Baca County History

by the Plainsman Herald

My Roots in Baca County Colorado: By George Chatham


NOTE: I would like to welcome George Chatham to Happy Reading.

By George Chatham

My roots in Baca County go back three generations. My Grand-dad and his brother, Fred L. Chatham and Elmer Chatham came together to Baca County sometime around 1910 or 1911. The exact date we aren’t sure. According to family members of Elmer, “They build a dugout home and a barn and chicken house from old lumber.” This was on the north side of South Horse Creek two miles west of what is now state highway 287. This was in the North Liberty School district, eight miles north of Springfield.
My Great-Uncle Elmer then returned to Eastern Kansas to marry Sarah Lela Cook. They were married August 18, 1911 in Osborne County Kansas. “They began their journey west with a team and wagon, and a riding horse named Ole Balley. The Cook and Chatham family went together to buy them a sewing machine and gave them furniture to set up housekeeping. Their oldest daughter, Bessie Faye was born (May 31, 1912) while they lived in the dugout. They returned to Osborne County Kansas to help with the harvest when Lora Elizabeth was born (October 5, 1913). They built the soddie with a kitchen, living room and bedroom. They moved another house in next to the soddie, and Elmer made a door into the new part of their home. The new part of the house was used for Sunday meeting and guests.”
This is the house I grew-up in. By the time I can remember, the soddie had been stuccoed, a porch and bathroom had been added on the south side. The following picture is of my Grandmother, Ethel Chenoweth Chatham holding me standing outside the soddie before it was stuccoed.

My Roots in Baca County

(Next post: How my Grandfather, Fred Chatham and Grandmother, Ethel Chenoweth met.)

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