Colorado Genealogy » Biographies » Biography of William Chadwick

Biography of William Chadwick

The life story of this enterprising and successful stock-grower and ranchman of Garfield county, if told in detail, would differ little in incident and feature from that of thousands of others who came into this western wilderness when the territory was young and unsettled, and with strong and sinewy hand grappled with its hard conditions and bade them stand ruled and deliver up their resources for the benefit of mankind and the onward march of civilization. Yet, trite and well worn as the recital might seem, it is of enduring interest as a part of human history essentially spectacular and thrilling in a high degree, which has passed away forever, or still lingers only in its types and actors who are yet among us, although their theater of action has greatly changed since they entered upon it. Mr. Chadwick was born in Mahaska county, Iowa, on May 20, 1857, and is the son of Oliver and Katharine (Carr) Chadwick, who were born in Illinois and moved to Iowa when that state was as frontier as was Colorado when he came hither. They broke the virgin sod there with their advancing plowshare, as he did here, and hewed out of the wilderness a home and a comfortable estate. The mother died on September 7, 1902, and but six of her children survive her. William attended the district schools near his home, and also one term at the State Agricultural School connected with Manhattan College. He remained with his parents, working in their interest, until he reached the age of twenty-one, then moved to Kansas and settled near Holton, Jackson county, where he worked for wages from the spring of 1879 to the fall of 1883. From Kansas he came to Colorado, selecting Aspen as the scene of his first activity in this state. He next, on January 13, 1884, located a claim on the Grand river near Rifle, the improvements on which he sold the next year, and changed his residence to Mam [sic] creek, Garfield county. Here he took a squatter’s right to a ranch. In the spring of 1888 he preempted a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, which is a part of his present home. He has since purchased forty additional acres and now has a body of two hundred acres of good land, one-half of which can be cultivated and on which he raises good crops of hay, corn, vegetables and fruit. His principal resources are hay and cattle, and these he produces in large volume. The ranch has good water rights and can be well irrigated, and the soil is of such character that its response to husbandry is generous. Mr. Chadwick is interested in works of public benefit in his neighborhood, notably the High Line Ditch, off Divide creek, and the Garfield County Telephone Company, being president of the latter. He has given the district excellent service as water commissioner during the past five years; and while associated with Mr. Deveraux built the trail from Rifle to the top of Brook [sic] cliff. Thus throughout his residence in this region he has been a man of progress and enterprise, and contributed in large measure to the development of the section. In politics he is a Republican and in fraternal life an Odd Fellow. On November 29, 1899, he was married to Mrs. Millie C. (McIntyre) Nevitt, a native of Le Claire, Iowa, the daughter of Sidney and Almira McIntyre, the father a native of New York and the mother of Ohio. They located in Iowa not long after their marriage and there they passed the remainder of their lives. The father was in the saw-mill business, sawing lumber for market, and found his enterprise moderately profitable. He was a man of prominence and public spirit, and in political matters supported the Republican party. Both parents were members of the Methodist church. The father died on November 6, 1865, and the mother on October 3, 1894. Of their three children Mrs. Chadwick is the only survivor. Mrs. Chadwick’s first husband died on November 25, 1894. He was a Union soldier in the Civil war and rendered valiant service to the cause he espoused.


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


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