Thursday, January 17, 2013

Interview with Mr. Quick and Mr. Williams, Fountain Settlers, 1942

Interviews with Mr Quick and Mr Williams, early Fountain settlers, were conducted by the historian from the Pioneer Museum in 1942.  Through research by Angela Hahn and Patrice Grimmnitz, a copy of the report was obtained from the Museum.

Early Days in Fountain, Colorado

The story of Fountain, as well as that of many other frontier settlements, can well be told in the biography of a few of its outstanding pioneers, especially when their lives involved the interests and activities of their neighbors.

In the 1850s many Quakers in America had forebodings of approaching war and traveled westward to the frontier to establish homes in a region so sparsely settled that they might escape the conflict.  Amos Hubbard Terrell was one of these Quakers.  In the summer of 1857, he, with his wife, Mary Tapscott Hutchin, came to “Jimmy Camp”, some twelve miles [east] of the present Colorado Springs, that historical and rather enigmatic spot where a make-shift cabin and their own wagons and tents provided a sort of shelter for travelers bound westward during their brief pauses in the journey.  After leaving Jimmy Camp, the Terrells proceeded on their way, turning south to follow the beautiful piedmont valley of the Fountain, which is held to be the original of Longfellow’s Fontaine qui Bouille.  Arrived at the site of the present town of Fountain, Amos Terrell took up the land for a homestead, but later sold it for town lots.  He was “Uncle Amos” to everyone in the early times and his wife was “Aunt Mary”.  Their house, the first in Fountain, was built on the bank of Sand Creek in the spring of 1858; Anthony Bott built his house, the first in Colorado City, in the fall of the same year.  On the strength of these facts, Fountain may justly lay claim to the first permanent home built in El Paso County.  This earliest building was a large one, run by the Terrells as a stage station and eating house.  The original building was of the type known as “grout”.  It was wrecked thirty years later -- in 1888 -- by an explosion on the Santa Fe railroad.  It was then rebuilt as a smaller grout structure and used for only a home.  It was still standing in 1910 or even later; now the basement walls only are left, at the southeast corner of town. They overlook a swamp more recently formed by the diversion of water in irrigation projects.  The swamp lies along Sand Creek, and is the rendezvous of many red-winged blackbirds.  But here the Terrells had flower gardens and an orchard of berries and fruits.  These were started with plants they had brought across the plains in the 1850s, carefully nursing them during the difficult journey.  This place in Fountain seems to have been the home of the Terrells in general for years.  Their daughter, Anne Caroline Terrell, married JO Quick and made her home one block north of her parents.  Her son, J. Alfred Quick, Amos Terrell’s grandson, was born there in 1874.  The Quick home was well built of logs.  At the time of the explosion, however, they were living over by the Fountain on a ranch.  J. Alfred has been sent in to town that day by his father to have some farm implement sharpened.  He can remember hearing the detonations of the explosion that wrecked or burned so much of the town, but he was too far away to have any idea of the nature of the accident.  The log home of the Quick’s in town escaped injury, being substantially built and not taking fire, but it has since been replaced by a frame house.

[Census records show that the Terrells still lived in Iowa in 1860, and arrived in Fountain in about 1863, based on the ages and birthplaces of their children. The informant for this article, J. Alfred Quick, Terrell’s grandson, may have been biased and overlooked Tom Owen as the first inhabitant of the area.]

An interesting story recalled by Mr. Quick at Fountain was the one about the Little Red Shoes.  At Jimmy’s Camp the Indians often passed the encampment, coming and going from their hunts on the plains.  If they were alone, the women were somewhat frightened.  One old chief, seeing some little red shoes and stockings that belonged to the small daughter of Isaac Hutchin, was determined to secure them for his papoose.  At first Mr. Hutchin refused, but so persistent was the old chief, that Mr. Hutchin finally traded them to him for moccasins and some large tanned deerskins.

For some reason which even Mr. Quick does not know, the Terrells, during the 1860’s, built a second stage station on the old Pueblo road, north and west of their original homestead.  This new location was around a quarter of a mile west of the modern paved Highway 85 and one mile south of the present Widefield School.  Grandpa and Grandma Terrell kept the relay horses – six horses to a relay.  The drivers changed horses here, and all travelers who wished to do so ate their meals at the stage station also.  Probably the change was made in an effort to secure more patrons; but after a time the Terrells moved back to their old home and Mrs. Terrell’s brother, Henry Hutchin, ran the later stage station in the late 1860s.  Its site is very indistinctly marked now by a large old locust tree planted near the roadhouse in 1860; this tree has a number of small ones about it that have come up form its roots, and there is an old post near the cluster of trees.  Very near the trees on the south can be found can be found the “grout cellar” of the stage station on the very bank of La Fontaine.  There is nothing left of the building itself. 

South of this stage station was the site of the “Little Dave Cell ranch”.  It is now owned by people named Wilson and is equipped with modern buildings.  At the mouth of Lanahan Hollow was Henry Hutchins’ ranch.  It is almost on a line with the south end of Cheyenne Mountain and just below the recently built camp Carson (1942). 

Anna Caroline Terrell, on her 14th birthday, Apr 23, 1869, was at her Uncle Henry’s ranch.  She, with her cousins, Joel, Annie, Eva, Lou and Emma, were up on the roof of his home house (not the station) and were watching the soldiers – of whom JO Quick was one – over on the west side of the Fontaine.  They were cavalry men and were riding northward along the stream.  The children could see from their vantage point a party of Indians following the soldiers keeping one valley behind them.  One of their scouts would stealthily observe the cavalry from the top of each ridge.  When the soldiers came to Lanahan Hollow, they found water and grass and a herd of cattle.  They camped, and after turning the horses loose to graze, killed a black Galloway calf and set about preparing supper.  The girls watched the Indians steal upon the grazing horses near the head of the draw, and while the soldiers were intent on their meal, the Indians ran off the horses.  The stream was so high that the girls could not ride over on a horse and warn the cavalry.  The men had to walk to Colorado City, a distance of ten or twelve miles, and there secure fresh equipment.  Colorado City was headquarters of the territory at that time.  Mr. Quick’s father, JO Quick, lost his iron gray horse “Colonel” at that time.  The men lost their saddles and all other equipment.  The last serious Indian disturbances of this region occurred around 1868; this raid was doubtless a feature of a more extended uprising, and accounts for the presence of the armed and mounted men. 


A few of the old landmarks in the town of Fountain were noted: the Mitchell house, an early hotel in Fountain; a yellow house south of the Mitchell House which Henry Link moved to its present site and named the Brunswick; the site of the old Quaker church, north of the “new Bank Building”, which has not functioned as a bank since the early 1930s and is now the Catholic Church; and the home of the present mayor of Fountain, which was the Perkins place in olden times and the house where died the father of Arthur Perkins, an outstanding citizen of Colorado Springs at present and historian of pioneer days in El Paso County. 

South of Fountain is the site of a home built in 1860 by John Clay Brown, Indian fighter and the first county of El Paso County [sic], who died in 1870 and was buried in the Pioneer Cemetery on the mesa north of Colorado City.  Across the road was the Rhodes’ home, and south of Brown’s the school section, which was purchased by four old timers, Perkins, Newby, Loomis and Bosworth.  Then came the Lock Ranch, which is now the home of Henry Thomas Williams.  He pointed out, at the nearest corner of the place, the old apple tree which he planted with Mrs. Williams around 1895.  He married Tina Lock September 3, 1890.

THE LOCK RANCH
Mr. Williams’ Account

Mathias and Barbara Gruber Lock, from Brown County near Buckhorn, Illinois, came by way of Denver in 1859 to take up land in Section 17, Township 16, Range 65 West; they settled at this place, as they supposed.  But later the government survey showed they were not located correctly and they moved to a second place, which was really on Section 17.  In the 1870s they built a grout house, a portion of which is still standing among the buildings of their son-in-law, Henry Thomas Williams.  A small part of this house only remains.  Perhaps some of the material went into the largest dwelling now on the ranch, which was built in 1885; this is also of grout and is a commodious, thick-walled, comfortable farm home.  Grout was the solution of many pioneers in this region to the important problem of building material on the frontier.  It seems a kind of forerunner of concrete, and compared favorably with the dugouts, soddies and adobe devised by the ingenuity of early settlers in other parts of the country.  It consists of seven parts crushed rock, sand or clay to one part of lime, of which there is a plentiful supply in the region.  When correctly mixed by experienced workmen, the combination makes a highly resistant building material.

Mr. Williams has bought out the other heirs to the property but he keeps the place under the original name of the Lock Ranch.  In 1908 he and his wife moved to New Mexico for their health.  They returned to the ranch in 1920.  She died December 23, 1928.  Mr. Williams has made most of the improvements on the place, giving to it its present well-equipped appearance.  Many of these improvements have been added since their return from New Mexico: a small frame cottage for himself; henhouses; storage rooms; barns, garages and granaries; machine sheds; orchards to the east, first, apple trees, now gone except for the lone survivor previously mentioned, but replaced by a new cherry orchard and a mew apple orchard.  A son, Eugene, and his wife Florence live in the main grout house and run the ranch.  By the remnant of the old grout house of the 1870s, there is an old dinner bell, used on the place years ago.  It was cast by Hibbard, Spence Bartlett and Co.; on the reverse side of the bell it is possible to decipher with some difficulty, “No. 4 Yoke 1886 Y.”  This bell together with an old muzzle-loading gun and pictures of the Lock family in pioneer times was secured for the Pioneer Museum by the custodian.

Continued….