Monday, September 7, 2015
Into the territory of unasked questions
If I could reach way back through the years, clear to the back of the cabinet of experience, and memory, place and understanding. Back with cobwebs ... I'd try to ask questions of them. Of Dolores, from which they came, of the past that made them, of the world they lived in.
A few, I met personally. Some, only by reputation. Others still, only connected by the stories I learned. Place, trace memory, the passage of time and stories... cobwebs brushed against my face, tickled and prompted the questions.
"Capitol's Who's Who for Colorado: A Triennial Reference Work 1941-1943," imprinted on the leather cover. Copyright 1941 by the Capitol Publishing Company.
"A man's true greatness lies in the consciousness of an honest purpose in life, founded on a just estimate of himself and everything else, on the frequent self-examinations, and the steady obedience to the rule which he knows to be right," the book quotes Marcus Aurelius in the forward.
R.O. Norman, editor wrote in January, 1941, "We have given frank recognition to lineage; to those founded in the native soil; to those destined to become the the ancestry of future generations of Colorado. These are the names which make the history of our state, making the work a contemporary history book."
I brush at the tickle of cobwebs.
At the names, I flap the dust rag. The first, on page 21.
• T.H. Akin. General store operator; legislator; born in Cleburne, Texas, Jan. 3, 1878; married Bertha Hammond, Dolores, July 8, 1903, Children Greta Mary: Owner of Akin Merc Co, 1907 __; State Representative, 1936 to date, Member of the School Board, Town Alderman; Mason; address, Dolores Colorado.
• William J. Exon. General store operator, born Wabunsee County, Kansas, May 17, 1873: married Ida Ianth, August 1898; children Bertha may, Alice L. (Hyde); owner of Exon Merc for years; member of the town board, 20 years: director of Summit Reservoir and Irrigation Company, Chamber of Commerce, SR Mason (Master); home, Dolores, Colo.; office Exon Merc Co, Dolores, Colo.
• William R. McCabe. Cattleman, County Commissioner; born Phillips Nebraska, June 27, 1893; Married Lola Morrison, July 30, 1919, children Stanley married, Vance Lee, Mary and Sheila; purebred Herford cattle 1907 to date; served U.S. Army, World War; Commissioner of Montezuma County 1934 __; Legionnaire; Member of Chamber of Commerce, address, Dolores, Colo.
• Sam H. Philegar. Executive; born Higginsville, Missouri, June 6, 1874; married Lucille Christy, November 1905, Son James J., active in the automobile industry and in the manufacturing business 1900-1926; operator of Philegar Brokerage Co, Dolores, owner 1926 __; Mayor of Dolores 1938; past president of State Chamber of Commerce, director of the County Chamber of Commerce; Pythian, Elk: Odd Fellow; address Dolores, Colo.
• Harry V. Pyle. Real estate executive, member of the state planning board; Born Canon City, Colo., Feb. 21, 1876; married Louisa Scharnhorst, June 11, 1899, children Lloyd C, Marie (Deham), Harriet (Manuel) ; with J.J. Harris & Co, 1900-1904; real estate business 1904 __; licensed broker 1926 —; Secretary Treasurer Summit Reservoir and Irrigation Co, Mayor of Dolores 1918; formerly City Magistrate and Justice of the Peace; member of State Planning Board, member of Chamber of Commerce, Fish, Gun Club; address, Dolores, Colo.
• George D. Taylor. Hardware and implement executive; born Eskridge, Kansas, Sept. 22, 1882; common school education, son of Geo and Mary (Williams); began as a farm laborer, operator of Taylor Hardware, 1923 __ : president of J.J. Harris & Co, bankers 1932 __; also real estate interests, including large ranch East of Dolores; pioneered irrigation farming, Montezuma and Dolores Counties; address, Dolores, Colo.
• Cecil H. Webb. Insurance and real estate executive: born, Peoria, Oklahoma, March 27, 1902, education , Western State College, Married Erin Plumlee, Oct. 11, 1924; Children, Marvin Herbert, Mildred Jean; with Roger Mills Co Association1920; Exchange National Bank, Oklahoma, 1920-21; various positions as stenographer and bookkeeper, El Vado, New Mexico and McPhee, Colo. 1921-1925, assistant cashier, J.J. Harris & Co Bank, 1929-31; cashier 1932-34; insurance and real estate business 1934-36; cashier J.J. Harris & Co Bank 1936-37; insurance, real estate, and loan business 1937 __, treasurer Montelores Chamber of Commerce, member of Chamber of Commerce, past patron OES, member of National Association of Insurance Agents, SR, KT, Mason; address Dolores, Colo.
• J. M. Brumley. County Judge, born Cleburne, Texas, Oct. 16, 1878; education, Springfield Normal School, married to Loise C. Pyle; second marriage Katie Miller, Aug. 19, 1919; six children; cowboy, Dolores Colo, 1900-13; clerk District Court 1913 __; County Judge 1920 __; address, Cortez, Colo.
As a kid, I often mowed Bill McCabe's lawn with his brand new Toro from Taylor Hardware. I heard a lot about Judge Brumley from Brumley neighbors, countless stories of old George Taylor, and Harry Pyle, and C.H. Webb at various accounts. I wandered the rooms of the Exon Merc, Akin Merc, and the J.J. Harris & Co Bank building (which of course was Taylor Hardware), Webb's garage, and even the places they might have gathered. I asked questions, but wish I'd thought of more.
"It is a volume which will command the attention of the learned person who has become familiar with the names of the individuals who, in the present-day, are responsible for the growth and gains made for, and in the state," writes Norman.
The book reaches way back through the years, clear to the back of the cabinet of experience, and memory, place and understanding, beyond the cobwebs and into the territory of my unasked questions.
Photo information: The Cowboys of the Dolores River, William Henry Jackson, 1892.