My family came to what is now Boulder, Colorado, arriving when Boulder was three months old. My Great-great-grandfather was Carson W. Arbuthnot and with him, he brought his four sons and a son-in-law. Since a little child I have loved the history of this beautiful mountain area, the legacy's of the Natives who were here when my family arrived, and the way our community has grown to what it is today. My blog is dedicated to seeking evidence of all that happened. The good, the bad and the ugly, I will share the evidence of what I find.

I also share Boulder County and Colorado History through entertaining storytelling. Dressed as one of my early Boulder County ancestors, I will make you laugh, smile and sometimes cry as I share the stories of the people who came before us and who established these communities that we enjoy today. Please visit my storytelling and events pages for information on performances.

Welcome to my blog, I hope you enjoy your time here.

Donlyn Arbuthnot

Thursday, December 26, 2013

News from Gold Hill, April 23, 1859

Published in Denver, back when it was Kansas Territory, in the newspaper Rocky Mountain News on April 23, 1859, the following was published after visiting with a Gold Hill miner.  Gold Hill was only three months old at the time this was published, yet already, there were many men who had come to take the gold from this mountain.  Here is what the article reported...

Mr. O. P. Goodwin has just shown us a parcel of quartz gold, which he states was dug by himself about 8 miles west of Boulder and some 35 miles north of Cherry creek.  

These specimens are intermixed with particles of quartz rock, similar in appearance to that of California.  The largest specimen weighs 32 cents, and the parcel is worth something over $50.  Mr. G. states that he obtained it from a vein of decomposed quartz, six or eight inches in thickness and lying about three feet below the surface of the ground.

Gold Panning
After the silt and sand is washed away, flecks of gold remain.
Panning helps the miner locate where more, bigger gold may be found.

Quartz-Gold is quartz rock with gold in the quartz rock.
After locating where gold might be using panning,
then miners would start to dig to find larger amounts of gold.
Extracting the gold from the quartz was difficult and dangerous.
Extraction required the use of mercury after the rock was crushed.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Article 4, Gold Hill Mining District No. 1 - Laws

In January 1859, high in the Rocky Mountains before there was a Boulder, Colorado, gold was discovered.  The first miners there created the Mining District no. 1 of Nebraska Territory which became to be known as Gold Hill.

These men understood the implications of their discovery and wanted to get control of the situation before things got out of hand.  They held a gathering and created a "Book of Laws".   Below is Article 4 that I transcribed directly from the original law book that was created by the Gold Hill miners.  The book is housed at the Carnegie Library for Local History, a branch of the Boulder Public Library.  Article 4 contains the laws that my Great-great-grandfather, C. W. Arbuthnot, would have upheld as Sheriff in Gold Hill.

Any word that I could not decipher in the original I have indicated with [?] in the transcription.

Article 4 - Of Offenses

Offenses against Society
1.  Any man committing or attempting to commit crimes against the laws of society shall have a fair and impartial trial by jury, and if found guilty shall be dealt with as the people assemble in public meeting shall direct.

Of defacing or removing stakes
2. It shall be unlawful for anyone to obliterate or deface or remove or in any way alter any mark from any stake or tree marking the boundaries of any claim or claims and upon any conviction thereof, he shall forfeit all right or interest in the claim or claims, the mark or marks of which may be so altered or removed.

Of claiming a higher fee than is legal
3. Any officer that shall be found charging more than his lawful fees shall be fined at least ten dollars for the first offence and if convicted a second time shall pay a fine of twenty five dollars and his office shall be considered vacant.  An election for a new officer shall be called.

Of the sale of liquors
4. No one shall be allowed to sell intoxicating liquors within the boundaries of this district except for medicinal or medical purposes.  And upon convection of so doing, shall pay for the first offence a fine of not less than $25. Not more than $50.   And for the second offence a fine of not less than $50. Nor more than $100.  And for the third offense a fine of not less than $150.  And a like sum for every subsequent offense that shall be proven against the person or persons.

Mode of collecting fines.
The fines to be collected the same as other fines to be collected in the District.

5. Any persons who shall sell or give spirit-[?] liquors to any Indian shall receive 40 lashes on their back.

Process in [? - hole in paper] of liquor vendors
6. The President or Justice of the Peace of the District shall upon anyone filing a complaint with him, that he believes any one is guilty of violating the above resolutions, issue a warrant to the Sherriff or Constable for the  arrest of the party or parties so offending, commanding them to be brought before him immediately for trial.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pickled Watermelon

Every Christmas it was a joy to go down into the cellar and get the jars of Watermelon Pickles that my Mom had canned in the summertime.  These little red and green jewels meant that Christmas was here and our family would be together with our cousins.  While this is a very old recipe, made with the oil of cloves and cinnamon that were purchased at the pharmacy, not the grocery store, I recommend giving this recipe a try today.  Especially if you are an experienced canner, you will be rewarded.

Watermelon Pickles

7 lbs Watermelon Rind 
3 ½ lbs Sugar
1 pint [Cider] Vinegar
½ teaspoon Oil of Cloves
½ teaspoon Oil of Cinnamon

Cut the green skin off the rind; leave some pink fruit (no more than a ½ inch) on the rind.  Cut rind into one-inch cubes.  Cover with hot water and par boil until rind can be pierced with a fork, but be careful not to let it get too soft.  Drain water off rind.
This should be about 7 lbs of fruit.

Bring sugar, vinegar, and oils to boil and pour over rind.  Let stand in kettle over night.  In the morning, drain off syrup, reheat [syrup] and pour back.  Sit over night.  The third morning, heat to hot both the rind and syrup.  Seal in jars.

Makes 8 pints.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Horace Greeley Comments on Pikes Peak June 1859

On June 3, 1859, an article was published in the Rockford Daily News in Rockford Illinois.
(Page 3).  New York Tribune, a newspaper founder and editor Horace Greeley, for which the town of Greeley Colorado is named for, had a great deal to say about the gold rush to Pike's Peak.  He knew how to sell newspapers with the sensationalism of the day!  No doubt, this is the kind of talk that encouraged my family to come and seek gold.   They arrived in Boulder on June 20th, 1859.   

Here is what was published...  

Horace Greeley on Pike’s Peak 

Under date of May 22, Mr. Greeley writes from Leavenworth, Kansas, to the Tribune respecting the gold region, in a tone which shows that he has caught the fever in its worst form. It is evident that the white coated philosopher has been sadly humbugged by someone.

Here is what Mr. Greeley says:

  1. There is gold at Pike’s Peak.
  2. Very little has yet been dug.
  3. A considerable though very inadequate amount of prospecting had been done up to the 10th inst., which is the date of our latest advices.
  4. A great deal more will soon be done, as the snow only begins to be fairly melted out of the gorges of the Rocky Mountains, where the rich mines or placers must be found, if anywhere.
  5. As yet this prospecting has not yielded enough to pay the board of those employed in it.
  6. Yet a few, who have had extra luck, would seem to have done pretty well, and some of them (unless they lie outrageously) are now making $5 to $8 per day to the hand. The board of a rugged, hard-working miner in that region ought to cost $2 per day.
  7. It is known to this hour that any extensive placer has been found, and nearly every miners still prospecting for better digging. (sic)
  8. Hundreds of those who rushed madkly off on a gold hunt across five hundred miles of uninhabited, foodless country, in February and March, have either died outright of starvation, or have suffered and been famished to the last limit of mortal endurance. And all who have started in their track with but a few days’ provisions and scarcely any other resource but the clothes on their back have probably suffered, or will suffer, everything short of death, and some of them will probably die.
  9. There is  as much uncertainty and distrust in the Gold Region as here, and many who have reached Denver City or Auraria have turned back in disgust, which others would do if they could do it in safety.
  10. Many who had gone part way have been discouraged by the reports of those they met and are heading towards the States again.
  11. There is no demand for labor in any part of the alleged Gold Regions, and many are there idle, who would gladly be hired and set to work.
  12. It is not yet decided whether any considerable amount of Gold can be mined with profit in the new Gold Region. Months more of patient and well directed labor may be required to settle that point.
  13. As yet, less than $10,000 in all, has been received on this frontier, in Gold, the product of the Pike’s Peak region.
  14. It is highly desirable and proper that the capacity of the new Gold Region should be tested and ascertained. Those who are rationally employed in this work deserve well of the country. But there are people enough now in or near the new Gold Region for all reasonable purposes – far too many for the amount of food that now is or can soon be placed there.
  15. It is not merely folly – it is criminal madness – to rush off to Pike’s Peak Gold Hunting without ample provision in the shape of food, clothing, blankets, mining implements, and money. He who goes without rushes on a suicide’s fate. H. G.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Clover Vinegar - An old Pioneer Recipe

Clove Vinegar

Put a large bowl of molasses in a crock. 
Pour over it nine bowls of boiling rain water. 
Let stand until milk-warm. 
Put in two quarts of clover blossoms and two cups of baker’s yeast. 
Let this stand two weeks and strain through a towel. 
Nothing will mold in it.

This is a very old recipe and not recommended that you try it today.  
If you do, I hold no responsibility to what might happen, good or bad.
It does make one wonder about the "Nothing will mold in it" 
what effect it would have on the human body.  
But, please, DO NOT put it to the test.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cornish Pasties - Old and New

A very popular recipe in the mining communities, where many miners had come from Cornwall England to mine, were Pasties.  (Pronounced PASS-ti)  Here is an original version that I would not recommend making, and the newer adjusted version that makes this much better tasting.  Thank you to the Trevarton Family, also Pioneer Natives of Boulder County, for sharing this with me.

Cornish Pasties - the OLD way.

For the dough, mix
2 cups sifted flour
1 ½ cups finely chopped suet
½ cup lard
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup water

Filling, mix together
chopped up round steak
ruttabega or tunip
red potato
1 ½ Tablespoon ground suet
salt and pepper

Roll the dough out into circles and fill with the meat filling.  Seal pastry with water, vent the dough.  Bake in a moderate oven until done.

Remember, I don't recommend eating any of the recipes that I label as old.  Please refer to the subject of Recipe - New for the ones that we eat in our home, like the one below...

Cornish Pasties - the New way

For the dough
Sift 3 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt,
cut in 1 cup of shortening,
sprinkle with ½ cup of cold water and mix until it just holds together.
Wrap and let rest in the refrigerator like you do with a pie dough.

For the filling
Mix 2 ¼ cups of cooked, chopped round steak,
1 ½ cups of cooked, diced, red potato, 
¾ cup of chopped onion
1 ½ tablespoon soft butter
salt and pepper

Roll the dough out and cut into 6 inch squares.  Place some of the meat filling onto the dough.  Dampen the dough edges with water and fold over the dough, pinching it to seal.

Place Pasties on a cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 365 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

Enjoy Pasties warm, after they have cooled from the oven.  Or eat them like a miner, cold and with a bit of brown grainy mustard.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wanted! 100 Dozen Chickens

Love the old newspapers and the things that one finds there.  Here is a classified ad from the local hotel in Boulder.  This appeared in the Boulder News and Courier, Boulder, Colorado.  Friday August 20, 1880, page 3.

Wanted.  At Brainard's Hotel, one hundred dozen chickens.

100 dozen chickens  = 1,200 chickens!
In the 1880 U. S. Census, the population of Boulder was 3,069.
Were they planning on feeding the whole town?
One wonders who all these chickens were going to feed.
What was happening at this hotel and in this town at this time.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lois Waisbrooker, One of Boulder's first feminists

In the 1870 U. S. Census on page three, household 17, in Boulder City, Colorado Territory is listed Carson Arbuthnot and his wife Frances.  Carson ten years earlier had been sheriff in the Gold Hill Mining District, his wife was in Salt Creek, Tama County, Iowa at the time.  By 1870, they had been reunited and living together in Boulder.  Here is a portion of the U.S. Census where they appear...

Page 3, 1870 US Census for Boulder City, Colorado Territory

What is very interesting about this census are the others who are living with Carson and Franny Arbuthnot.  Two men, Scott Thomas, a carpenter and farmer, William Rinker a shoe-maker.  And a woman, a lecturer, Lois Weisbroker.  None are members of the Arbuthnot family.

I have been contacted by a person who is researching a 19th century feminist who's name is Lois Waisbrooker.  He believes that the woman living with the Arbuthnot couple is the same woman as the one he is researching.  Given that the census taker misspelled Arbuthnot as Arbuttmot - I believe that this researcher is correct and the correct spelling for this woman in this household is Lois Waisbrooker.
In the 1870's she appeared before audiences in Denver for several lectures that were announced in the Rocky Mountain News.  These appearances coincide with the time period that the census was taken.

Lois Waisbrooker was not only a speaker, but an author who wrote extensively on sex, marriage, birth control, women's rights, and related issues.  She was a radical of her time, an anarchist and spiritualist.  She was one of Boulder's first feminists who worked tirelessly for the betterment of women.  She is best known for her 1893 publication A Sex Revolution.  Ms. Waisbrooker was born Adeline Eliza Nichols in upstate New York in 1826.

One wonders, what was her relationship to the Arbuthnots?  Did her presence in the Arbuthnot home have any bearing on Franny's leaving to return to Iowa later that year where she died?  Were any characters in her book, Mayweed Blossoms, that was published in 1871, have any relationship to those whom she met in Boulder?  (Could she have been having a relationship with any of the other men in this household?)  Given that her birth name was Nichols, was she related to any of Boulder's other Nichols as there were many in Boulder since it's beginnings in February of 1859, all of whom were either friends or aquaintcients of Carson Arbuthnot.  So many questions and again, one may never know the answers.

More about Lois Waisbrooker.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Boulder Canyon in 1874

Boulder Canyon
From the book titled Picturesque America by W. C. Bryant 
published by D. Appleton & Co. in 1874.

At the time this photo was taken, there were 4 toll gates that one had to pass through in order to arrive at the mining camp of Ward.  In Boulder Canyon, there were 17 places where one had to cross over the river, making this an extremely difficult route to the mining camps.  Going up Left Hand Canyon to Ward and Gold Hill, while still treacherous, was a much easier and the preferred route in 1874.  Tolls were also collected up Left hand.  When wet and muddy, Lick Skillet Road going into Gold Hill from Left Hand can be as slick as a well greased cast iron skillet.  Yet Left Hand Canyon was easier than Boulder Canyon for travel in the early days.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Haystack Mountain Ranch in Winter

Home of William and Mary [Bader] Arbuthnot, Haystack Mountain, Boulder County, Colorado.

Copyright Donlyn A. A. Whissen
Haystack Mountain Ranch
Home of William and Mary [Bader] Arbuthnot and their six children who were born here.
Photo was taken circa 1900-1907.

Today the old barn still stands out at the Haystack Mountain Golf Course.  It is the only remnants of the old ranch.  When the current owner saw this property the first time back in the 1960's when they purchased the property, they said the buildings looked just like this.  They were able to identify several of the out buildings and other points of interest in this photo.  The Left Hand Creek runs across this land, most likely where the trees are growing.

Here is a photo of the plank home that William built for Mary and where their six children were born.  This home is to the far right in the photo above.

copyright Donlyn A. A. Whissen

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Arbuthnot Brothers Cattle Brands

Cattle Brand of William Arbuthnot, Haystack Mountain Ranch
Boulder County, Colorado Territory
Book I, Page 112   July 18, 1870

In Book I (the first book of cattle brands recorded in Boulder County, Colorado), William and his brother Samuel recorded their brands on the same day, the 18th of July, 1870.  They must have ridden to town together, to the court house.  Here is the transcription from the hand written document of William's record...

Territory of Colorado
County of Boulder

Know all men by these present that I William Arbuthnot of the County and Territory aftsaid do hereby give notice to that I claim as my Brand for Stock the following to wit the number (44) forty-for burned on the left hip.  To have and to Hold the Exclusive right to hold and use the Same Against all other citizens of Said County.

Witness my Hand and Seal this 18th day of July 1870.
William Arbuthnot [signature]

William's brother's, Samuel C. Arbuthnot's brand - the letters SM...

Brand of Samuel Arbuthnot, recorded 18 July 1870
Boulder County, Colorado Territory
2 inches long, on the left shoulder
Book I, page 114
Related Article:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Arbuthnot Children born at Haystack Mountain

The six children who were born to William and Mary Arbuthnot at their Haystack Mountain Ranch.  They are... 

Fredrick Wilhelm Arbuthnot, b. 30 November 1869
William Carson Arbuthnot, Jr. b. 12 June 1871
George John Arbuthnot, b. 9 February 1875
Melissa Leona Arbuthnot, b. 7 July 1876
Stella May Arbuthnot, b. 13 January 1878
Sidney Arthur Arbuthnot, b. 17 February 1880

After their father was killed in April of 1882, their mother went and had photographs taken of these young ones.  Here are those photos.  Fred, the eldest was 12 when his father died, and Sidney the youngest was 2 years old.

L to R: William & Fred Arbuthnot

L to R: Melissa, Stella, George Arbuthnot

Sidney Arbuthnot being held by his mother,
Mary Elizabeth [Bader] Arbuthnot
In later years, the children had their photo taken again with their mother...

Front L to R:  Fred, Mary (mother), Sidney
Back L to R:  Melissa, William, George, Stella.
And after the eldest son, Fred, was married, his wife,
Margie Ann [Coe] Arbuthnot joined in the family photo...

Bottom Row:  Melissa and Margie
Middle Row:  George, Mary (mother), Fred
Back Row: Sidney, Stella, William

Related page:  Arbuthnot Family Tree
Related page:  Bader Family Tree

Thursday, October 24, 2013

ARBUTHNOT-BADER Marriage Announced in the Rocky Mt. News 1869

Marriage of William Arbuthnot and Mary Elizabeth Bader appered in the Rocky Mountian News, the paper in Denver, Colorado Territory.  This is from the March 27, 1869 issue.

It reads:
ARBUTHNOT-BADER - At Valmont, March 14 by Judge A. P. Allen,
 Wm. Arbuthnot amd Miss Mary E. Bader
This is the first document that says that Mary and William were married at Valmont.  Most other references say that they were married at Left Hand.  They made their home on Left Hand creek at the base of Haystack Mountain, Boulder County, Colorado Territory.  They were married until William was branding a colt in April of 1882.  The colt kicked him in the chest and he died a several days later.  Mary was left with six children to raise.  She did so with the help of her brother, Fred W. Bader, and brother-in-law, Samuel C. Arbuthnot as well as good neighbors such as Sylvanus Budd.

The following photos are large tin-types that have been hand painted.  Mary has such dark eyes, but Williams are the Arbuthnot blue.

Mary Elizabeth [Bader] Arbuthnot
William Carson Arbuthnot, Sr.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Denver Land Office, 1868

In this photo, you can see the building (on the right side) where the Government Land Office was located in Denver, Colorado Territory in 1868.  This is where the miners came to get land for their homes.  Whether they homesteaded, paid cash, exchanged a military or college script, this is where they came along with their witnesses to back up their claims to the land.

David Bruce Powers supply train from Leavenworth in Denver, 1868.
Western History Collection, Denver Public Library
Click here for a map of the route that the Leavenworth Express Company took to get to Denver.  1859.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Henry M. Skinner Letter from Gold Run

Henry M. Skinner
Photo courtesy Ric Skinner

This letter is the earliest known letter that I have seen from the gold fields of what is now Boulder County, Colorado.  Thank you to Mr. Ric Skinner for sharing your family's story, letter, and photo with me.  I wonder if Henry was sitting up on one of the Flatirons above Boulder when he wrote this letter.  It's sure easy to picture him there with the description that he gives.  Any comments in [brackets] are mine.

Rocky Mountains
District No. 1  August 6, [18]59
[Sent to Rockford, Ill.]

My Dear Friends
It’s with pleasure that I pen you a few lines this morning to let you know our whereabouts and how we are.

I sit here on a mountain that is almost perpendicular.  On one side can be seen the Broad Plains up N. T. [Nebraska Territory] and on the other large mountains covered with snow from one pass and to another.  I left you alas near Fort Laramie on Sabbath.  I spoke of our meetings and what success we were having, also of a young man that was desirous in regard to his souls best interest.
Our usual house arrived for prayer meeting - there was 7 or 8 of us collected in one of the tents and before our meeting closed his burden of Sin was removed and he was able to rejoice with us.  We had a glorious time.  He is now on his way to Heaven with us.  He takes an active part in all our meetings, which we have Sabbath and Thursday evenings.  We arrived at Laramie on Tuesday and was informed that H. Greely [Horace Greeley] had lectured to the emigrants and Gold subject and the mines of N. T.   Our team was thrown into confusion by this for some wanted to go to California and some for the Peak and after a days consideration pack 4 wagons.  Started for the Peak and the rest for Cal.  We went down to the ferry on Wednesday Night and Thursday we crossed the Platte on 3 logs tied together.  Which was a very tedious job.  We all got safe across at about 5 o’clock and camped for the night.  Next morning we started on our journey once more, arrived at Laramie at 9 P.M.  After 2 weeks travel along the foot of the Black Hills and Rocky Mts we arrived at Boulder City about 5 o’clock Thursday, 230 miles.  We found it to be a beautiful situation on Boulder Creek.  With about 100 houses made of pine logs.  On Friday there was a party of 5 of us started up the mountains.  With our packs on our backs found it rather difficult work but we arrived at what is called 12 mile diggings, 12 miles from Boulder.  We saw some gould [gold] taken out some told us they was making from 5 to 8 dollars per day and some as high as $18.  We prospected over a week in the mountains and got lost and got rather close to the Snowy Range.  We have now got our wagons up on the mts and our cattle are ranched in Boulder vicinity.  We have each a claim and are hard at work and 2 of them have a good Prospector.  There is a great deal of excitement to the gould [gold] on the other side of the mts.  The report that some being is a man take out at the rate of a poun [pound] per day pretty big story but it may be so but we will soon see for we purchased a pony Friday and one of our men starts in the morning in ? with 4 others.  It’s rather dangerous ? [lunacy?] on account of the Utah Indians that they are going in the morning.  I was talking with a Gentleman that has been there.  He says there is gould [gold] there and says the Country is beautiful, plenty of Buffalo, Elk, Antelope, Deer, Mt. Sheep, and Bear and Panthers and others to numerous to mention.  Our party will return in 10 to 12 days and then we shall know all about it and I can advise my friends in regard to coming out here.
I would say that for these mines that we are at that they are good but the most of the gould [gold] is in the Quartz and we can not do anything with it until there is a Quartz mill here.  There’s men going after them this fall and have them here in the Spring but if we go over on the Colorado.  It will be all Gulch diggings, where there is no Quartz to bother us.

I often think of the old house at home and those I love when I let down and my mind runs back to past suns?.  I have a little inclination to be homesick.  I often think as I sit down to eat Beans, Bad Bacon and Corn Bread that if I was at Mother’s ? I would have something better.  But never mind, better days coming.  Just tell some of the folks to eat 12 large ears of corn for Skinner.  We could have plenty of Elk meat, Antelope or Deer if we could spend time to hunt it but we have no time.  I often think of the family alter and those I loved to kneel with and break out a Prayer to God for his kind care over us.  But thank God I am not deprived of the privilege of prayer yet.  We meet you Night and Morning at the one common mercy Seat.  We are 5 in No [number] now who are all ?.  We have some good times.  I suppose you have lots of good meetings which we are ? of but it will not be long before we see each other  again.  I suppose there’s a great excitement in the States in regard to the gold discoveries but tell all of my Friends to keep cool until next spring and then they can tell something about it.  I suppose that Frank’s eyes stick out some to see the big stories.  Betty spoke of my wife’s mourning on account of my absence but tell her to cheer up for I hope to see her some day.  Betty I would like to have you see us here living on a mountain where we have to keep the wagon blocked and the wheel chained in order to prevent it’s going down the mountain, it’s a Romantic sight, it rains in the mountains most every day.

Mother, as I am Cook part of the time, I would like you to see my Table Spread sometimes and see me cook for I think I can make as good Biscuits as any of them.  I shall have to close for this time.
I would ask your prayers for our Co [company] that we remain faithful.  Give my love to Anna, Nelly, and Diantha, Mather, Raymond, and all inquiring friends.  Betty Jeane faithfull Hopkins remember me in your Social Devotions, give my love to all my classmates and tell them we are striving to hold up the Blood Stained Banner of the Cross.  May Heaven Bless you all.  We will remember you at our Family alter, for it matters not we are in the mountains in the cold rain with nothing but a blanket to cover us as in camp .  We will pray for those at home.

Yours ever Affectionate
Friend and Brother
In Christ
H. M. Skinner
[Henry Mead Skinner]

Please send Rockford Papers
Direct to

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sheriff C. W. Arbuthnot Auctions a Quartz Claim, 1861

Close-up of Carson Arbuthnot as Sheriff of Gold Hill Mining District.
Boulder County Records, Book B, Page 190

The first time I saw my Great-great-grandfather, Carson William Arbuthnot's name (above) where he calls himself "Sheriff" was when I found this record in the Boulder County Records department.  Sheriff C. W. is preforming some business, an auction of a quartz claim up on the Iowa Lode.  I found this in one of the oldest books, Book B, the second book of Boulder County records.  I had no idea that my Great-great-grandfather had been voted in to serve as Constable until I had found the minutes of the miner's meeting that explains what happened.  This record (below) is a very good example of the work he did, holding a public auction and then going down to the Boulder Court House to record the sale.  So interesting how long it took for the sale to be recorded.  The sale took place in 1861 and wasn't recorded until 1864.  One wonders why it took so long (Gold Hill is 12 miles west of Boulder), and one wonders what else had happened at this claim that resulted in the auction.

Here is the record along with my transcription below.  If I'm unable to read a word, I have replaced it with a question mark.  My additions are in [brackets].
Boulder County Records
Book B, Page 190

Gold Hill District, Boulder, C.T. [Colorado Territory], Nov. 23rd, 1861.
Know all men by these presents that I C. W. Arbuthnot, Sheriff of Gold Hill District by ? of an execution to, we delivered and directed by W. A. Corson, President of the aforesaid district against Glotfelter & Raynon I have sold at Public auction to P.K. Chaffer & Thomas Fergason, they being the highest bidders all the right title and interest of the said George Raynon & Glotfelter ? and to quartz claim no. 5 & on the Iowa lode to have and to hold the same forever for the sum of sixteen dollars and fifty cents to me in hand which this is my acknowledgement and signed with my hand ? with my seal the day and year first above written.
C. W. Arbuthnot

Filed for record April 4th at 12M A. D. 1864
Robert Culles, Recorder

Minutes of the meeting when C. W. Arbuthnot becomes the Sheriff of Gold Hill.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

1860 U. S. Census

 Every ten years our country counts and records it's residents.  It is a snapshot of one day, where people reside.  In 1860, the census was not always taken on the same day and duplicate entries happened.

The Arbuthnot's were recorded in two different places.  Carson, James and son-in-law Stephen are in Gold Hill.  And all of the family is recorded in Iowa, including Carson and James.  At this time, Samuel and William were in gold country, probably in a very remote area, and were not counted in the Nebraska Territory where they were mining.    I've included the Iowa State Census here as well, when all of the Arbuthnots were in Iowa and they had not come to the gold fields yet.

1856 Iowa State Census, Tama County, Iowa

1860 U. S. Census, Gold Hill Mining District, Nebraska Territory

1860 U. S. Census, Salt Creek Township, Tama County, Iowa

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How they came - Gold Miner's Maps of '59

How they came...

In 1859 there were no trains to the Pike's Peak gold fields.  There were no roads, only trails that followed along the rivers.  With the exciting reports coming out of the west, many opportunists  published guide books and maps for getting to the Pike's Peak gold fields.  The entire region along the Rocky Mountain front range was considered Pike's Peak, including Boulder City.  These men had to be careful which guidebook they choose.  Sometimes a route was depicted shorter by the map maker, encouraging the potential miner that this guide book offered the best route.  (Anything to make a sale!)

There were basically three routes to the area that is today Denver.  To the north was the Platte River route, to the south the Smokey Hill route, and through the center of the area, the Republican route, all named for the corresponding rivers.  Of these three, the Smokey Hill was the most dangerous.  After the river ended, there was still a long way to travel without water and good grass.  While it was the shortest route, it was the riskiest too.  A fourth route came up from the south from the Sante Fe Trail, which had been a very old and well used trading route.  

The majority of those who came would have traveled along the Platte River which had been established as the route earlier to California and Oregon, also the Mormon's took this route to Utah.  While they continued on along the North Platte River, those headed to Pike's Peak broke off to the south and followed the South Platte River.  This is the route that the Arbuthnot men took.  Traveling roughly 75 days to get from their home in Tama County, Iowa, to arriving in Boulder City, Nebraska Territory on June 22, 1895.

Here are a couple of maps indicating the various route the "Argonauts" would have taken.

6.  Routes to the Gold Regions 1859
Pike's Peak Gold Rush Guidebooks of 1859.
From the collection by Editor, LeRoy R. Hafen,
State Historical Society of Colorado, 1941

7.  Map of the Gold Regions, 1850-1861
Colorado Gold Rush: Contemporary Letters & Reports, 1858-1959.
From the collection edited by LeRoy Hafen
State Historical Society of Colorado, 1941

The 40th parallel on these maps would be the same as Baseline Road today.  Some communities have been renamed, such as the town of Montana is now Golden.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sheriff C. W. Arbuthnot, Constable of Sugar Loaf and Gold Hill

In 1860, while a lawless territory of the United States, the gold camps soon established community camps or districts in the mountains of what is now Boulder County.  The miners elected Presidents, Recorders (or Clerks) and Constables (aka Sheriffs) to keep the constitution (rules) that the miners had agreed upon for their district.

On October 31 of 1860, the Sugar Loaf Mining District was formed.  Judges were chosen by the miners to hold an election to establish the President, Recorder and Constable for their area up what is now Wallstreet in Four Mile Canyon.  Captain H. McHenry, D. E. Cole, were chosen as judges of the election with H. Blake as the recorder of the outcome of the election.  My source does not have the number of miners who voted this day, but that they elected David Whitner without opposition as President, H. Blake as recorder with out opposition, and C. W. Arbuthnot was elected constable by majority.  Also that night, a committee of five was appointed to write up a constitution to be presented in November 10th at 2PM, 1860.   Signed by H. Blake, Clerk
(Sources: 4.)

 It was the duty of these elected men to uphold the articles of the constitution.

The first Constable of the Gold Hill Mining District No. 1 was James Carlile, who had broken the rules by charging too much for services that he preformed as Sheriff.  Article 4 of the Miner's Constitution clearly states that being guilty of this violation once would result in a fine being levied.  But preform this violation twice, you lost your position within this mining camp.  At a meeting the week before, a committee was assigned to investigate.  The miner's minutes of December 15, 1860 records the report from that committee as well as the election of it's new Constable (or Sheriff), C. W. Arbuthnot.  Interesting that Carson Arbuthnot is already serving as Sheriff of the Sugar Loaf District.

Here is the transcription of the minutes from that Saturday evening.  (Any misspelling is that of the secretary who recorded these miner's minutes.)

Gold Hill of N.T. [Nebraska Territory]
Dec. 15, 1860

Miner’s meeting met presnent to adjournment meeting called to order by the President W. R. Blore.  The minutes of the two previous meetings read and approved, the committee (appointed to draw off the fee bill and to examine and see if constable [Carlile] had charged more than fee bill allowed him to charge) was called to make their report. 

Report of Committee
We the undersigned committee appointed to investigate and examine the papers returned to the President’s office by James Carlile during the time he was Constable of this district beg leave to report that they have attended to the duties assigned them and find that he has charged fifty cents for serving papers for which the law allows but twenty, and in the case of Collins against Pancost he has charged two dollars and seventy five cents mileage which is more than the law would allow under any circumstance, by at least one dollar and twenty five cents all of which is respectfully submitted.
P. M. Housel
Josiah Williams
M. L. McCaslin
Motion of the report of the committee be accepted and the committee be discharged, carried.  The Fee Bill was then read as follows.

President’s Fees
1st.  For trial occurring 2 days or less.  $1.50
2nd. For trail occurring more than 2 days.  $3.00
3rd.  And at the rate of $3.00 for each after the first.
4th  For issuing summons to defendant  $.50
5th  For issuing subpoena to witness $.50
6th  For issuing writ of attachment  $.50
7th  For issuing execution or writ of Delivery  $.50
8th  For all bonds or affidavits or Docketry case of action, or for any instrument necessary to be written.  $.75

Constable Fees
1st  For serving summons on defendant venire on jurors subpoenas on witnesses each $.20.
2nd  For each mile traveled to serve any writ subpoena or other instrument necessary to be served.  $.25.
3rd  For taking care of property such as horses mules or cattle coming into his hands all necessary expenses shall be allowed as may be decided by the President.
4th  For posting notices in civil cases.  $.20
5th  For writing all bonds necessary to be taken by law.  $.75
6th  For each days attendance on court at a rate of $3.00 per day.
7th  For serving Execution and making levy $.50.
8th  For selling property three cents for any amount under $50.  2½ per cent for every amount under $150, and 2 per cent for all amount over $150.

Motion that the meeting proceed to the election of Constable.  Carried on motion. Josiah Williams, James Smith, and M. L. McCaslin was apointed judges of election.

Robert Culver and E. S. Glotfelter was appointed clerks when the Polls was declared open, there was 41 votes polled of which C. W. Arbuthnot received 17, Jacob Purdy 15, David Lease 8, and P.M. Hosel 1.  The Judges declared C. W. Arbuthnot Elected Constable.

The following resolutions was read and handed in to be acted on the next general meeting.
Resolve #1.  That all actual residents of three months of this district be allowed to preempt one claim on every quartz lead [load] in this district.
Resolve #2.  That when a tunnel is started on ay lead no claim shall be taken or preempted on said lead to interfere with the tunnel below the depth of fifty feet.  

Motion to adjourn carried.
E. S. Glotfelter, Sec.

One interesting note:  

P.M. Housel, a ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church in Boulder,  only received one vote here, but was voted in as a Judge for Boulder County in 1862 and re-elected in 1864.  

(Sources: 5.)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Arbuthnots in the 1850 U. S. Census & 1856 Iowa Census

1850 U. S. Census

In 1850, the Carson and Frannie Arbuthnot family well established and growing, together in Pine Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  By this time, Carson's father had died and his mother is living with another son.

1850; Census Place: Pine, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_744; Page: 353B; Image: 711.
U.S. 1850 Census, Pine, Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Family No. 254  Carson Arbuthnot age 46, Male, Farmer
                           Frances, Arbuthnot age 43, Female
                           Esther, 19, Female
                           Samuel, 17, Male, Laborer
                           William, 15, Male, Laborer
                           Jane, 13, Female
                           James, 8, Male
                           Martha, 7, Female
                           Margaret, 4, Female
                           Charles T., 3, Male
                           Frances, 2, Female

Soon after this time, Carson moves the family to Benton County Iowa.  We don't know exactly when nor why they left, but by 1853, after his mother Esther McMarlin has died, most all of the Arbuthnot family relocates to Benton and Tama Counties in Iowa.

In 1856, the State of Iowa conducted a census, and it is nearly the same the Census above, now six years later.

Iowa State Censuses, 1856
Family No. 46   Carson Arbuthnot age 52, Male, Farmer
                           Frances, Arbuthnot age 48, Female
                           Esther, 23, Female
                           Samuel, 22, Male 
                           William, 20, Male
                           Jane, 18, Female
                           James, 14, Male
                           Martha, 11, Female
                           Margaret, 10, Female
                           Charles T., 8, Male
                           Frances, 6, Female

1858 is the last year that the Carson and Frannie Arbuthnot family is all together.

In 1859, gold fever has struck.  Carson, Samuel, William, Charles, and Esther's husband, Steven Newton leave the women and girls behind as the men head west, beginning their search for gold.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

More on Samuel Arbuthnot, 1758(9)-1844, Generation One

More of the First Generation of Arbuthnot in the United States...

Samuel Arbuthnot 
Born 20 February 1758 or 1759 in Northern Ireland
Immigration Bef. 1790 from Ireland to Pine Township, PA
Military service Bet. 15 May - 14 December 1793 PA Militia from Westmoreland County, PA
Farmer & Timber-man, Pine Township, nr. Wexford, PA.
Died 20 February 1844 in Gibsonia, PA

It is unknown the exact date of when Samuel arrived in the United States from Northern Ireland.  It is believed that he arrived with two brothers.  We do know that he had sent his first wife to America before he came.  He had married her in Ireland.  It was said that he sent her to the new land dressed as a widow along with their only son, William.   Samuel never saw his wife and son again as she had fallen in love with the captain of the ship who sailed her and her son to the new world.  It is assumed that Samuel came to America looking for his wife and child.  Since he was not able to locate her, he then married a second time.

John McMarlin was not very happy with his daughter falling in love with a man who was so much older than she, let alone being divorced.  He was very much against the idea of Samuel marrying his daughter, Mary.  So Mary and Samuel eloped to western Pennsylvania where they settled in Pine Township, Allegheny County.  There they raised all of their children.

When Samuel died, he left his estate to his youngest.  The middle children moved to Tama County, Iowa sometime in 1850 and 1853.  My ancestors were there in Salt Creek, Tama County, Iowa, when they heard the cry, "Pikes Peak or Bust!"

Home of Samuel Arbuthnot in Ireland
Location in Ireland is unknown.

Sources for Samuel Arbuthnot:

U.S. 1830; Census: Place: Pine, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll  144; Page: 356.

U.S. 1840; Census Place:  , Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll  439; Page: 55.
    1840 Census listed Sam’l Arbuthnot as a veteran.

State Census: Pennsylvania Census, 1772-1890.  Pine Township, Allegheny County, 1840, page 117.  Age 81.  [Served in the PA Militia 1793]

A Census of Pensioners For Revolutionary or Military Services 1841, chapter Census of Pensioners, section Pennsylvania-Western District, page 117.

Official Arbuthnott Family Association, Kittybrewster.com US Table 1 Samuel Arbuthnot. 

From the DAR-GRC database:

Title: Pennsylvania DAR GRC report ; s1 v333 : cemetery surveys in Allegheny County / Massy Harbison Chapter (s1 v333, page 48 - Library Catalog)

Title: Pennsylvania DAR GRC report ; s1 v189 : list of soldiers and widows of soldiers granted Revolutionary War pensions by Commonwealth of Pennsylvania / compiled by Harry E. Cope ; edited and indexed by Mrs. Daniel L. Whitehead, Regent, Phoebe Bayard  (s1 v189, page 43 - Library Catalog)  Location: PENN MILITARY 1775-1783 GRC 1976 S 1 V 189

Marriage of Samuel Arbuthnot:
First to Unknown, in Ireland;
Second to Esther McMarlin, Born 21 March 1779 Ireland, Died 28 September 1852.  Her father was John McMarlin.

Burial for Samuel and Esther Arbuthnot:
United Presbyterian (old) Churchyard, Pine Creek Township, Gibsonia, Pensylvania.  The church yard is located between the church and a motel.  Anne Dyni, historian for the community of Niwot, Boulder County, Colorado, has visited the Pine Creek Cemetery in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania and sent me these photos of Esther and Samuel's graves.  Thank you so very much Anne, we had feared that these graves had been removed for the building of the motel.  We very much appreciate your contribution to our family.

Pine Creek Cemetery, Gibsonia, PA

Grave of Esther McMarlin Arbuthnot

Grave of Samuel Arbuthnot, first generation of our Arbuthnot family.

Esther and Samuel's graves as they are today.