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Pagosa’s early settlers, from far and wide

Photo courtesy John M. Motter During the early logging days in Pagosa Country, logs cut on the top of mesas were skidded down the steep slopes, then loaded onto wagons at the bottom.

Photo courtesy John M. Motter
During the early logging days in Pagosa Country, logs cut on the top of mesas were skidded down the steep slopes, then loaded onto wagons at the bottom.

Friederike Neumeuister, Mrs. Asa Pangborn, was born in Hamburg, Germany, May 11, 1844. She died in Del Norte, Colo., June 21, 1929, at the age of 85 years.

At the age of 10, she came with her parents to the United States and settled in Davenport, Iowa. In 1864, at the age of 20, she traveled with her parents in a covered wagon to Denver, where she made her home for 13 years. In 1866, she married Asa Pangborn and they had seven children, five of whom died in infancy. In 1877, the family moved to Del Norte where they spent the remainder of their lives, except for some years spent in Pagosa Springs.

While living at Pagosa Springs in December of 1879, the couple’s son, Asa Pangborn Jr,. was born. He was said to have been the first Anglo child born in Pagosa Springs. The father homesteaded on the West Fork of the San Juan River, where remains of their log cabin may still exist.

Former county sheriff Jewett Palmer was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1853. In 1867, he moved to Colorado and lived near Denver for 16 years. In 1883, he moved to Durango and, in 1890, to Pagosa Springs, where he opened a grocery store and general livery stable. In 1880, he married Estella Patton and the couple had seven children.

The Pargins were early settlers along the wagon road between Pagosa Springs and Durango. Their residences, at various times, were scattered from Pine River eastward to Beaver Creek and on to Washington Flats.

Seralda Neal Pargin was born near Frankfort, Ken., Oct. 26, 1846, and died in Pagosa Springs in September of 1922.

From her birth place, the family moved to Golden, Mo., where, at the age of 21, she married Daniel Pargin. They lived at that location 10 years and had sons Charlie, Benjamin, Daniel (Doll) and Edward. They moved to Colorado in 1876, first settling near the newly formed railroad village of Alamosa, then moved to Pine River (Bayfield). At Bayfield, a daughter, Pearl, was born.

Mr. Pargin died at Bayfield in 1881, Charlie in 1916, and Pearl, Mrs. Thomas Reavis, in 1922. Mrs. Pargin and her daughter had moved to Pagosa Springs in 1897.

Ben Pargin,  known as “Uncle Ben,” was born in Golden City, Mo., to Daniel and Seralda Pargin. He died at his home on Devil Creek near Pagosa Springs Aug. 19, 1950. With his parents, Ben left Missouri in 1876 in a covered wagon. They were one of a caravan of 33 wagons on their way to the Black Hills in South Dakota. At Fort Loren, Kan., they were stopped by Col. Custer’s soldiers, who warned them of Indian uprisings. They altered their course and came to the San Luis Valley, where they wintered. Daniel came over to the Pine River with a pack horse, which he traded for the H.D. Ranch and a cabin east of where Bayfield now stands. The rest of the family came in 1877. Later, they bought a place on Beaver Creek. Ben married Josephine Victoria Bennett.

This story was posted on May 9, 2013.