More Pagosa pioneers, and an early-day tragedy

Photo courtesy John M. Motter
Henry Gordon is one of the cowboys who accompanied the Cox party when they drove longhorn cattle from Texas to the San Juan Basin during the late 1870s. Other families on the journey were the Arnolds, mentioned in today’s column, and the O’Neals. This photo shows a roundup on Henry Gordon’s ranch in O’Neal Park.[/caption]

Steven Miller Keith and his family were early settlers in the San Juan Basin.

Traveling with the Cox, O’Neal and other families, they drove longhorn cattle from Texas along the Pecos Trail in 1876.

The party stopped for a year or so at Cimarron, N.M., then moved on to the San Juan Basin settling a little north of present-day Aztec, N.M.

In 1879, some of the group moved a short distance to Pine River (now Bayfield), and shortly after that moved to Pagosa Springs.

Known as “Hoot,” Steven was born May 3, 1854, in Titus County, Texas, and died during November of 1929. In early manhood, he married Fannie Whittenburg and they had two children, Claude Keith and Mrs. Ethel Sparks. Fannie died in 1888 at Pine River.

Wash Keith was an early settler at Pine River, his ranch being the present site of Bayfield.  He returned to Texas in 1885 and died there April 7, 1926.

Mrs. J.P. Kimball (Alice Lappin) was born in Sun City, Kans., Feb. 20, 1882. She married Jay P. Kimball May 6, 1901, in Oklahoma and the couple came by covered wagon to Pagosa Springs on their honeymoon. They remained in Pagosa Springs for 50 years. She passed away December 28, 1953.

Anna I.M. Kingsley was born Dec. 31, 1901, in Pagosa Springs. She married Harry Armstrong and they had one child, Emma Della Bramwell. Leon Montroy was her brother. She passed away May 6, 1971.

Josie Belle Kingsley was born in Woodcock, Penn., Nov. 24, 1881, and died at Pagosa Springs Aug. 18, 1963. She married George Kingsley in August of 1900. He passed away in 1952. The couple had 10 children.

Dannie E. Kinney was born Sept. 14, 1855, in Baldwin, N.Y., and died in Pagosa Springs Dec. 20, 1936. He married Frona Davis Nov. 25, 1887, at Trinidad, Colo. Among their children were Ada Baker, Mrs. Dora Turnbull, Frank E. Kinney and J. W. Kinney.

Lois May Kinser was born May 12, 1908, at Pagosa Springs, the fourth of the 10 children of Jake and Hattie Bramwell. She died in April of 1977. In 1933, she married Guinn Z. Kinser, who died in 1943.

Among her brothers were Ed Bramwell, Carl Bramwell, Floyd Bramwell and Ernest Bramwell. Among her sisters were Margaret Montroy, Muriel Chapman, Bessie Davis and Opal Turner. She died April 14, 1977.

One of the sad tragedies of Archuleta County was the death by freezing of Edward Kleckner.

Thomas Edward Kleckner was born Nov. 25, 1875, in Iowa, but had lived in Colorado since childhood. He was the son of Walter Himes. On Oct. 18, 1905, he married Jennie Warr.  Less than a year later, in March of 1906, he froze to death near the Chapman Ranch on the East Fork of the San Juan River.