Biography of Frank L. Heuschkel

Tempest tossed by wind and wave on almost every sea, tried by almost every form of hardship and privation, laid under conditions of hard labor to make a living in many places, and finding for years every sky frowning upon him, Frank L. Heuschkel, of Garfield county, this state, who is living near Glenwood Springs, finds himself at last comfortably fixed for life, owning a fine property, conducting a profitable business of magnitude, with a worldly competence that secures him against adversity, and firmly established in the regard and good will of the community which, during the last nineteen years, he has helped to build up and develop. He was born in Saxony, Germany, on December 27, 1853, and is the son of Carl Ferdinand and Annestina (Wedeman) Heuschkel, of that country, where the father was for thirty-nine years game and wood keeper in the employ of the government. In 1880 the parents came to the United States and settled on the island of Saplo, near Savannah, Georgia, where they soon after died. They were members of the Lutheran church, and in business the father was very successful. Three of their five children survive them, Frank, Minnie and Carl B., the last a resident of Clarksville, Missouri. Frank L., the oldest of those living, was educated in the state schools of his native land and at a high grade seminary there. On leaving school he desired to enter the German navy, but his parents objecting to this, he ran away from home and for three years served as a sailor, visiting in the time many countries. He then passed an examination at South Shields, England, for the position of mate, in which capacity he afterward served nine years. During nine months he had entire charge of Blackbird island in the interest of the government, his duty being to prevent Negroes from firing the timber used for shipbuilding. He next turned his attention to fishing and in connection with this pursuit carried the mails between the islands of Dubois and Blackbird, the latter being used as a quarantine station under Dr. Elliott. In those days the mail pouch was strapped to the back of the carrier and could not be taken off until he reached his destination. In this service he suffered many hardships and confronted many dangers. His next engagement was as a boat-keeper in the interest of Clancy near Dubois island, and at the end of a year passed in that service he concluded to come to Colorado, and reached Leadville in 1880. He remained in the vicinity of that town and in the adjoining county of Park until 1885, engaged in various occupations, among them leasing mining properties and prospecting, but without success. He also worked at the Cummings & Fin Company Smelter at Leadville and did some teaming. In the spring of 1885 he located a portion of his present ranch, a pre-emption claim of one hundred and sixty acres, to which he has since added by purchase until he has an excellent property, of which about two hundred and ten acres are fit for cultivation. Since taking possession of this property he has devoted his energies to its development and improvement, and has brought much of it to an advanced state of cultivation, producing large crops of hay, grain and vegetables, and raising cattle on an extensive scale and some horses for market. In connection with his ranching and stock industry he runs a dairy business which is highly profitable. His success in his latest venture has been exceptionally good and he ranks in the general estimation as one of the best and most prosperous ranchmen on the Western slope. In fraternal life he belongs to the United Workmen, in politics supports the Democratic party, in official circles has been a member of the school board, and in reference to the general affairs of the community is one of the most enterprising and forceful of its citizens. On September18,1880, he united in marriage with Miss Josephine Ann Roberts, a native of Cornwall, England,and daughter of John and Josephine A. (Andrews) Roberts, also natives of that country. The father followed mining from the age of seven years to the end of his life.

He brought his family to the United States, and after reaching New York determined to come to Colorado. He traveled all the way in a stage coach to Central City, this state. In 1878 he moved to Leadville, and here he entered the employ of Tingley S. Woods and Judge Ward, who were promoters of the Florence mine, in which Mr. Roberts served as shift boss. He was a Republican in politics, and the father of eight children, five of whom are living: Josephine A. (Mrs. Heuschkel); Mrs. Thomas Blackwell, of Aspen; John, living at Leadville; James R., a resident of Garfield county; and Elizabeth, the wife of Mr. Westbury, of Liverpool, England. The father died on December 15, 1886, and the mother at Cornwall, England, in April, 1901. Both were members of the Methodist church. Mr. and Mrs. Heuschkel have had eight children. Of these, Francis L. died on March 25, 1895; and Ellen (Mrs. Gilmore), Joseph A., William O., John R., Bertha H., Thomas H. and Alta E. are living. The opportunities offered them here to win fortune and standing among the people, the delightful climate, the progressive spirit of the citizens, and the general conditions of life have made them all well pleased with Colorado as a place of residence.

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

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