The Macht family: Pagosa pioneers


The biographies this week are only of the Macht family, prominent ranchers in Pagosa Country since the 1880s and still going strong.

The Macht family history is typical of the pioneer struggle for survival.

In Pagosa Springs, the widowed mother, with her three sons, established a successful cattle ranch. The family recalls harsh winters during which the bark was peeled from willow branches in order to keep the cattle alive, and other times when the boys worked in San Diego as carpenters and took other measures to keep the home fires burning.

Harry C. Macht was born in New York City July 11, 1877. He came with his parents to Colorado when he was 6 years old.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1899, he married Lena Adams. They had three children, son Ray, daughter Elva and a daughter, Reva, who died in infancy. His brothers were Will, Jule and Joe. He ranched most of his life while taking an active role in community affairs. He passed away in May of 1942.

Lena K. Adams, Mrs. Harry Macht, was born in Newton, Kans., on Oct. 4, 1877. At an early age, she moved to Durango, Colo., where she lived until marrying Harry Macht. She died Dec. 11, 1951.

Joe J. Macht was born in New York City in 1871. At the age of 7, he moved to Del Norte, Colo., and in 1883 he arrived in Pagosa Springs with his widowed mother, three brothers and one sister. He moved to Glendale, Ariz., in 1929 and to Aztec, N.M., in 1942. He married Hazel Adams in 1915 and the couple had two children before he passed away in July of 1947.

Jule Macht was born Dec. 1, 1878, in New York City and passed away June 14, 1963. He was the youngest son of Carl and Victoria Macht, the brother of Joe J., Jarry and Will, and sister Mrs. Hazel Hampton. The family moved to Del Norte when he was a boy. The father, Carl, passed away there and the mother, Victoria, moved the family to Pagosa Springs in 1883.

The family first lived in one of the abandoned Fort Lewis buildings remaining on Pagosa Street in town, before moving to ranch on Turkey Creek Road. He married Jennie Belle Flaugh Nov. 7, 1901. Jule was always active in community affairs and engaged in ranching. His ranch was located on the Rito Blanco River. He also built a brick house in town which remains on the corner of 3rd and Pagosa streets, formerly the site of the Baptist Church. His daughter became Mrs. Fern Hott.

Jennie Belle Flaugh was born Sept. 19, 1882, in Meadville, Penn. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Flaugh, came to Pagosa Springs in 1887. She passed away in February of 1952.

William (Will) Macht was born Jan. 2, 1870, in New York City to Carl and Victoria Macht. Will married Myrtle Adams in 1894. In 1904, they moved to San Diego, but returned a short time later to Pagosa Springs where they homesteaded a ranch just north of the cemetery. He passed away Dec. 8, 1963.