John T. Gavin, living near Fruita, nine miles northwest of Grand Junction, is one of the enterprising, progressive and broad-minded citizens who have aided in pushing forward the growth and development of Mesa county at its rapid pace, and in building up its works of public improvement. He is a native of Texas, born in 1848, and the son of James H. and Sarah (Colville) Gavin. The father was a native of Ireland and came to the United States while he was yet a young man. After his marriage he settled in Texas, and in 1849 joined a party of the Argonauts of that year in a trip to California. On the way he was drowned in Green river, being at the time about forty years of age. After his death his widow removed with her family to Arkansas, and there she died in 1898, aged eighty-five. She was a native of Tennessee and a woman of heroic spirit. When she lost her husband she assumed the task of rearing her family with a determination to lose no time in repining, but by every honest effort to make her work a success. She lived to see them all well established in life and blessing her in daily benedictions for her early sacrifices and triumphs in their behalf. John T. passed his boyhood in Arkansas, receiving his education in the public schools and at Ozark Institute at Fayetteville, that state. At the beginning of the Civil war he enlisted in Cavalry Company C, of the Indian department of the Confederate army, and he served in that command until the close of the war, surrendering to the Federal forces at Marshall, Texas. He then returned to Arkansas, and after teaching school there two years, began to look toward the farther West for his future opportunities. In 1873 he came to Colorado, and settling in Wet Mountain valley, engaged in farming and prospecting for ten years. He then moved to where he now lives in Grand valley, and where he has a fine ranch with good improvements. He was married in 1877 to Miss Sarah Duckett, and they have three children, Orlando, Harry, Edward, the first white child born in Grand valley, and Estella. In politics Mr. Gavin is an uncompromising Democrat. He was the chief inspiration in the construction of the Independent Ranchmen’s Ditch through this section.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.