Biography of Marcus L. Shippee

Born and reared to the age of seventeen in the Green Mountain belt of Vermont, and coming from there as a youth to the mountains of Colorado, Marcus L. Shippee, a successful and progressive ranchman and cattle-grower of Pitkin county, living in the neighborhood of Emma, has not greatly changed his surroundings, as far as natural appearances go, but finds himself in a very different state of the farming interest from that which he was used to in his native section of the country. Still, his general ability and adaptiveness, coupled with his self-reliance and intelligence in observation soon made him as successful and capable as a farmer here as could ever have been in the East. His life began near Bennington, Vermont, on August 22, 1862, where his parents, James S. and Mary (Calista) Shippee, the former a native of New York and the latter of Massachusetts, located early in their married life, and to the time of the father’s death in 1880, they were profitably engaged in farming and raising stock. The father was a stanch Republican in political faith. Their children numbered ten, five of whom are living: James H., city marshal of Delta, Colorado; William, a resident of Vermont; Marcus L., of Pitkin county, this state; Albert, of New York state; and Almond, living in Massachusetts. Marcus, who is one of Pitkin county’s most prosperous and enterprising ranchman, is essentially a self-made man. His opportunities for attending even the public schools were few and of short duration, as while he was yet a mere boy he was obliged to go to work on his father’s farm as a regular hand, and at the age of twelve was able to do a man’s work. He remained with his parents until he was twenty-one, then, in 1873, went to New York state and followed the same occupation for a number of years. In 1879 he came to Colorado and located at Georgetown where he worked in the mines for wages. The next year he moved to Leadville and became connected with the coal trade under contract with the Malta Smelter Company. Six months later he quit this trade and started a dairy business which he conducted six months, then sold out. In this he made good profits as the price of milk was one dollar and twenty-five cents a gallon at retail, and he had ready sale for all he could supply. He next freighted between Leadville and Red Cliff, continuing in the business until 1882; then, selling out at a good profit, he purchased a ranch in the vicinity of Emma. This he sold a year later and then bought the one he now owns and manages. It comprises one hundred and sixty-two acres, one hundred acres of which are under cultivation in hay, grain and other ordinary farm products. He also raises numbers of cattle and horses, live stock and hay being his principal products. He belongs to the Odd Fellows, the Elks and the Woodmen of the World, and supports the Democratic party. On November 29, 1899, he was married to Miss Alma G. Staton, a native of Illinois, the daughter of Hyrcanus and Margaret (Melissa) Staton, the former a native of Illinois and the latter of Ohio. Soon after their marriage they located in Illinois where they remained until 1879. They then came to Colorado and settled at Leadville, and there they carried on a profitable dairy business until 1885. In that year they changed their residence to Glenwood Springs where they now live, the father being engaged in farming and giving a share of his time and energy to building up socialism, in which he is an ardent believer and worker. He and his wife are members of the Methodist church. Their children number eight, two of whom are deceased. Those living are William F., Herbert G., Elbert F., Merriam L. and Canney I., of Glenwood Springs, and Mrs. Shippee, the second in the order of birth of those who are living. She and her husband have had three children, of whom Ivan Elster died on January 9, 1901, and Leta Luella and Lois Calista are living.

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

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