Biography of Charles L. Todd

Doubly orphaned in his childhood by the death of his mother at his birth and of his father when he was nine years old, Charles L. Todd, one of the successful and progressive ranch and cattle men living in the neighborhood of Rifle, Garfield county, this state, was thrown upon his own resources early in life and has been obliged to make his own way in the world ever since. He was born at Levant, Penobscot county, Maine, on November 7, 1855, and is the son of John and Helen Todd, the father a native of Nova Scotia and the mother of Maine. The father was a carpenter and worked many years at his trade, but devoted the later part of his life to merchandising, at which he was moderately successful. In politics he was a Republican and in church connection both were Methodists. The mother died on November 7, 1855, the day her son Charles was born, and the father in 1864. They had four children, all of whom are living, Silas at Leadville, Eva (Mrs. Charles Taylor) in New Hampshire, Emma (Mrs. Robert Brenton) at Rifle, and the subject of this review. At the age of twelve the latter moved to Wisconsin and found a home with Alonzo Wing, through whom he received a good education, pursuing a general course of instruction in the Jefferson University in that state. After completing this he entered a grocery store as clerk and bookkeeper, where he remained a year and half. In the winter of 1871 he went to Chicago, and there he associated with J.L. Sterner in business, and later passed five years in some of the eastern cities in a variety of occupations. In April, 1879, he came to Colorado and located at Georgetown, where he followed mining until 1885, at first working for wages and afterward on his own account, and was quite successful. In the year last named he moved to Rifle and located a ranch three and a half miles east of the town in the Cactus valley. Here he is now living and since settling on this land he has been actively engaged in ranching and raising cattle with increasing success and profit. He has sold a portion of his land but still owns a good ranch which has a plentiful supply of water from a right of its own, and as he omits no effort due on his part to make it productive he realizes excellent returns from his labor. In connection with his ranching he opened a store on the place in 1886 which he conducted until 1888, then sold it. Afterward he organized the Western Mercantile Company, whose interests were afterward sold and are now a part of the establishment of Hughes & Company. In the autumn of 1898, on October 1st, he started the store he is now conducting in partnership with Albert Ziezeniss. This is a first-class, up-to-date gents’ furnishing emporium, with a complete stock of merchandise well adapted to the community, and has in addition a line of good millinery. It is one of the popular mercantile institutions of the section and does a good business. In 1889 Mr. Todd was appointed postmaster and in 1903 he was re-appointed. He is a reliable working Republican in political allegiance and fraternally belongs to the Odd Fellows. He owns valuable mining claims in addition to his ranch and mercantile business, and gives his personal attention to every enterprise in which he is interested. In October, 1884, he was married to Miss Minnie Holfernine, a native of Denmark. They have had five children. One died in infancy, and May, Lillian, Gertrude and Thelma are living.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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