Dade County, Missouri Genealogy Trails



            Born in Dade county, Missouri, on July 16, 1849, and reared there to the age of seventeen, then moving to Cooper county in the same state, and living in that county until 1872, when he came to Colorado, Riley M. Edwards, of Saguache county, has passed the whole of his life practically on the frontier.  He is familiar with every phase of its wild life of incident and adventure, of danger and difficulty, of hardships and privations, and also with the exaltation and broadening spirit which come from close and uninterrupted communion with nature in her “populous solitude.”  His success in dealing with its conditions and making them over into a comfortable estate, satisfying to both mind and body, shows that he was well fitted to be a pioneer, and that wherever he might have gone in the wilderness, settlement, civilization and progress would have followed in his wake.   That his energies and breadth of view wee employed here instead of elsewhere is a fortunate circumstance for the county in which he lives, and for the state in general.  Mr. Edwards is a son of James and Juliana Edwards, the former a native of England and the latter of Pennsylvania.  They moved to Missouri soon after their marriage and passed the remainder of their lives in that state successfully engaged in farming and raising stock.  They were Presbyterians in church alliance and the father was a firm supporter of the Republican party in politics.  He died in 1849 and the mother in 1896. Six children were born to them.  Of these Mary and James died, and John J., William P., George M, and Riley M. are living.  Three of the sons served in the Civil war, and all escaped the terrible ordeal without injury.  Riley was left at home to assist his parents in the farm work, and from an early age he did a man’s share of it.  He was educated at the common schools and a high school in his native county, devoting all his spare time to the aid of his parents, and the devotion to their interests then shown continued until death ended their labors.  In 1863, when he was in his seventeenth year, he went to Cooper county in the same state and there engaged in various lines of useful work.  In 1872 he came to Colorado and took up his residence at Denver, and in and around that city he was employed at different occupations until the spring of 1873, when he rented a ranch which he worked till fall.  He then moved to Colorado Springs, and during the next seven years was occupied in hauling and freighting between that city and Leadville and other points.  He next made a trip with his teams to Alamosa, and afterward made many freighting trips between that place and Pitkin.  His life in this work was full of hazards and hard work, but the profits were large and there was additional compensation in the spirit of independence and self-reliance which it engendered.  In June, 1880, he traded the freighting outfit for a ranch of two hundred and eighty acres, which was the nucleus which subsequent purchases have increased to one thousand, one hundred and twenty acres. Of this tract fully three-fourths are under cultivation and the remainder furnishes excellent pasture for his cattle.  The ranch is well located five miles and three-quarters east of the town of Saguache, and he has improved it with good buildings, including a commodious and comfortable brick dwelling, first-rate fences and other needed structures.  The water supply is plentiful and constant, and the husbandry is vigorous and up-to-date in every way.  Every year of his life here has witnessed  increased prosperity and progress, and he is now well established in personal comfort, an active and profitable industry and the public regard.  He raises hay, grain and cattle extensively, and conducts all the operations of his ranch and all phases of his business with commendable vigor and judgment.  His prosperity is the result of his own efforts, and is all the more gratifying on that account.  The favors of fortune are not to be despised, but they are not necessary to the success of a man of proper spirit who has eyes to see and energy to properly use his opportunities for advancement.  Politically Mr. Edwards is a stanch Republican, and fraternally he is connected prominently with the order of Odd Fellows.  On March 28, 1880, he was married to Miss Mary E. Long, a native of Barton county, Missouri.  They have four children, Finis H., Clarence, Ada and Edna.  The father is a leading and representative citizen of the county, zealous in the promotion of its welfare and warmly devoted to its best interests with good judgment as to what is best and earnest diligence in promoting it.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Richard Ramos)


Dade County, Missouri Genealogy Trails
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