, where he resided for a number of
years. In 1912 he removed to Adams county, establishing his home a mile and a half
north of the Henderson depot, where he now owns forty acres of highly cultivated
land which he has splendidly improved. Upon his place are substantial buildings and
all modern equipments and he makes a specialty of raising garden products as well
as alfalfa hay.

In May. 1908. Mr. Stofft was united in marriage to Miss Bertha L. Gray, who
passed away the next year. In 1912 he wedded Miss Gertrude Harms. He and his
wife are members of the Lutheran church and in social circles they occupy a most
enviable position, having many warm friends in the district in which they live. Mr.
Stofft is a republican in his political views and keeps well informed upon the questions
and issues of the day but is not an office seeker. His attention is concentrated upon
his business affairs and his enterprise and energy have been the dominant factors
in the attainment of his success.



LARS ELMER JOHNSON.



Lars Elmer Johnson and wife are owners of three hundred and twenty-seven
acres of land in Boulder county, one-half of which is irrigated. He was born in Jefferson
county, Colorado, November 20, 1871, a son of Andrew W. Johnson, a retired farmer,
who still lives in Boulder county. The father was born in Sweden, September 14,
1843, a son of John and Katie (Halverson) Johnson, both of whom were natives of
Sweden, where they spent their entire lives. They had a family of ten children, but
Andrew W. is the only one now living. He was reared and educated in his native
country and in 1869 came to America, first settling in Carroll county. Illinois, where
he lived for five months and then removed to Denver, Colorado. He there worked as
a common laborer until 1872. when he went to Golden, where he was employed in the
smelter for two years. In 1874 he took up a homestead of eighty acres, whereon he
now resides, and later purchased fifty acres more. He has since improved the prop-
erty with fine buildings and has planted thereon a grove of trees. He now has one of
the finest farms in the county, mostly all under irrigation. His has been an active
and successful life, enabling him now to live retired. His political allegiance is given
to the republican party and for twenty years he has served as school director. He
was married January 2, 1870, to Miss Christina Larson, also a native of Sweden, and
they became parents of nine children: Lars Elmer, a farmer: Anna, the wife of
Daniel Howard, of Longmont; Christina W.. the wife of Albert Lund, of Boulder county;
Alfred T., deceased : Charles F., who is agricultural superintendent of the sugar factory
at Brighton; Alveda. the wife of Harry Yeager, of Boulder county; Mattie E., who is
now a nurse in Denver; Adolph W., deceased and Nancy, the wife of Scot,t Hershey,
of Longmont. The wife and mother passed away June 24, 1912, and was laid to rest
in Mountainview cemetery. She was a member of the Lutheran church, to which
Mr. Johnson also belongs, and he is now president of the board of deacons.

Lars E. Johnson was educated in the public schools of Colorado and also pursued
a business course in Kansas. After attaining his majority he took up farming and
stock raising on his own account and in 1902 came to his present home property, which




MR. AND MRS. LARS E. JOHNSON



582 HISTORY OF COLORADO

was a part of the James J. Beasley place. Later he purchased additional land until
he now has three hundred and twenty seven acres of rich and arable land, of which
one hundred and sixty-seven acres is under the ditch, while the remainder is dry farm-
ing land. He feeds from fifty to one hundred head of cattle annually and he is meeting
with success in the various branches of his business. His fields, carefully cultivated,
produce large crops and his farm work is conducted along most progressive lines.

In 1898 Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Mabel Beasley, a native
of Boulder county, Colorado, and a daughter of James J. and Eliza Beasley, and to
them have been born three children. Clarence E., Juanita M. and Juanda I. Mr. John-
son is a member of the Woodmen of the World. In politics he is a republican and
keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day but has never been a poli-
tician in the sense of office seeking. He has, however, served either as secretary or
president of the school board for fifteen years and is occupying the position of secretary
at the present time, the cause of education finding in him a stalwart champion. Mrs.
Johnson is an active member of the Boys and Girls Industrial Club, a nation-wide organ-
ization, subdivided into states, counties and smaller units.



JAMES H. BELKNAP.



James H. Belknap, a respected and substantial resident of Caiion City, where his
birth occurred in 1870, is a son of Henry and Mary (Young) Belknap, the father a
native of West Virginia, while the mother was born in Jackson county, Missouri, not
far from Kansas ,City. In the year 1865 Henry Belknap came to Colorado and pre-
empted land on Beaver creek in Fremont county. He became not only one of the
pioneer settlers of the district but one of the most successful and well known cattle
men. Here he remained and reared his family.

His son. James H. Belknap, acquired a common school education and, continu-
ing in 'the occupation to which he was reared, he is now the owner of an eight hun-
dred acre ranch in the Wet Mountain valley near Hillside, Colorado, and has import-
ant live stock interests. He rents all of his cultivated land on the ranch but takes
care of the cattle business, in which he has continued throughout his entire life,
becoming one of the well known cattle men of his part of the state.

On the 30th of January, 1918, Mr. Belknap was united in marriage to Miss Caro-
line C. Wagner, a daughter of C. M. and Helen C. (Jacobs) Wagner, of Chicago, Illi-
nois. Mrs. Belknap was educated in the Chicago Musical College and for several
years traveled extensively in the United States as a pianist and teacher of music.
Mr. and Mrs. Belknap make their home at No. 2002 East Main street in Cafion City,
where they have an attractive residence that is the abode of warm-hearted hospitality
that is greatly enjoyed by their many friends.

In his political views Mr. Belknap is a democrat and in 1916 was elected to the
office 'of county commissioner for a four years' term, so that he is now serving in
that position, the duties of which he discharges with marked promptness and fidelity.
He is always loyal to any interest entrusted to his care and is actuated by a most
progressive spirit in all that he has undertaken, whether for the public good or for
the advancement of his individual interests.



JUDGE N. WALTER DIXON.

In the field of education, in the practice of law and as a member of the judiciary
of his state Judge N. Walter Dixon has won distinction and success by reason of his
capability, achieved through his careful preparation and earnest study. In his chosen
profession he is guided by the highest ethical standards and in full measure maintains
its dignity. Those who know Ijim more intimately esteem him for his personal worth
as much as on account of his professional acquirements. He came to Colorado in
early manhood and since his arrival has been identified with the law. having made
for himself a position which ranks him high both as a lawyer and judge.

N. Walter Dixon was born in the town of Princess Anne. Somerset county. Mary-
land, September 22. 1858. His ancestors, coming from England, established their home
in Maryland in early colonial days and were among the first settlers of Somerset county.
The first of the name in the American colonies was Ambrose Dixon, who after crossing
the Atlantic located in Virginia, and in the latter part of the seventeenth century the




JAMES H. BELKNAP



584 HISTORY OF COLORADO

family was planted on the soil of Maryland. The ancient records of Somerset county
disclose that Ambrose Dixon was an attorney at law and practiced about a century
before the Revolution. He often appeared in the court over which Colonel William
Stevens, another ancestor of our subject who is mentioned more extensively below,
presided as commissioner. The Judge's father was George C. Dixon, M. D., and the
maiden name of the mother was Virginia W. White. Mr. Dixon was a native of Mary-
land and after acquiring his education in the schools of that state turned to the medical
profession as a life work, being actively engaged in the practice of medicine and'
surgery in Somerset county and becoming well known in his district, although he died
in 1S58 at the comparatively early age of thirty-three years. In young manhood he
had married Virginia W. White, who was born in Somerset county and was descended
from one of the old families of Virginia of English blood, her ancestors being among
the first English colonists of the Old Dominion. Through her Judge Dixon of this
review is descended from Colonel William Stevens, who in the early part of the sev-
enteenth century took up his abode in Maryland. He was one of Lord Baltimore's
council and deputy governor of the province of Maryland, and his tomb is yet to be
seen at Rehoboth. Somerset county. He was the great-great-great-greatgrandfather of
the Judge. The maternal great-grandfather of Judge Dixon in the White family was Cap-
tain William White, who during the Revolutionary war, at the age of eighteen, raised,
equipped and maintained a company of the Virginia Line, which he commanded during
the war. He was a man of considerable wealth and belonged to one of the leading
Virginia families of his day. After losing her first husband Mrs. George C. Dixon



Online LibraryWilbur Fiske StoneHistory of Colorado; (Volume 4) → online text (page 73 of 108)