Biography of Thomas J. Fritzler

Thomas J. Fritzler, one of the progressive and public spirited ranchmen and influential citizens of Mesa county, living on a well improved and highly cultivated farm near the village of Snipes, was born in Iowa March 1, 1851, and is the son of Andrew and Polly (Ellis) Fritzler, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Ohio. The father came to the United States when he was but eleven years of age, braving the heaving ocean for the larger opportunities offered to thrift and enterprise in this country and found a home of hope and promise in Ohio. He lived in that state until he reached the age of twenty-five, engaged in farming, and was married there. In 1840 he moved with his family to Keokuk county, Iowa, being among the pioneers, and in that state continued his farming operations until his death, in 1896, when he was seventy-nine years old. His widow is still living in their Iowa home, over eighty years of age. Their son Thomas grew to manhood and received his education in his native state, remaining there until he was twenty-two, when he migrated to Utah and for a year worked in a mine and a smelter. At the end of the year he returned to Iowa, where he lived until 1878. He then took up his residence in Nebraska, and during the next thirteen years was engaged in farming on the enormous prairies of that state. In 1891 he came to Colorado, still devoted to agricultural pursuits, and, settling on the ranch he now owns and occupies, continued his operations in this line of useful industry and is still engaged in it. During the last two years he has been water commissioner in his district, although not desirous of public life, and has rendered faithful and efficient service to the people in this important capacity. He was married in 1882 to Miss A.M. Brooks, a native of Indiana, and living at the time of her marriage at Elwood, Nebraska. They have had five children, Alfred R., Harry C., Annie M. (died in 1884), Irvin B. and Andrew. Mr. Fritzler combines the German thrift of his father’s people with the breadth of view and enterprise of the American character, and has been a very useful and highly esteemed man in this community.

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

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