Biography of The Williams Brothers

This firm of leading Garfield county ranchmen and stock-growers doing business on a well improved and highly cultivated property in the neighborhood of New Castle, is composed of Seth and David H. Williams, natives of Clinton county, Ohio, and sons of Ennion and Scythia J. (Paris) Williams, who were born in Kentucky and after a short residence of a few years in Ohio after their marriage, moved to Iowa while it was yet a territory. They lived in Warren county, that state, until 1865, when they came overland from Plattsmouth, Nebraska, to Denver, this state. The train had no positive conflict with the Indians, but was frequently threatened and obliged to line up for defense. They heard of numerous parties in their front and rear being attacked, and as the country was full of danger they were not allowed to go beyond a United States military post unless they had at least fifty well-armed men for their protection. They were on the road from June to August. On arriving in this state the parents bought a ranch and during the remainder of their lives they were engaged in ranching and raising stock, the leading pursuits of this section in those days. They had eight children, four of whom are living, William, Seth, David H. and Martha, wife of Lash Bottom, of Black Mountain, Park county. The father died in 1881 and the mother in 1890. He was a prominent man in the early history of the section and an active Democrat in politics. Owing to the circumstances of the case the children had but little opportunity to attend school and were obliged to get their preparation for the battle of life from their own experience.

After reaching years of maturity Seth, who was born on February 14, 1838, went east to Bowling Green, Clay county, Indiana, then in 1861, the Civil war having begun, he enlisted in Company I, Eighty-fifth Indiana Infantry, in which he served until he was honorably discharged on account of sickness in 1864 and returned to Iowa. When he arrived at Denver with his parents he located a ranch on Cache La Poudre river, near Greeley, which comprised one hundred and sixty acres, and here for a period of sixteen years he was engaged in ranching and raising cattle; and in connection therewith he freighted from point to point in that portion of the state. At the end of the time mentioned he deeded his ranch to his mother and moved to Breckenridge in Summit county and turned his attention to freighting across Snowy Range, being interested also in the Bed Rock placer claims. The enterprise was not profitable in either case and, moving to Red Cliff, he devoted his time for a year and a half to hauling supplies to mining camps. He then rented a ranch and during the next two and one-half years was occupied in working it. In 1890 he took up a pre-emption claim of one hundred and sixty acres on Garfield creek, the nucleus of the ranch of two hundred acres which he owns in partnership with his brother David. They have one hundred and forty acres of their land under cultivation and produce good crops of hay and raise large numbers of cattle. They also raise fruit and vegetables and some horses for market. The ranch is nine miles southeast of New Castle in a good agricultural and grazing region and is a valuable property. Mr. Williams belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and is a Democrat. He was married in 1865 to Miss Margaret Richard, a native of France. They have one child, Elmer.

David H. Williams, a younger brother and partner of Seth, was born on July 10, 1841, and after his arrival in Colorado in 1865 became a ranchman in partnership with his brother William at Breckenridge, and continued the relation until 1870. The partnership was then dissolved by mutual consent and David freighted for a time, after which he returned to Iowa and was occupied in farming and dealing in cattle there from the spring of 1871 to 1879. In the year last named he came to Colorado and located at Leadville, and here he was engaged in freighting until 1886. In 1887 he sold his farm in Iowa, and in company with his brother Seth did contract work on the Loveland and Greeley canal, and followed various other lines of productive activity. They made a trip to the Black Hills with a freighting outfit, being ninety days on the road. They also hauled railroad ties for Sargent & Montrose, then to Silverton, to Breckenridge and to Red Cliff. Since locating the ranch which they now own in partnership on Garfield creek, he has been an equal partner with his brother in all its interests. He was married in 1864 to Miss Miriam Higgins, a native of Missouri. They have had six children, four of whom died in infancy. The two living are: Clara, wife of Asa Starbuck, of Garfield county, and Ira, living at Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Williams is a zealous Democrat in political allegiance, and both he and his brother find the conditions of life and the opportunities for business enterprise satisfactory in Colorado and are devoted to the welfare of their state and county. They are held in high esteem as progressive men and good citizens on all sides.

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

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