Names of Springfield Residents of 1889 Disclosed in Letter this Week…


The names of those who lived in Springfield and community back in the year 1889 disclosed in a The Democrat-Herald (Springfield, Colorado) 25 Jan 1935. — clipping from the Springfield Herald, the predecessor to The Democrat-Herald.  This is a reprint of a February 25, 1889 letter written from Springfield, Colorado and reprinted in the 1935 Springfield newspaper describing life in 1889 Springfield.  The names of early day residents is integrated in pun form into the text of the article entitled, “O Pun ion Letter.” I bolded the names to make it a little more readable

Tom Oxenreider, who lived north of Springfield, provided the clipping which had been carefully preserved for many years to the paper. When posted they stated, “We know that old timers will enjoy reading it and newcomers will gain an insight into what appeared in Baca County newspapers at that early date.  The paper then was but one-year-old, having been established in 1887.

So much has already been written about Springfield, that my weak and pushy efforts in that direction may fail to interest, but having been requested to write a short article, I trust that those who read it may not do so without some profit.

The rapid hardy growth of Springfield is the wonder of the surrounding country.  It is an accepted fact that since the time of Alexander or we might even say since Adam’s day there has not been witnessed so remarkable a growth.  Some doubting Thomas may say, “What are you Garvin us?” but we ask you to the facts.

Although less than a year old, it Greives our neighbors to see what clingers we are, and with good men at the helm and all our armor on.  We still intend to keep Cohenn (going) until Wheeland at the top, and our enemies bray their loudest, they will soon be compelled to Neil and acknowledge our superiority.

We do not rely sole-Lee on our unsurpassed location for success, altho that is one of the most picturesque in southeastern Colorado: For those who have leisure, our surroundings furnish manifold diversions.  They may scale thee Cliff, ford the streams and climb the Knowles, which dot the prairie, or it too industrious for such pastimes, they may find the sawing the Halling of time a profitable occupation/

As a town, we furnish a most pleasing picture to the artistic eye, each building being painted in White, Gray, Brown and various colors, according to the taste of the owner.

Our inhabitants are refined and industrious and peacefully follow their various occupations of Gardner, merchant, Fisher, Carter, Smith’s etc.

Away from the hurrie-bury of city life, we Love and Haight, and are found Eaton and drinkin’ as in other places.  Ours is an agricultural country as the abundant Kropps of last year witness and we expect the field of cane, millet, Korn, oats, wheat etc. this year, to be sill Moore convincing to the skeptical, and we hope also to see an interest taken in agriculture the coming summer as the addition of pansies, sweet Williams etc. will add much to the beauty of our town.

The Cole mine is in operation northeast of town and is in a flourishing state, the supply being abundant and of excellent quality and we have reason to believe that we will soon have a Silver mine in full blast.

We have one thoroughly organized Church, a good school and post office, and our prospects are in every way brilliant and Sparkling.

We have every assurance that in a very few months, one or more rail Rhodes will be running through our town and we urge all who are seeking Homes in the west to visit Springfield, each individual, whether rich or poor, will find Friends, and we would Barr none from entering our midst.  Whether you be a,Walker or equestrian, or Oxenrider, or whatever your mode of conveyance hither, we bid you welcome.

I think I hear querry “Kinn-a-man still secure a claim hear in your town?”  We reply, “You can.”  But come at once or Maybe you will be disappointed.

There has been found none willing to Willis an interest in his claim, notwithstanding the many hardships of the winter just past.

It is not necessary to bring to Bevil to get the corners and lines of your claim, as a claim is not laid out with oblique angles.  You will find efficient locators to aid you in the selection of a suitable claim with not even a Stump to mar its level beauty.

We desire to keep the Kett-lee bling and invite the daughters of the east (Anderson, also) to come and assist us in heaping on the fuel of energy and perseverance.  And, if the fire Burns us, can we not endure a little sMartin for the sake of the reward in store in the near and glorious future?

Then let us lay aside petty jealousies and prejudices, and unite our efforts in the success of our adopted city.



The Digital Campfire of Social Media and How it Sparked a Book Project

Greetings from an unseasonably mild but windy Casper Wyoming.  I have a little bit of reflection and a couple of messages related to a local history blog, social media,  and the sparks that lit a book project about one of the wildest little towns of the old west.   Four years ago,  I launched  At that time I stated,

Maybe this project stops with a few blog posts and a couple of tall tales, or maybe we can transform the content into an update of the big brown Baca County History book from the early 1980’s.  

Here we are four years later with a great collection of blog posts from multiple folks.  In conjunction with this blog is a realization on my part of how powerful social media can be for recording and sharing local history.  The primary social media tool I am speaking of for this post is Facebook.  Over the past few years, an ever-increasing number of members in two different Facebook groups have provided a continual stream of memories about the place where I grew up, Baca County, Colorado as well as surrounding areas in Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and the Lamar, Colorado regions. Those Facebook groups have been a primary catalyst for more than one of those blog posts

I usually end up coming back to some technology angle since my day job as the Computer Director at Casper College, usually pushes me that direction.   I must say that beyond the sharing of  history of the county where I grew up, the technological application and interaction of the Baca County Facebook community and its members fascinates me to the “nth degree”  

On the negative side
Social media and digital social networking isn’t for everyone. However, it is such a massive part of all our lives; whether we embrace or reject the media, it is not to be ignored. I don’t want to get too much into the negative aspects of social media other than acknowledging they are there and that I sometimes can’t believe what I see,  Usually, on the negative side I am thinking….”What is wrong with these people?”    

On the positive side
I have grown to think of our Facebook groups as a digital campfire. That descriptor was given to me by Technology/ Geek Rock Star and friend Wes Fryer.  For a moment assume a digital campfire is a gathering place where a whole lot of folks who are in a whole lot of different places in life have found common ground.  The fire is a place to gather together and swap a few tales and warm up before having to get up go out and face that cold, cold world.  If this is true, then the folks where I grew up have found a digital campfire with Facebook.  To them, all I can say is….”you all have done good!” 

On the positive side I find it fascinating that it’s entirely possible to have hundreds of friends on Facebook. They may not be friends I know on a personal level and spend time with in the real world on a daily or weekly basis. But they’re friends nonetheless. Some are childhood friends, some childhood heroes, and some college acquaintances I have reconnected with.  Some I spent a whole lot of time with, and there are several people I consider friends who I have never met face to face— some I probably will never meet  — but that doesn’t lessen the connection we have made these recent years thanks to social networks.  

I waffle back and forth on whether face to face contact to the phone might be better for conversation but the true advantage of how we are connecting on these Facebook groups is that we can use these tools on our terms.  As individuals or time is stretched to greater lengths by work and family commitments. However, social media offers a chance to communicate speedily and efficiently.

With a phone call, for example, you can’t just say what you want to say and then hang up. That would breach phone etiquette and be seen as downright rude. Instead, with a phone call you have to swap pleasantries before saying what you want to say, and then swap more pleasantries before the conversation comes to a close. Sometimes we may describe it as cold, but it certainly provides some efficiencies that allow for interaction with more people than maybe we were able to in the past.

Facebook has allowed us to share interests with others who have those same interests, such as a shared county history.  Facebook, does for example when preparing to connect us asks you to list interests. This makes it much easier to find common ground with other users.

This release of info does require the sharing of information, and in the process giving up a degree of privacy, which is cause for some people to reject social media outright. Keeping key personal information private is necessary, but sharing likes, dislikes, interests, thoughts, and views contribute, it could be argued, to an open society.

As with most things in life, there are pros and cons.  When used in moderation, with checks and balances on how younger people, in particular, are using them, social networking sites are just a tool.  What is our hearts often is what comes out, so we all need to be wary of how these tools are used.  

So what is the book that has been sparked?  For me personally, the journey is not yet a Baca County History book update (although I still think it is a good idea) as was originally thought four years ago.   But instead it has become a more focused book  I am calling, “Boston: Wild As They Come” with a two-part goal, which is first, to tell the story of the now extinct town of Boston Colorado and second to celebrate frontier newspaperman Sam Konkel who has given us a great historical treasure 100 years past its the original publication.  He wrote a series of newspaper articles which provides us what he remembered of those old days.  One social media conversation led to another and another and then a trip to the Baca County Museum and then……Yes, this project really is a new real-life tale about the old west in 1886 Southeast Colorado.  And to answer your question…no it is not historical fiction.  It is those actual events and people of that old time town.

I am not sure I would have gotten involved in this book project without social media, but at this point, we are on track for a late spring 2018 launch.  I have several angry stabby editors blazing away at the narrative and hopefully, I’ll be ready soon to tell everyone when pre-launch sales will open. It has also sparked a couple of side projects that could easily develop into another book or two.    To provide a bit more of an idea about what I am doing with this book project,  I have provided the book cover, a brief description of the story and my Table of Contents as is stands today, (February 2018).

Boston 1886
On the eve of November 15, 1886,  four members of the Atlantis Town Company stopped on the Southeast Colorado plains preparing to stake out and establish Boston, Colorado.  Though short-lived, (1886-1892) Boston was home to personalities ranging from common homesteaders, flat earth advocates, cowboys, and outlaws including the Jennings Gang before they became famous in Oklahoma.  Frontier newspaperman Sam Konkel joined the joined the town company to promote Boston and described it as “The Utopian City of the Plains.” Old Boston was built to catch the railroad and support commerce and agriculture in southeast Colorado but it quickly became one of the wildest little towns on the American old west frontier.

Book Cover

Click the book cover to purchase on Thanks.

Draft Copy of Old Boston Table of Contents February 2018

Note: This post is cross-posted at my tech blog

Bringing Faith to a Mammoth Sized County: The Story of Lay’s Chapel

Baca County Colorado is an expanse of prairie in Southeast Colorado that has at various times in its history has been known as the heart of the 1930’s Dust Bowl and a little later the Broomcorn Capital of the World.  However, like most places, there are stories of people who brought something to a place and left a legacy.  The legacy in this story is that of homesteader David Lay who came to Baca County and filed a homestead claim south and west of Vilas.  Baca County was one of the last places in America where the government was giving away free land if the homesteader could complete a few tasks and survive long enough to make that land their own.

We have many stories about how the area developed and how it was a destination for all kinds of shady characters and criminals who showed up through the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Those characters truly made towns such as Carrizo/ Carriso Colorado and Boston Colorado some of the wildest little cow towns in the waning days of America’s wild west.  However, many other stories describe efforts to bring civilization, order, and faith to the prairie.    

The photo below of the Friends Church South of Vilas provides evidence that churches began to pop up in Baca County around 1915.

However, January 8, 1915, Salida Record just a few month prior describes a Mammoth County with no church buildings.  The headline read as follows:

The article continues as follows,

Baca County, Colorado, is almost twice the size of the state of Rhode Island.  Its area is 58 by 48 miles or 2,531 square miles, but it has not one church building within its borders.  This county is in the extreme southeast corner of the state.  It contains a population of over 8,000 souls, which number is rapidly increasing by reason of births and by reason of incoming settlers attracted by the scientific progress in dry farming, the discovery and use of artesian wells, and the recent building of a colossal dam for the irrigation of a large section near Two Buttes.

It’s not that some didn’t try.  The April 4, 1889, Edition of the  Aspen Chronicle tells us,

The religious editor who runs the Boston (Colorado) Banner, says ‘For five consecutive times we have been disappointed by the preacher who was announced for services.  Some better arrangements are sorely needed.’

Note:  We have mentioned Sam Konkel, the editor of Boston’s Western World many times, but the Boston Banner editor George Daniels is the person mentioned above and probably played a larger role in the final siege of Old Boston than has been discussed…but that story is for another time and another place.

Southwest of Vilas Colorado a couple years prior to the “Mammoth County”  article another pioneer showed up in Baca County.  George Lay filed a homestead claim Southwest of Vilas Colorado in the 1913 timeframe.   The July 1927 Democrat Herald article below is about the passing of Grandpa Lay who built Lay’s Chapel.


Below is the general location of Lay’s Chapel between Vilas and Springfield.

Linda Gibson tells us,

My Great Grandfather was David Lay a/k/a Grandpa Lay mentioned in the newspaper clipping above. The photo below is a drawing of Lay’s Chapel. My father showed me where it was located before he died in 1996. My Father Horace Parker and Evalee Meltabarger Myers Forpahl were cousins. Their mothers were sisters. I don’t remember now what year it was, but Evalee was the only living person I knew of at the time who would know what Lay’s Chapel looked like and she was in the nursing home. I asked Andrea Baxter to go with me to chat with Evalee and have her describe Lay’s Chapel to us so Andrea could sketch it for me. After Andrea made some changes Evalee wanted, she declared the sketch perfect. Said it looked exactly like Lay’s Chapel.

Image courtesy of Linda Gibson.

Linda also gives us a little more detail about the actual location.  She says, go east on Highway 160 from Hwy 287 and 160 Junction to Co. Rd. 29.8. Go south on CR 29.8. until you go over hill.  Dad (Linda’s Dad) said his grandparents, David and Lizzy Lay’s homestead was on the east side of the road and Lay’s Chapel was on the west side. It is all farm ground now.

It has been a pleasure to learn a little more about more our Baca Pioneers and their heritage.  Thank you Grandpa Lay for being a “fine model for any young man to follow after” and the legacy you left for your family and Baca County.

Final Note:  Although I have enjoyed putting together all of them, some of these Baca County Stories are a closer connection than others.  This one includes my ol’ Springfield buddy Joel Thompson’s Grandma Evalee.  Many a fine morsel was placed before us when we stepped into Grandma Evalee’s door.  I appreciate those meals and memories even more now.



Some More Old Vilas

The Springfield Herald had a regular series in  either 1918 or 1919 called “Persons, Stories, and Incidents of Old Boston and the Old Days.”  I am a bit confuse on the year because several of the issues have the year 1918 marked out in pencil with 1919 written in. This occurs in several issues but not all.   It is a bit confusing so I think we will just have to go with the flow on this one until I can possibly get some clarification on this issue.  

The story is fun at any rate. The episode author is listed as “The Writer”.  The January 3, 1918  or 1919 edition of the series was titled “Some More of Old Vilas”.   Note the list of stores that were in Vilas in 1889 at the end of the article.  The story goes as follows:

In the Vilas Democrat February 7, 1889. We find a few locals of some of Baca’s old-timers worth noticing, running as follows.

Our old friend Fred Willis to be seen on our street the 4 part of the week.

About a 1,000 times since that time Fred could be seen on the streets of Vilas, he being one of the thousands and one who refused to abdicate his little throne, when all the other kings potentates and high muckamucks were getting out.

Fred owns a whole lot of the good earth over east of Vilas during the middle ages of his stay here was worth all the way from $25.00 to $75.00 per quarter section, now worth from $2000 – $5000 a quarter — after being marked down.

Fred during those middle ages made a whole lot of money out of horses and cattle — until the new fellows took up the range.  When he took up other ways of making money.   

Did you stop at the in Cady and Brothers store and buy that fresh supply of groceries?

The Cadys for years lived over in the West Pretty Prairie country after leaving Vilas and we believe some of them are still in the country.  

C. F. Wheeler has started on a Siege of freight from Lamar. C.F. is bs. from the word go.  

Has there is a point after the s and not after the b, we have an idea there was an i in between the two letters that didn’t show up.

Wheeler in those old days as we understand got $1.00 a hundred freighting from Lamar down and as he can’t pay out anything except for a cracker once in a while, and sometimes buying a stick of candy for his best girl when old Vilas went down and the stores were gone he went out into the backyard dug up that freight money, started a store of his own, sold goods to everybody in Baca County, a way down into Egypt for the panhandle and from Dan to Beersheba the other way, and today he may be worth $50,000, and he may be worth several times that, as far as any mortal outside of himself knows.

Ed Shield came in from Lamar Sunday Evening with a choice stock  of groceries.

Ed Shields may have been the Uncle of Joe Shields, who grew up in Baca county, married Les and Claude Jones sister Mary, and moved a few years ago to California.

Among the advertising firms of Vilas in the Democrat were Ross and Johnson Real Estate  Dr. Hanna drug store, Ryan and Campbell Livery Barn, Ed Shield lawyer, J. M. Conway, Blacksmith, Ryan & Crossman ????? & real estate, W. Ferguson stage line, P. G. Boonewits hard ware and general merchandise.    

When last we saw of Vilas in those old days it was all ????? except the five houses that had been moved to Boston.

It was the second largest town in the east end, and we believe presented a more striking appearance than any of the others.

Then came the general Roundup of the County Seat business with Springfield the winner of that losing game, with the other dozen towns of the county left out in the outdoors of creation.

It was seventeen years before the writer again saw the once-proud city of Vilas. And what a difference in the morning. All there was left of the fine little city of the old days was C. F Wheeler with his double business building in the center of town and one or two other buildings, the old hotel building and we believe one or two residences and the schoolhouse. With a few remaining unpainted weather-beaten dilapidated houses it certainly presented a forlorn site.

But it was still the second size in the county, for the reason that the dozen of towns of those old days it was just one of the to survive, the county seat being the other one.

Something else next time.

My Observations on this:  

  • When you see ???? I couldn’t decipher the text in the scan.  I hope I get the chance to follow up on the originals and fill in the blank.
  • I find it interesting in 1918/1919 they were already calling it Old Boston.
  • Below is the Vilas Hotel that was in Vilas in 1889 when the original article was written.  It can’t be the hotel mentioned at the end of the 1918 or 1919 article as the hotel in the picture was destroyed by fire September 15, 1904.  If they are referencing that as the “old hotel” then it is incorrect. A few of the names mentioned are the same in this post. The picture was taken possibly in March 1887.  Some of the people shown are(note the duplicate names):  W.B. Ross & Family.  Dock Floyd, Charley Spear, D. E. Duptey, Charles Carlile, Dr. Hanna, J.D. Miller, Charles Draper, Charley Spear, Bob Crossman, M.D.  Ryan, Joe McIntire, Dock Ryeson, Dock Draper, Stacy Core, Sam Bigler, Ed Ryan, Ed Shields, Marion Evans, A. J.  Shaw, Bart Roads & setting on the corner of the porch is Dan Warner and John McCoach playing cards.

Lucius McAdam: Baca County Pioneer and Confederate Veteran

Lucius McAdam came to Las Animas County Colorado in 1886.  This was a couple years before Baca County was split off from Las Animas County and established as a county.  McAdam was born in Chariton County Missouri January 16, 1845.  He left Chariton County in 1884, spent a couple years in western Kansas before moving to Colorado.  The original McAdam homestead was a couple miles southwest of present day Walsh.  Chuck Wilson of Springfield is his great grandson and is who took me to see the remains of the McAdam homestead shown below:

McAdam Homestead


McAdam Homestead looking northeast toward Walsh CO


The June 30, 1938, issue of the Baca County Democrat-Herald reports that McAdam, Baca County Pioneer and Confederate Veteran, (one of only 4 Civil War veterans in Colorado at the time) attended the 75th anniversary Gettysburg reunion. He was 93 at the time of the trip.  He was accompanied by his son Marion McAdam.

Karla Flook from one of our Baca County Facebook groups  tells us Lucius McAdam is listed in Baca County for 1900, 1910, and 1930 Census. But sometime in 1930 he moved to Texas and applied for a Confederate pension.  Confederate pensions were awarded by the state you resided in when the person applied, not by the state where a soldier served. He was denied because Texas law stated he had to have been living in Texas by 1928 to receive a pension. According to his pension application, McAdam served in Co. K, Major Craven’s Battalion, Smith’s Regiment, and Shelby’s Brigade, Cavalry.

The 1930 time frame also seems reasonable as his wife Annie McAdam died in 1930 and is buried in the Vilas Cemetery.  The two markers for Annie are shown below.   The one embedded with stones was made by their son Marion McAdam who created a frame wrapped it in chicken wire and then embedded the stones in cement to create the marker.   The gray granite marker was later placed by grandson Barney Wilson.   

Annie McAdam Grave Marker


The Democrat-Herald also reports he served  8 months when he was a member of the Company K, calvary regiment of Craven’s Battalion, Shelby’s brigade in General Sterling Prince’s army.   Another of the articles indicates he served immediately under the command of colorful cavalry officer Col Joe Shelby and never saw duty east of the Mississippi.   McAdam said in the Democrat-Herald,

“Their chief duties were to destroy Union supplies and prevent Kansas sympathizers from rendering aid.”  

Toward the end of the war, McAdam’s company was captured and taken to Ft Smith Arkansas.  When the war ended they were paroled and trudged home.  The going was hard.  They paid as much as a $20 bill in Confederate money for one meal.   McAdam also said,

“Tho they were disenfranchised.  The “poor white trash” then in power were afraid of the returned soldiers and appointed them in office.”

The Democrat-Herald also reported that despite his ninety-three years and an accident in which his hip was broken last fall (1937), McAdam is active and spry.  He gets about on a crutch and will soon be able to use a cane.  He reads anything without glasses and can hear any ordinary conversation.  McAdam’s is pictured below (center with the crutch) in a photo taken in front of the courthouse in Springfield.  I don’t believe he ever made it to using the cane as Chuck indicates that his dad Barney Wilson always talked about Lucius hobbling around on the crutch.  

September 27, 1938, Left to Right: Sam Collins, Unknown, Charley Woolley, Alfred Allen, Tom Allen, Crit Allen, Lucius McAdam, Unknown, Jim Bickford, Jake Dillinger, Alvin Wren

There is a bit of discrepancy in the articles about the timing of the broken hip as the “Return From Gettysburg” article indicates he left for the reunion just one week after receiving treatment for a broken hip.   McAdam said of the trip,

I enjoyed myself very much.  Its magnificence was beyond description.   The visit was pleasant and agreeable as I have ever made to any city or town.  I met no one I knew, and I believe I was the only one from my old brigade who attended.  

It seemed when we entered the city that peace and quietude proved everything.  The cordiality extended was the greatest I have ever seen.  Each and every soldier who visited the reunion offers thanks to the president and the people of the nation for the best trip they ever had.

This story begins with a few old 1938 news clippings from the Baca County Museum and is a pretty neat piece of Baca County history by itself, but gets even more interesting.  I shared the 1938 news clippings during a visit with Clyde Rogers from Campo.  He knew of  Marion McAdam and the connection to Barney Wilson as he remembered Barney calling Marion, Uncle Mac.  I contacted Chuck about his Great Granddad’s trip to Gettysburg in 1938 and about being accompanied by Lucius’ son Marion and he said had never seen the 1938 articles.  As we ate breakfast the next day at the Longhorn Steakhouse in Springfield and talked about Marion accompanying Lucius, traveling from Lamar, staying at the encampment as described in the 1938 news clippings,  Chuck said,   I don’t think that is right. Dad (Barney) went on a trip to a Confederate Veteran’s Reunion  with Grandpa Mac but they went on a southerly route. They stayed at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC, not an encampment.  He also stated, Dad got on the train in Dalhart and met Granddad Mac in Austin TX.  He remembered his dad talking about crossing Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana where Barney thought they had reached the end of the earth since he had never seen so much water (sounds like a Baca County boy).  He remembered Barney saying he was worried because it was his older brother Vernon who was supposed to go and is who had been signed up for the trip,  Everything was in Vernon’s name from the train tickets to the registration for the reunion.  He remembered them staying at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC where a young Barney had to dress up to go to dinner every evening and he remembers a story of a young Barney getting to visit the Whitehouse and shake the hand of President Franklin D Roosevelt.

Chuck says that  FDR told Barney (aka Byron) in the news clipping below “Good work my boy, good work” as he was shaking his dad’s hand.  At the same time, Grandad Mac reached over and patted the back of FDR’s hand.  

However, Chuck was puzzled as he didn’t recall anything about Gettysburg or that Uncle Mac had traveled along.  It seems we had a bit of a mystery on our hands.  The more we talked the more confused we became as the stories didn’t seem to line up.  We even got to the point where Chuck indicated that Uncle Mac was sometimes known as a bit of a tale-teller.  We thought for sure there was some miscommunication somewhere.   Chuck said he would check out a box of memorabilia that contained Barney’s Coast Guard uniform and other souvenirs.   We reconvened about 30 minutes later and began sorting through  souvenirs and discovered that in fact,  Grandad Mac at age 93 had not only made the 1938 trip with Marion as the attended to the Gettysburg Encampment and Reunion but had also made a second trip at age 95 in 1940 with  Barney to what by all accounts was the last Confederate Veterans Reunion in Washington DC.  I am going to let the images below tell much of the tale of the Lucius McAdam and Barney Wilson trip to the last Confederate Reunion

One finally Civil War story that Chuck tells us is that both his Great Granddads were Civil war veterans. While Lucius fought for the confederacy, Great Granddad Wilson was a Union soldier.   When Barney was a kid they would sit around on the porch and argue over who was the best soldier.   There were often remarks such as,  

If you had been in my sights you wouldn’t be here.

Lucius McAdams, Civil War Veteran, and Baca County Pioneer  died in Texas on 1 Aug. 1944 – he was living in an Old Soldier’s Home and was 99 years old.   As for Barney, what an adventure for one of Baca County’s own young people.  Thanks to Chuck for sharing.   As noted by Greg Crane on our Baca County Facebook group,  Mr. McAdams was was born before the U.S. and Mexico were battling in the southwest, later served in the Civil War, and lived through the time of the D-Day Invasion. Truly remarkable.

Other related side stories:  

Per our Facebook discussion, Uncle Mac, Marion McAdams lived in Baca County (and is buried there). He spent 27 years in Canon City for cattle rustling and as an accomplice to an attempted murder as a one of the guys he was with who shot the rancher. The guy who fired the shot confessed on his deathbed.  Marion spent 15 years in Canon City and then walked away 3 months before he was to be released. When he was recaptured he spent the additional years in prison.   In prison, he became a  skilled spur maker.  Apparently Marion McAdam spurs fetch a premium price.   After that he live in a little tar paper covered house where the current (2016) Longhorn Steakhouse sits.  Helen Green tells me Marion was quite the gardener.  When it would snow he would scoop up buckets of snow and put them around his trees to provide extra moisture.   

Lucius daughter was Chuck’s grandma, Wanda Wilson.  The Wilson’s moved from Walsh to Springfield when she got the job as the coordinator of the first hot lunch program in Springfield which came about as one of FDRs 1930’s programs.  I think it is an interesting side note considering Barney’s encounter with FDR.



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