Thursday, January 22, 2009

Verify Research Sources

Last year, I found an 1859 Post Office Directory at the Making of America website sponsored by the University of Michigan. Making of America has an incredible collection of scanned and searchable books. In the 1859 directory, I found the Cash Creek post office listed. This fascinated me because the histories I've read about Cash Creek indicate the mining camp started in 1860.

Well, I used the 1859 date in my proposal for the Pikes Peak Regional History Symposium. I thought I'd better check it again and kept looking in Google Books for the directory and it didn't show up. This morning I remembered it might have been in Making of America and, sure enough, there was the directory with Cash Creek listed. Looking closer at the entry I saw "Cash Creek, Lake, Colo." This time, the Lake County and Colorado caught my eye. Colorado was a part of Kansas Territory in 1859. I went to the title page and found that the Post Office Directory was published in 1870. Ugh.

I'm planning a trip to the
Rocky Mountain Regional Office of the National Archives. They have the microfilm of the reports of site locations for post offices. There is no guarantee that the papers for the Cash Creek post office are included (some early post offices aren't), but it is the next step for my research.

Research Tip of the Day: When searching on-line books, always look at the title page for source information and PRINT it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Map of Locations in Colorado Reflections Blog

I've added a new feature to Colorado Reflections - a Google map of the locations. The map is in the sidebar on the right. Click on "View Larger Map" under the bottom left corner of the map to see the full map. For the best view, click on "Terrain" in the upper right corner.

You can click on a placemark in the map and a box will open. The box will give the name of the location and the links to the Colorado Reflections posts that mention this location.

I am excited to share this map with you. For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, it will give a sense of place. Understanding the terrain and distance is vital to understanding the living conditions of the Christisons and their neighbors in the 1800's. If you are familiar with the area, then the map will help locate some of the places you may not know about.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Guest Blogger at Chipeta: Ute Peacemaker

Today I am a guest blogger at Cynthia Becker's blog, Chipeta: Ute Peacemaker. Cynthia's theme this week is how an interest in genealogy can lead to historical research and writing.

Join me at

Baxter Stingley, Salida Marshal

Watch That Saved Baxter Stingley's Life

On Memorial Day of 1883, Marshal Stingley and his deputy, James Brathurst, went to Bender's Saloon where a fight had broken out. As they tried to arrest Tom Evans, he lunged at Marshal Stingley with a knife. Both Stingley and Brathurst shot at Evans and he was killed. Then Thomas Neinmyer (or Ninemyer), one of the brawl participants, began to shoot as he left the building. He shot and killed Deputy Brathurst and Gannon (a bystander). He also shot Baxter Stingley, who survived with a punctured lung.

Neinmyer left on horseback and a group of men pursued him. Neinmyer shot and killed one of the men following him, W.H. Brown. Eventually the group, led by William Goring, overtook Neinmyer and captured him. Neinmyer was arrested and taken to the Buena Vista jail.

It took several months for Baxter Stingley to recover from his wound. J.S. Boon was appointed temporary Marshal with Eli Chenoweth as his deputy.

While Stingley recovered, he asked Henry Weber to visit him. During the visit, Stingley showed Weber the double-case silver watch that Weber had loaned him and that Stingley had been carrying when he was shot. According to Weber, "A bullet had struck it, and had crashed thru to the last case, which it dented badly. Stingley was carrying the watch in his vest pocket so it was very evident that it had saved his life." (Chaffee County CWA Writers Project p. 10)

Today the shattered watch is on display at the Salida Museum.

Notes: This story is found in Salida: The Early Years by Eleanor Fry; Under The Angel of Shavano by George G. Everett and Dr. Wendell F. Hutchinson.

If you are related to any of the people in this post, please contact me at

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Salida - Colorado State Capital?

Five years after Colorado became a state, the voters chose a state capital on November 7, 1881. The cities listed on the ballot were Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Canon City and Salida. Salida Mail editor, J.M. Moore, touted Salida as the geographic center of Colorado and the Railroad center.

Denver won the vote for state capital. In the Salida voting precinct, Salida received 227 votes, Denver, 5, and Colorado Springs, 1. (Salida Mail, November 12, 1881). The votes of Chaffee County, however, showed a different leaning: Denver-388, Colorado Springs-43, Pueblo-73, Canon City-53, and Salida-112. (Leadville Daily Herald, November 9, 1881) I'm not sure what is up with the discrepancy in votes for Salida - were the Salida votes not counted in the Chaffee County count? However, another short clip in the Herald (Nov. 9) said that although there were 300 registered voters in Salida, only 150 votes were cast. Hmmm.

Following the election, O.H. Rothaker of the Denver Tribune wrote: "Pueblo will become a city of manufacturers, and Colorado Springs will continue a city of homes, in spite of the vote on the capital; and Canon City will ever be recognized as the place which above all others, has the mildest winter climate for invalids in Colorado."

The Colorado Springs Republic noticed the absence of Salida in the list and wrote, "No, there is poor Salida, she is sligh[t]ed. Cannot Bro. Rothacker pour a little oil into her wounds?"

To which J.M. Moore fired back on November 19, "Salida responds by saying she don't require the oil. She don't need the State capital in her business. If she had needed it she would have got there."