Genealogy Trails

La Plata County, Colorado Genealogy Trails


W. C. Chapman, a leading merchant, prominent citizen and influential civic force at Durango, La Plata county, is a pioneer of 1868 in this state, and since that time he has been actively identified with its progress and development. He was born at Albany, New York, on September 9, 1838, and is the son of John W. and Hephzibah (Gibbons) Chapman, also native at Albany. He grew to manhood at Syracuse, New York, and after reaching years of maturity, engaged in business there until 1868, when he came to Colorado and settled at Georgetown. Here he was occupied in mining until 1881. In February of that year he located at Durango and opened a hardware store which he has conducted ever since, and which he has made one of the leading emporiums in its line in this part of the state. He is also vice-president of the Colorado State Bank and is interested in various other business enterprises. In public life he has been zealous and serviceable, giving the town an excellent administration of its affairs when he was mayor and as president of the school board during the last ten years holding the educational forces of the community up to a high standard of ability and usefulness. He is also an active church worker, and in the two fraternal orders to which he belongs, the Freemasons and the Elks, his membership is highly valued and of great service. In July 1889, he was married at Durango to Mrs. Ella Hovey, a native of Missouri. They have one daughter, Mary M. Mr. Chapman is a member of the San Juan Pioneer Association and takes a great and serviceable interest in its proceedings. He is one of Durango’s leading and most representative citizens, and has a wide and potent influence for good throughout a large extent of the surrounding country. As one of the makers and builders of the town, and one of its leaders of thought and action he is widely known and generally esteemed; and as a business man of capacity, enterprise and breadth of view he has given its commercial forces a high rank in the business world. Among the progressive men of western Colorado he is entitled to a place in the front rank. [Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Nancy Overlander]

James William Jarvis, a well known and successful garage proprietor of Durango, is also actively identified with ranching and live stock interests in La Plata county. His birth occurred in Custer county, Colorado, on the 17th of October, 1877, his parents being George Henry and Ingo Mary (Archbutt) Jarvis, the former a native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, while the latter was born in London, England. He received a high school education in his youth and since putting aside his textbooks has been engaged successively in cattle raising, in activities as an Indian trader, in general merchandising, in the livery business and in the conduct of an auto sales and service station, being now proprietor of a well patronized garage in Durango.
Mr. Jarvis has been active in public affairs and has made a commendable record as city commissioner. Fraternally he is identified with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
On the 22d of July, 1900, at Aztec, Nex Mexico, Mr. Jarvis was married to Ida Ethel Ferguson. They are the parents of two sons and two daughters, as follows: Irvin James, who wedded Marian Hopper; Vernon Charles, who married miss Evelyn Schellenberger; Jentra Pearl, and Mary Louise. [Source: "History of Colorado", 1927]

Through the thrilling and exciting scenes of American life in many places and under a great variety of circumstances, and yielding his due tribute of service and good citizenship to his country in all, Cyrus F. Newcomb, of Durango, La Plata county, came to his estate of worldly comfort and public esteem. He was a pioneer of 1868 in this state and a native of Boston, Massachusetts, born on August 13, 1831. His parents, Harley and Roxanna D. (Hartwell) Newcomb, were natives of Massachusetts and descended from some of the founders of the state. Their son Cyrus grew to manhood in his native state and was educated there. In 1852 he came west to Iowa, and a few months later went to Chicago where he clerked in a hotel for three years. He then went to Rock Island and engaged in business as a traveling salesman, following this occupation three years. In 1859 he crossed the plains to Pike’s Peak, and after a short stop there went on to California. In 1860 he moved to New Mexico, and soon afterward to Virginia City, Nevada, where he built and operated the Mound House and the Half-Way House, hotels, for a period, then passed some time in the Reese river and White Pine country. From there he went to Salt Lake City, and from there to Virginia City, Montana, then to Oregon and back to South Pass, Wyoming, where he remained until 1868, when he came to Colorado and was employed in treating ore at the first mill at Georgetown. He helped to start the first mill at Gilpin gulch, and worked there until 1872. At that time he moved to Del Norte. He became the first mayor of this town and read the Declaration of Independence in public for the first time it was so read in this part of the country. From 1881 to 1886 he was deputy revenue collector. In 1887 he came to Durango to live. Here he served a number of years as justice of the peace, and United States commissioner and as police judge. He was also interested in mining, and was the author of a number of well-known books concerning the ancient races of history. Mr. Newcomb was a valued member of the San Juan Pioneer Association and made substantial contributions to the interest and profits of its proceedings. His first marriage occurred in Chicago in 1852 and was with Miss Elizabeth Huddleston. She died a few years later in Chicago, leaving two children, Dr. W. K. Newcomb, of Champaign, Illinois, and Harley Newcomb, of Durango, this state. Mr. Newcomb’s second marriage took place in 1871, and was with Miss Jane Wells. In 1881 he married a third wife, Mrs. Hattie E. Allen, a widow with five children by a former marriage. Mr. Newcomb was a prominent and influential citizen and was universally respected throughout his portion of the state, his death, which occurred on January 3, 1905, being deeply regretted. [Source: "Progressive Men of Western Colorado", Publ 1905. Transcribed by Marilyn Clore]

John W. Wingate, of Durango, a retired merchant whose career has been active and fruitful in this state, is a pioneer of 1870 in Colorado and of 1873 in the San Juan country. He was born on July 16, 1845, at Boston, Massachusetts, and is the son of Moses and Martha Dunham (Walker) Wingate, the former a native of Dover, New Hampshire, born on the old Wingate homestead, on which the family settled in 1658. In 1849 the parents of John Wingate moved to Rome, New York, where he lived until the Civil war called him to other scenes of usefulness. On August 11, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Seventeenth New York Infantry, and served until June 8, 1865, his only mishap beyond the general privations and hardships of the service being a slight wound received at the explosion of the mine before Petersburg July 30, 1864. After his discharge from the army he returned home, and in 1867 moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and later changed his residence to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he worked at his trade as a carpenter, helping to build Fort Russell. In 1868 he moved to Kansas, and two years later came to Colorado, locating at Denver. In 1871, however, he went to New Mexico in the employ of a large English company, but a year later he returned to this state and went to the head of Cherry creek in company with O. P. Posey and Milton H Mark, of Denver. Here they rented a ranch and raised potatoes until 1873 when he and Mr. Posey came to Colorado Springs and engaged in contracting and building. Then, in company with former Governor Alva Adams, they started a hardware business at Del Norte. Sometime afterward, leaving Mr. Posey in charge of this enterprise, Mr. Wingate went to Baker’s Park, and in partnership with others built a sawmill in 1873. They were obliged to construct their road into the park, crossing the Rio Grande fifty-three times. Returning to Del Norte he remained a short time, then went to the Summit camp and assisted in opening the Golden Queen mine, of which he was one of the owners. It is now a part of the Consuls Gold Mining Company’s property, and he is one of the stockholders in the company. Some time was passed in prospecting, after which Mr. Wingate took charge of the Hotchkiss mine near Lake City, and in the ensuing fall he took control of the Summit mine and mill at Summit gold camp, but soon after returned to Lake City, where he took charge of the Van Gieson Lixiviation Works and remained until 1878. At that time they opened a hardware store at Silverton and he assumed the management of it. They also had a store at Alamosa which Mr. Adams managed. The firm dissolved during 1878. Posey and Wingate took the Silverton store and continued until 1882, when they took in another partner, Col. H. G. Heffron. In 1884, with Alva Adams and William Bayly, they organized and incorporated the San Juan Hardware Company, with stores at Silverton, Durango, Ouray and Telluride. In 1893 Mr. Wingate sold out his interests in all and retired from active business pursuits. On January 8, 1885, he was married to Miss Juliette A. Conger, a native of New York, and they had two children, John C., who died in infancy, and Oliver E., who is living. Their mother died on October R, 1890, and on June 7, 1893, at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mr. Wingate married a second wife, Mrs. Susan Greene, a native of Ohio. They have one child, a daughter Martha, who was born on April 18, 1896. In 1895 the family took up their residence at Durango. Mr. Wingate has served three years as mayor of Silverton and a number of years as alderman. In 1888 he was elected a delegate to the Republican national convention at Chicago which nominated Harrison for President. Mr. Wingate is still interested in mines and real estate. He is a prominent member of the Masonic order, belonging to lodge, chapter and commandery, and is also active in the Grand Army of the Republic, holding the rank of post commander. In the San Juan Pioneers Association his membership is very active and serviceable, he being secretary and treasurer of the body, and having served as its second president. In all public local matters he is diligent and aggressive, looking always to the general weal of the community rather than to the advancement of any personal or factional interest. [Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Nancy Overlander]

Genealogy Trails History Group