We continue with short biographies of early Pagosa Country settlers.
They were a diverse lot, with one common characteristic. They dreamed of making a home in Pagosa Country and were willing to face extreme adversity in order to make the dreams come true.
Alpheusus T. “Al” Creswell was born June 30, 1850, in Iowa. He came to Colorado in 1883, settling in Silverton and Durango before moving to Pagosa Springs. He formed a partnership with Ira Hubler in about 1896 which lasted 30 years until his death in December of 1926. Creswell, with his brother Smiley, and partner Ira, developed Palisade Lakes as a resort destination and fish hatchery. When “Dutch” Henry Born started a fish hatchery shortly after 1900, he purchased much of his fry from Palisade Lakes.
Palisade Lakes are located north of Pagosa Springs and can be accessed by way of Williams Creek Road and the Middle Fork Road. An entrance driveway leaves Middle Fork Road on the north side a few miles before that road dead ends.
Ira Hubler was born near Loganspoint, Ind., Dec. 5, 1852. He came to Colorado in 1886 and settled in Pine River (near today’s Bayfield) before joining brother Ira at Palisade Lakes. The Hubler brothers had another brother, John, who was a plasterer and plastered Pagosa Springs’s first Methodist Church building.
Mrs. Abbie Hurt was born near Independence, Kans., July 25, 1870. She and her husband, Harrison, came with a wagon train to Colorado, first settling near Silverton and Ouray, and finally coming to Pagosa Springs in 1918. They purchased a ranch near Dyke in 1918 and remained there until he died in 1933, she in 1944. The couple had nine children and still have survivors living in this area.
The Hyler family of pioneers was related to the Nossaman and Seavy families. Both families were from Pella, Iowa, better known as the boyhood home of Wyatt Earp. William Clark Hyler was born in Peacock, New Jersey, in August of 1845, and passed away in Pagosa Springs February 2, 1930. He was a member of the Union army during the Civil War. Following the war, when he returned to Pella, he married Isabelle Nossaman on May 21, 1868. In 1882, the Hyler family moved to Summitville, Colorado, and in 1887 they moved to Pagosa Springs where he took up a homestead.
Family members included Ben, Mary Kuhn who earlier had been married to Edward Kuhn who was the first rail depot agent in Pagosa Springs, Morris, Silvia Margaret the wife of Glen Hyler, Mrs. Welch Hyler born Eva Grace Raine who came to Pagosa Springs with her parents in 1897, and Welch W. Hyler.
Lucy O’Neal Irwin was born July 4, 1885, on Pine River. She was the twin sister of Eben “Buck” O’Neal. They were the only children of Mr. and Mrs. J.S. O’Neal.
Mrs. Ivy Keane was born Feb. 2, 1874, at Castle Rock, Colo., to Charles and Mary Alice Fresh. She spent her childhood in the Russell Springs area and at Del Norte. She married Jack Keane in Del Norte and they moved to the upper Piedra in 1910. She died in 1958. Her husband, John Keane, was born in Wisconsin in 1867. After living a while in Cotopaxie, Colorado, he moved to Del Norte where he married Ivy Fresh.