Biography of Owen W. Hoskins

The fast-fading race of western pioneers, whose history at different time and places has varied in incident and feature but has been the same in privation, danger, heroic endurance and magnitude of achievement, is an oft told tale which never loses its interest, has an illustrious member in the person of Owen W. Hoskins, of Mesa county, this state, and others in his parents and other members of his family, This story is one of continual aggression against the wilderness and its savage denizens, and an unebbing tide of conquest over tremendous odds, where the spread and perpetuity of human civilization was the stake, and wherein men, beasts and nature herself seemed arrayed in arms against the aggressors. Their paths were choked with difficulties, but their bodies and souls were hardened to meet them; they were beset with dangers, but these were the very spice of their lives; and the wilderness, rough, harsh and inexorable as it was, had for the hardy pioneers, fired with the spirit of conquest or the hope of gain, charms more potent in their seductive influence than all the lures of luxury and sloth. And the work of these conquering armies endures among us in busy cities, mighty marts of commerce, enormous industrial activities, and rich, powerful and beneficent commonwealth bright with all the radiance and fragrant with all the flowers of the most advanced and progressive civilization to which they opened the way. Mr. Hoskins was born at Pleasant Plain, Jefferson county, Iowa, on November 26, 1864. He is the son of Ellis and Ruth (Jones) Hoskins, the former of whom was born in Ohio and the latter in Indiana. They became residents of Jefferson county, Iowa, in 1839, and were married there in 1844. They were pioneers in that region and had the usual experiences of the class on the frontier. The woods were full of wild beasts and wilder men, the soil was resolute in its tendency to natural luxuriant and untamed growth and yielded tardily to systematic culture. And the conveniences of life were almost wholly lacking. The father was a farmer and took up extensive tracts of land, at one time owning four hundred acres, and brought them to fertility and bountiful productiveness, reaping rich harvests of profit from his labors and becoming wealthy after the manner of his day and locality. The most of his land is still in the possession of the family, belonging now to his children. He died in the home of his choice on January 16, 1879. His widow survived him twenty-five years to the very day, passing away on January 16, 1904. Both were members of the society of Friends. They were the parents of twelve children, of whom the first and second born are dead. Owen was next to the youngest of the family. He grew to manhood on the paternal homestead and was educated in the public schools and at Pleasant Plain Academy, remaining at home until he was twenty-four, when he married. His father died when the son was fourteen and after that the sons carried on the farming operations. After his marriage Mr. Hoskins of this sketch bought eighty acres of the home farm and farmed it four years. He then sold it and moved to a farm which he purchased in Wayne county, Iowa, but soon afterward returned to Jefferson county, and for three years was successfully engaged in the real-estate business at Fairfield. In September, 1903, he came to Colorado and located in Mesa county, where he bought for eight thousand dollars the fruit farm of eighteen acres on which he now lives, one mile and a half north of Grand Junction. His land is all in fruit, apples, peaches, pears and plums, with a considerable acreage in small fruits, and his crop of 1903 paid him twenty per cent, on his whole investment in the property. On January 26, 1888, he was married to Miss Josie Jones, a native of Brighton, Iowa. They have three children, Mary E., Hugh and Esther. In politics he is a stanch and active working Republican, and in church affiliation is a Presbyterian holding an active membership in the church at Grand Junction.

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

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