the assorted works of G. H. Spaulding



Lee Spaulding's Diary






Lee Spaulding, son of Francis and Elizabeth and Johnny Himebaugh's brother-in-law, kept a diary from July 27, 1873 to May 9, 1874, a period of ten months when he was 19 and 20 years of age. This diary was among Spaulding-related materials donated to the Pioneers Museum in 1957 by “L. E. Dunaway” of Ardmore, PA, identified in a 13 Oct 1957 Gazette article about the donation as Lee’s daughter.


 As described in his diary, Lee was then helping his mother with the upkeep of the Spaulding House, working in a brick yard and doing any number of odd jobs that included long treks on horseback or by wagon into the mountains on various errands as he prepared to attend prep classes at the newly founded, but not yet built, Colorado College. His diary provides a fascinating snapshot of day-to-day life in Colorado Springs during that time.





Lee Spaulding's Diary


Diary entries from July 27, 1873 to May 16, 1874


1873  (July 27 through December 31)


July 27 – Went down to the depot in the morning to see the soldiers. There were 117 of them. They were on their way to Fort Union, New Mexico. That evening I attended the Methodist Church.

July 28 – Mr. Foote let us have another cow to keep for the milk. Had a nice game of euker (euchre).

July 29 – Helped do the housework. The Good Templars had a picnic today. The carriages passed our house on the way to the grove.

July 31 – There was another picnic today. The Shields. Mrs. Giltner and Mr. Foote got it up. They had it up Ute Pass road, about ten miles from town.

August 6 – Went up town in the evening to see the Magic Lantern show.

August 8 – Received a letter from Denver saying that I could not get work on the Railroad, but shall not give up….

August 9 – Hattie, Frankie, Fannie Mason, Miss Wright and myself went up to Mr. Feachont’s* in two carriages. Miss Wright and I went after some hens. The rest of the party went to Monument Park, came back to a grove to meet us, got lost, went six miles out of their way. Miss Wright and I came back and found them, and we went a mile or two farther to a cottonwood grove and ate our dinner. Started for home about 1 o’clock and arrived there about 7, after some pretty hard driving. After supper we bought 35 more hens for 50 cents apiece, which was 25 cents less per head than we paid for the others.   * Teachont

August 10 – Went up to see the Gough boys and staid the night, came down town with them and went to the Temperance Lecture. 

August 11 – Went up town in the evening and heard some good music on an accordion and guitar.

August 13 – The herder commenced herding another cow for us. In the evening played a number of games of Euker with Miss Wright.

August 15 – Mr. and Mrs. Brothers came down today, to see if they could not sell some of their things to us, as they are going to leave for the States in a few days.

August 17 – Father and Mother went over to Glen Eyrie and the Garden of the Gods and Manitou. I went to the Depot in the afternoon to see the Circus pass through. In the evening I went to Church and went home with Richard Gough, and staid all night.

August 18 – Took Mr. Vosburg’s horse and went after some specimens of topaz. Was gone nearly all day but did not succeed in finding anything. Mashed my finger very badly trying to roll rocks down the mountains.

August 21 – We have a new boarder, a Mr. Lovell, the Singer Sewing Machine Agent. Mother and I went to hear Anna Dickinson lecture in the evening on Joan of Arc, which was a very good lecture.

August 24 – Mr. Knox, another fellow and myself went up Bear Creek Canyon after some specimens. We met Mr. Higgins and another man on our way up, and we all went together. We found a few. Got back home in time for supper.

August 26 – Received a letter from Dr. Ritchie today, saying he could sell the farm for $12 per acre. I telegraphed back to him to sell it at those figures. We have a new boarder, a Mr. Crutchfield from Ottawa, Kansas. He is a widower, with a little girl.

August 27 – Mr. and Mrs. Oldroyd came to board with us this evening at supper.

August 30 – In the afternoon, Mr. Durfee and I started for Pikes Peak via Bear Creek Canyon. Got as far as timberline where we camped for the night with three other men, who were also on their way to the Pea. Got up about four o’clock in the morning, after rather a sleepless night, ate a light breakfast and started for the Peak. Was taken sick before I had gone far, and had hard work to travel at all, but by resting every few rods, I managed to keep up with the rest of the party, when we reached the summit, between seven and eight o’clock, The light air made my head ache very bad all the way up. Near the top of the Peak is a deep canon where we started large rocks over the precipice. It was a grand sight to see them crashing down among the rocks nearly two thousand feet deep. It was nearly half a minute before they reached the bottom. We did not get to the top before sunrise, as everyone tries to do, but the view from where we were was fully as good as it would have been at the top, and it was a magnificent sight.

   We could see across the plains for hundreds of miles. It seemed like an Ocean when the sun first came into view. The view from the top was splendid. We could see the whole snowy range to the west of us, to the south we could see San Luis Park and to the north and west was Middle and South Park. The top of the Peak is one mass of granite rocks. In a few places are small patches of soil, with some weeds and grass. From timberline to the summit, you will see grass and flowers in abundance, wherever there is any soil to get hold of. On the west side of the Peak is a deep canon, with some ice and snow. We started some rocks off from the top, and it was fully a half minute before they reached the bottom. On the summit of the Peak is a pile of stones about three feet in height, with a bottle in under it containing a piece of paper, where anyone can write his name. It might be called Pike’s Peak Register. One of our party took up some wood, and made a fire, and cooked an egg. It took fifteen minutes to boil it hard, the air being so light that it takes longer for anything to cook. We could put our hands in hot water without burning. A great curiosity is the dead wood, just above timberline. Sometime in the past, the timber grew up higher than it now does. The climate, growing colder every year, killed the trees where they now stand. They do not rot, but are worn down by the action of the rain, which gives them the appearance of being petrified.

The United States Government is establishing a signal station on the summit of the Peak. The sides of the mountains are covered with timber, most of it being dead, having been killed by the fire, but grass seems to be taking the place of the trees in some places. It was thick enough to mow. It will furnish pasturage for thousands of sheep and goats.

September 1 – Not feeling very well today, the affects of going to Pike’s Peak.

September 2 – Sold four dozen eggs to the butcher for .50 cents per dozen.

September 3 – Received a letter from Dr. Ritchie, saying that he could not sell the place at present. Another boarder came today, a Mr. Stanley from San Juan.

September 4 – Mr. Lovell left this morning for another trip. Mrs. Giltner and another lade called on Mother his evening.

September 5 – Another new boarder from San Juan. His name is Dr. McKanlas, formerly from Pittsburgh, Pa.

September 6 – Helped clean house today. Have another new boarder, a hired man of Foote’s. His name is Mr. Pratt. Played checkers with Richard Gough in the afternoon. Quite rainy. Went to the auction in the evening and bought a box of blacking for 15 cents.

September 7 – Helped about the house some. In the evening went to the Presbyterian Church. Saw some man breaking a broncho in the streets, on Sunday.

September 9 – Election Day, today. Saw two or three men drunk in the streets. Went over to the Reservoir with the Gough boys, and went in swimming in the afternoon.

September 10 – Took Mr. Vosburg’s horse in the morning and started for Bear Creek Canon to get some choke cherries, picked about a peck, and got home about six o’clock.

September 11 – Felt miserable today from the affects of going after cherries yesterday.

September 13 – Took Mr. Vosburg’s horse in the morning and went up to Mr. Shidlers’ after butter. Bought about twelve pounds, with the promise of more, in a week. Rode about forty miles.

September 14 – Went over to the Reservoir with William Gough and had a good swim. In the evening, went to the Methodist Church.

September 17 – Worked on the Brick Yard for Mr. Gritchfield in the afternoon wheeling brick to the kiln, earning $1.30. In the afternoon began working for Mr. Sanders for $54 per month, and board myself.

September 18 to September 28 – Worked in the Livery Stable during the week, have quit today, the 25th.        

 September 25 – Have been working at home today, have had the headache nearly all day from working indoors.

September 27 – I went to Cheyenne Canon this morning with Mr. Vosburg and the Allen Brothers. One of the Allens and I went up to the falls, and walked home.

September 29 – Helped about the house in the forenoon. In the afternoon, hired out to Harry Ambrose for a dollar a day..drove team to Saguache. Drove about six miles to Kellogg’s in the Ute Pass, where we camped.

September 30 – Cooked our breakfast, and started on our way. Passed three sawmills, and camped a little beyond the third one.

October 1 – Drove about twenty miles today. Passed Florissant’s mill, and crossed the Platt River. The country was very rolling, with plenty of fine timber, and grass. The country is very thinly settled, except near the sawmill. About all they raise is cattle and sheep.

October 2 – Very cold this morning. The ice was a half inch thick in the water pail. One of the mules was taken sick, and we stopped before noon at Mr. Pulben’s and ate our dinner. We struck the South Park about two o’clock, and drove thirteen miles to the Platt River, where we camped for the night. When we first came in the Park, we passed a trout pond, belonging to Mr. Powers. The first I ever saw.

October 3 – Drove up the Platt about three miles to Sam Hartsell’s, where we separated, Ambrose and Epison going to Fairplay, with the sluice pipe, and Franklin and myself going to Granite and Saguache. We passed the salt works a little after noon. There was a boiling spring of salt water, with a large derrick nearby. The mill has not been running for a number of years. Passed through the alkali lands, hundreds of acres being as white as snow with alkali. We neglected to bring any wood with us, so we had to eat a cold dinner. Met a drove of cattle from Saguache going to Denver. There were over four hundred of them. The last three miles, my team gave out, and I had to be helped up the hill with Franklin’s team.

October 4 – Helped Franklin off this morning for Granite. In leading one of my horses to water this morning, he got mired in, so I had to get someone to pull him out. About four o’clock Ambrose came from Fairplay, when we divided the load, and drove four miles to Trout Creek.

October 5 – Cooked breakfast this morning, while Ambrose lay abed. We let the horses rest in the forenoon, while we fished for trout. We managed to catch one fish. In the afternoon, we hitched up and drove to the Arkansas, where there is quite a settlement.

October 6 – Very cold this morning. Our clothes were covered with frost. Stopped at Lathrop’s mills on Chalk Creek, and bought some corn for the teams. Had some venison for dinner. For supper we had bread and milk. We made about twenty-four miles today, to the South Arkansas.        

October 7 – A cloudy morning, with some signs of rain. After leaving the head of Poncha Pass, we saw an elk. A surveyor that was behind us shot at it twice, but did not hit it. Struck the San Luis Valley about one o’clock, and drove ten miles to a log cabin, where we camped.

October 8 – Got up about six o’clock, and drove eight miles to Jack Hall’s, where we bought some oats and fed our teams. Started for Saguache, twenty-two miles distant, where we drove without stopping. Passed a warm spring about fifteen miles from Saguache. We got in Saguache about dark. Left our teams at Mears, and walked a mile up town to get our supper.

October 9 – Unloaded our freight in the morning, and ate our breakfast. Got the mule shod, bought a number of things, and started back home. Saguache is not a very nice looking town. Nearly all of the houses are built of adobe. The roofs of the houses are made of logs, covered with dirt. The country around Saguache is the best I have seen in Colorado.

October 10 – Left Hall’s about seven o’clock and drove about fifteen miles, and ate our dinner. We overtook Wm. Mullin of the Springs, with a four mule team, when we drove together all the way. Drove to the South Arkansas, where we camped for the night, having made about twenty-five miles today.

October 11 – Left McPherson’s about seven o’clock. Passed a number of men working on the road. Ate our dinner at The Dutchman’s, the same place we stopped at going down, on the 6th. Drove to Lathrop’s on Chalk Creek, where we camped. Met an old man and his son, who had been up in the mountains, taking sketches of Mountain scenery.

October 12 – Before we started in the morning, a four mule team with a couple of U.S. soldiers came up. They had been up to Granite, to get the bodies of a couple of soldiers that had been killed by another soldier, taking them to Fort Garland, to be buried. Drove to Trout Creek for dinner. Tried fishing again. No luck. Drove on beyond Chubbs, where we camped.

October 13 – Very cold this morning, four inches of water left in the pail over night froze solid. Drove eighteen miles before noon. Bought some milk and biscuit for dinner. A fellow that had shot an antelope rode with us nearly all day. Gave us some meat so we had antelope for supper. Drove clear across South Park to Power’s where we staid all night, in the house.

October 14 – Left Power’s about seven o’clock, and drove twelve miles before dinner, and then went on beyond Florissant’s mill to a store, where we camped. Slept in a cabin, near the house.

October 15 – Drove twelve miles to Wisehart’s mill, where we ate our dinner. Met a couple of hunters, with a wagon load of game. They had twenty deer, two mountain sheep, and one bison. We overtook them on Hayden’s Divide, where they had shot another deer. We were stopped in Ute Pass by a large drove of cattle, on their way to South Park. There were four hundred and seventy-five. Arrived in Colorado Springs, about seven o’clock, all covered with dust, and my clothes dirtier than they ever were before in my life.

October 16 – Went down to the station in the morning, to get my pay, but was disappointed. Very cold this morning, the first ice of the season in Colorado Springs.

October 18 – Helped Frankie about the house, while Father and Mother went up to Gen. Sickles’, but did not get there. A bridge in the Ute Pass had caved in, and they had to come back. Father met Sickles in town, and went home with him. The Gough boys were here in the evening, and we played cards.

October 19 – In the evening went to the Methodist Church with William Gough, and heard a very good sermon by the Rev. Dr. Crarz.

October 20 – Hired out to the Dept. Sheriff, to take possession of the brick yard, as it had been attached by the Sheriff. Gathered up all the tools and put them together.

October 21 – Did the chores this morning. Went to the brick yard. Mr. Payton took a number of loads of brick, against my orders, when the Sheriff came over and stopped him. In the afternoon, Thomas Taylor was deputized to assist me in executing the orders of the Sheriff. Brought my blankets over to the brick yard, and staid all night.

October 22 – The first snow of the season. Very cold and windy this morning. Had a poor night’s rest. Did not have enough clothes over me to keep me warm. Thomas and I went to piling the unburnt brick in the Yard, when the Constable came over and served a Writ of Replevin on us, and we had to stop. The Deputy Sheriff came over and moved the articles that were not replevined over to the other Yard, and left me to take care of them.

October 23 – Slept in the sand house last night on a bed of sand. Had rather hard work to keep warm, as it was very cold. Cleared the sand out of the house, and put a cot and mattress in.

October 24 – Made a fire in front of the house, and read most of the forenoon. Have had a very cold windy day, the wind blowing from the North.

October 25 – Some more snow this morning, and the weather quite cold. Father brought some timber, to seal a room for Mr. Foote, who is going to lodge with us, during the winter. Wrote a letter to Dr. Ritchie, to inquire the reason he had not sent the money before this.

October 26 – Avery heavy fall of snow during the night, full six inches deep. There was a heavy fog about two hours after sunrise.

October 27 – Was very lazy this morning. Did not get up until eight o’clock. Very warm and pleasant in the middle of the day. Played cards with the boys in the shanty, till ten o’clock.

October 29 – The boys in the shanty moved out in the morning. They went to Turkey Creek to hunt and trap. Mrs. Judge Stone came down to dinner with Hattie. Mr. Griswold came to board with us this morning.

October 30 – Been ciphering nearly all the day. Richard Gough came over toe see me in the afternoon, and we played cards till night. Mr. Foote came back from Pueblo.

 October 31 – Have had a very pleasant day. Richard Gough was over to the Brick Yard again today.

November 1 – Have been doing examples all the afternoon. Brought Mr. Vosburg’s horse over to the Brick Yard after dinner, and picketed him out, so he could get good grass.

November 2 – A very pleasant day, as warm as summer. Richard Gough was over in the afternoon. In the evening we had a wedding at our house. Frankie was married to Delos Durfee. No one was invited but the boarders, and Dr. Sutherland and wife.

November 3 – Frankie and Mr. Durfee moved into their house today. Richard Gough was over today, and we played cards nearly all day.

November 4 – Stayed at the Brick Yard today, as usual. Have been herding our own cows for a number of days, around the Brick Yard. Today they went off, and I rode about ten miles but did not get them, and had to go home without them.

November 5 – Another very warm day. Found the cows this morning about four miles from home, and drove them home and then back to the pasture again.

November 7 – A man came after brick today, but I did not let him have any. Richard Gough was over and staid all night with me.

November 8 – A very warm day. Read and ciphered most of the day. Mr. Vosburg went over to the Old Town in the afternoon. Have been trying to throw my voice like a ventriloquist, but have not made much progress.

November 9 – Mr and Mrs Johnson went to meeting today and left the children home with me. Father and Mother went to hear a lady preach, a Mrs Wilkes, a Universalist.

November 10 – Went to find my horse this morning, but could not find him. Someone had cut the picket rope in two, and the horse was off on the prairie. Today Father let a couple of boys have the cows to herd, at one Dollar a month per head.

November 11 – Father took my place at the Brick Yard, and I went after a load of wood on the Divide, with Mr. Bunnell’s team. We have a new boarder, a hired man of Mr. Foote’s, his name is Belcher. Father received a letter from Mr. Seaman today.

November 12 – A very cold morning, but a pleasant day. Father bought a large coal cook stove of Mr. Foote for Sixty Dollars, and is to pay him in boarding two men, one to pay money, and the other the other to go towards the stove.

November 13 – A pleasant day. Been ciphering most of the day. Bought a hoe handle and a lot of butter for Mr. Johnson, and helped him pack his hops in sacks. Helped Father move the kitchen stove in the dining room.

November 14 – A very pleasant day. The thermometer stood at sixty degrees in the shade at noon. Mr. Johnson started for St. Joe, Mo. Today.

November 15 – Brought Mr. Vosburgh’s horse and wagon over to the Brick Yard in the morning after my bed and bedding, and took them home, but had to bring them back at night. Will have to stay until next Monday. Mr. Kuhn left us tonight.

November 16 – A very warm and pleasant day. Frankie and Mr. Durfee were down to supper.

November 17 – Took my bed and bedding home this morning for good. About ten o’clock the Sheriff came after me in a carriage and took me home. Have been staying at the Brick Yard just 28 days. Went up to Frankie’s to dinner, and wrote a letter to cousin Frank’s folk.

November 18 – Helped Mr. Vosburgh about carrying some sewing machines. In the evening went up to Frankie’s and staid till eight o’clock.

November 19 – Chopped wood and helped Mother take up carpet and clean the rooms upstairs. Went up town in the afternoon, and saw a Mr. Stephens about getting my money from Ambrose.

November 20 – Been helping clean house today. Took up the carpet in the sitting room. In the afternoon, went up to Mrs. Johnson’s and bought some beans. Mr. Durfee and Frankie were down to supper in the evening.

November 23 – Very warm and pleasant this morning, but a north wind coming up towards noon made it some colder. Went to Church with Hattie. Frankie and Durfee were down in the evening to get some butter. Father and Mother went up to Howard’s.

November 24 – Have had a very pleasant day. Mr. Griswold came here to board again, this morning. Went up to Ambrose’s early in the morning, to get his team, but he would not let me have it.

November 25 – Rather cold today. Mr. Nicholson and a man from Illinois by the name of Hudkins came in the evening.

November 26 – Very windy last night, but pleasant today, with some wind. Went up to see Mr. Bunnell in the morning, to get the mules. Helped do some house work.

November 27 – Got Mr. Bunnell’s team, and went on the Divide with Father. Had a very cold ride, and Father got pretty well used up.

November 28 – Quite cold this morning. Last night was the coldest we have had this fall. Went up the Ute Pass after a load of wood on Towne’s claim.

November 29 – A very pleasant day. Went after another load of wood today. Came very near tipping over, when I started for home. In the evening went up town, and joined the Pikes Peak Rangers.

November 30 – Have been reading, and helping about the house. In the forenoon, Mr. Nicholson and myself went to the Methodist Church. In the afternoon, went to hear Mrs. Wilkes at Foote’s Hall.

December 1 – Has been very windy nearly all day, but quite warm. Went up town in the afternoon, and paid part of Father’s taxes. Two new boarders came this evening, Henry and Samuel Artz, the latter has the consumption.

December 2 – Has been quite cold today. Miss Morton was here to dinner with Hattie.

December 3 – About two inches of snow fell last night. Mr. Foote came back today from New Mexico. Sold a part of my county warrant for 87½ cents to Henry True. Paid Dr. Smith $15.90, what Father owed him.

December 4 – Quite cold, but pleasant, most of the day. Sold the rest of my warrant for 87½ cents to M. De Coursey.

December 5 – Commenced working for Mr. Bunnell this morning at digging a well. Mother received a couple of letters today, one from Aunt Mary, and the other from Aunt Libbie Davis.

December 6 – Worked on the well again today. Father received a letter from John Bemis today. Quite cold, and the snow still remaining on the ground.

December 7 – Read, and helped about the house most of the day. In the afternoon, Father, Mother and myself went to Church at Foote’s Hall.

December 8 – Helped finish Mr. Bunnell’s well in the forenoon, and worked at home the rest of the day. In the evening, went up to the Reading Room, to drill.

December 9 – Went up to the Divide after a load of wood, with Mr. Bunnell’s team, and sold the wood to Mr. Higgins for $5.00. In the evening, Father and I went to a Lecture at the Presbyterian Church, delivered by the Rev. Jerome of Central City, of Colorado.

December 10 – Went on the Divide again today after a load of wood. Quite a pleasant day. William Goff came in the evening, and staid until after nine o’clock.

December 11 – Mother   was sick this morning, so I did not go on the Divide after a load of wood. Went to the Cusman concert in the evening, and heard some good singing.

December 13 – Went to the Divide after a load of wood, and did not get home until quite late.

December 14 – In the afternoon, went to Unity Church and heard Mrs. Wilkes preach.

December 15 – Have had quite a pleasant day. Started to go to School today, but could not get in, because there was no room.

December 16 – Have had quite a number of new boarders lately. Today, Mr. Nicholson and a friend of his came in, and staid all night.

December 17 – Worked for Mr. Foote today, hauling manure and wheeling sawdust in his ice-house. In the evening, Father and Mother went over to Stewart’s, and Dr. Dickinson and his wife came home with them, and staid all night.

December 18 – Cold and windy this morning, but pleasant this morning. Commenced working for Mr. Foote this morning, at $45.00 per month and board myself. Hauled brush for the ice dam all day.

December 19 – Has been a pleasant day. Mr. Nicholson went home today. Hauled manure and stone all day.

December 20 – Cold and cloudy and some snow fell today. Hauled stone.

December 21 – Quite warm and pleasant today. Went to Church in the afternoon at Foote’s Hall.

December 22 – Has been quite a pleasant day. Hauled stone and manure for the ice dam.

December 23 – Two new boarders came here today. They were Mr. Hill and wife, from Mount Vernon, Ohio.

December 25 – Wheeled sawdust, and hauled manure today. Had a roast turkey for dinner. Frankie and Mr. Durfee were here.

December 26 – A very pleasant day, and warm enough, to work without a coat. Did some hauling, and worked in the ice house.

December 28 – A very pleasant day, almost warm enough to do without a fire in the house. Went to Church in the afternoon at Foote’s Hall, and heard Mrs. Wilkes.

December 29 – Hauled manure and stone most of the day. Towards night, went over to the Reservoir, and got a load of ice to take to Glen Eyrie tomorrow. I got thrown off the wagon. Broke a spring seat.

December 30 – Started early in the morning for Glen Eyrie. Unloaded and got back a little before noon. Took another load in the afternoon. Have had a very warm day.

December 31 – Have had a very warm and pleasant day. Hauled rock and manure for the ice dam. In the evening, Father and Mother went to a meeting at the Reading Room, for the purpose of organizing a Universalist Church.


---- END OF 1873 ----



1874  (January 1 through May 16)


January 1 – Have had a splendid day. Was warm enough to do without a fire in the middle of the day. Worked for Mr. Foote on the dam. Had a roast turkey for dinner. Frankie and Mr. Durfee were here.  Received a letter from Mr. Artz.

January 2 – Last night we had the hardest wind since I came to the Territory. Did not work for Mr. Foote today. Took his team and hauled down our lumber that we bought of Mr. Vosburgh when we went after the third load. Mr. Young stopped us from getting any more, and we will have to see Gen. Sickles before hauling the rest.

January 3 – Took Mr. Vosburgh’s horse and buggy, and went up to the Ute Pass with another man, to see Sickles. Began snowing as soon as I started, and stormed all day. I came near freezing my feet, before reaching Sickles’.

January 4 – Father, Mother and myself went to Church in the afternoon, to hear Mrs, Wilkes. In the evening went up to Frankie’s, to have her come down tomorrow, to stay with Mrs. Ketchen, who is sick.

January 5 – Very cold this morning, but pleasant in the middle of the day. Worked for Mr. Foote, hauling ice from the Resorvoir. Frankie was down here to help Mother, who had a bad headache.

January 6 – Very cold this morning, but warm in the afternoon. Hauled ice from Carpenter’s Ranch on Cheyenne Creek. Worked till seven o’clock at night.

January 7 – Have had a very warm day. Did not work for Mr. Foote today, but helped at home.

January 8 – Have had a very warm day, with some wind. Helped work on our well all day. In the evening, played checkers with Mr. McKnight.

January 9 – Has been a pleasant day. Warm enough to do without a fire. Worked on the well in the forenoon. In the afternoon, hauled brick from the Old Town for Mr. Foote.

January 10 – Has been a very pleasant day. Went after a load of sawdust to Jinning’s (Jimmy’s) Camp. Liked to have got stuck soon after starting for home. After I left home in the morning, Mother ran against the clothesline, and hurt herself, so bad that she was not able to do any kind of work all day.

 January 11 – Colder this morning, with fog a blowing, and freezing, making everything slippery. Mother was not able to do anything all day. Father and I went to Church. Unloaded a load of sawdust tonight.

January 12 – Went after another load of sawdust today, and got back by sunset. Mr. Nicholson was here again today. Frankie came down and helped Mother about the work.

January 16 – Warm today. After another load of sawdust. Have got a new boarder, a Mr. Kirkpatric, from Nevada.

January 17 – Quite warm, but cloudy today. Mr. Merritt went with me after sawdust. Ira Brackett came in and staid all night.

January 18 – Some windy today. Hattie and I went up to Mr. Durfee’s, and staid all day. Some snow fell in the mountains.

January 19 – Very foggy all day. Hauled gravel from Odle’s cellar, near the Peoples’ Bank.

January 21 – Another new boarder came tonight. A Mr. Miller, from Denver, the Singer Sewing Machine agent.

January 24 – Have had a pleasant day. Hauled a couple of loads of rock from Templeton’s Gap.

January 25 -- … went to Church at Foote’s Hall.

January 26 – Quite pleasant day. Went after a load of wood up the Ute Pass on Towne’s claim, for Smith.

January 28 – As warm as summer today. Hauled stone. In the evening went to a church sociable at Foote’s Hall.

January 30 – Father hauled stone in my place, while I rested, on account of a sore finger.

February 1 to February 19 – I have been very sick with my finger for nearly three weeks. Have not been able to do any kind of work, not even to write, but my hand is getting some better now. It is very windy and snowy today.

February 20 – Some snow on the ground today. Went up to Frankie’s in the forenoon and staid to dinner. Mr. Vosburgh was there, also. Frankie came home with me.

February 22 – The coldest weather this morning we have had for a long time. George Giltner was in to see me in the afternoon. Father went to Unity Church today.

February 23 – Very cold this morning, and the coldest day of the season. A new boarder came today, a Mr. Dearing from Maine.

February 24 – Eight degrees below zero this morning, at eight o’clock, but warmer in the afternoon. I went up to the Post Office.

February 25 – Considerable colder today. The thermometer stood at sixteen degrees below zero in the morning. John Laborence came in from Holt’s ranch today.

February 26 – Warmer this morning and quite a pleasant day. Mr. Miller started for Denver today.

February 27 – A very warm and pleasant day. Went up to Mr. Bentley’s in the afternoon, and found out where we could buy some milk.

February 28 – Another pleasant day. Went up to Frankie’s and staid nearly all day. In the evening George Giltner and myself went to the Methodist revival.

March 1 – A pleasant day. Frankie and Mr. Durfee were here to dinner. I went to hear Mrs. Wilkes preach in the afternoon and evening.

March 2 – Started for school this morning, to Prof. Rogers’. I study Higher Arithmetic, Physical Geography, Mental Arithmetic, and Algebra.

March 3 – Colder this morning. Went to School today, but I did not have very good lessons.

March 4 – Rather cool this morning, but warmer during the day. Attended school, as usual.

March 5 – Colder today. At school today. Do not understand my algebra very well.

March 6 – Weather about the same today, as yesterday. Father bought a half ton of hay from Mr. Foote, for $10.00.

March 7 – Frankie and Mr. Durfee were down today. Frankie came down to help Mother sew.

March 8 – Father and Mother went up to Mr. Durfee’s and staid to dinner. I went to hear Mrs. Wilkes preach in the afternoon.

March 9 – A pleasant day, almost as warm as summer. Mother had the stove in the Sitting Room moved nearer the door.

March 11 – Father received a letter from Mr. Seaman today.

March 12 – Received a letter from Mr. Siggins, saying that he could sell the farm for $1700.

March 13 – Worked for Mr. Foote today, wheeling sawdust in the ice house, and earned two dollars. Father received a letter from Mr. Haskell, saying he could sell the farm for $1000.

March 14 – Have had a very pleasant day. Went on the Divide after a load of wood with Mr. Junkin.

March 15 – A very pleasant day. Mr. Vosburgh was here to stay all night. John Himebaugh came back from the Mountains.

March 16 – Another pleasant day. At School today, as usual. Two fellows, by the name of Peck and Templeton, came to get board tonight.

March 17 – Cloudy and stormy all day. Mr. Miller got back from Denver tonight.

March 18 – Quite a pleasant day. At School today, as usual. Three fellows came in from Holt’s ranch tonight.

March 19 – A very pleasant day. Two new boarders came today, a Mr. and Mrs. Kell from the Indian Territory.

March 20 – A pleasant day. A Mr. Livermore came here for supper tonight.

March 21 – Went up to Mr. Knox’s to dinner. As warm as summer today.

March 22 – Another pleasant day. Attended School today, as usual.

March 23 – A pleasant day. Attended School. Mother received a letter from Mr. Ritchey.

March 24 – Another pleasant day. Hattie received a letter from Miss Reigart.

March 26, 27 – Cold and windy. Attended School, as usual.

March 28 – Commenced taking a prisoner to his meals from the Calaboose, for Mr. Durfee. Am to get $1.25 per day for taking him to his meals and boarding.

March 29 – Went to Unity Church and heard the Rev. Mr. Stone from Denver. In the evening, he lectured on Science and Religion.

March 30 – Cold and stormy today. Quite a change from yesterday. Attended School today.

April 2 – Has been a very pleasant day. A new boarder came today, a Mr. W.H. Vittun, from Manitou, but formerly from Chicago.

April 3 – Mr. Durfee took charge of the prisoner and brought two more to dinner. I stood guard at the Calaboose all night. Mr. Nicholson, Mr. Brown and Mr. Livermore staid all night.

April 4 – A cold and disagreeable foggy morning, but warm towards night. I took charge of the three prisoners tonight.

April 5 – Some windy, but pleasant today. I carried dinner for the three men over to the Calaboose.

April 6 – Snowing, and the wind blowing very hard all day. Attended School today, as usual.

April 7 – Cold and snowing again today. Two of the prisoners were discharged today.

April 8 – It has been sunshiny and snowy all day. Mother received a letter from Aunt Mary, saying that Uncle Edward Leverich was dead.

April 9 – A pleasant day. Have not had charge of the prisoners today. Stayed home from school this afternoon, and helped dig the well deeper.

April 10 – At School today, as usual. Have had a very pleasant day.

April 11 – Have had quite a pleasant day. Went on the Divide after a load of wood, with McJunkin.

April 12 – Took charge of the prisoners again today. Went up to Mr. Durfee’s in the afternoon. Two of the prisoners made their escape in the evening.

April 13 – Have had a cloudy day. Attended School, as usual.

April 14 – Have had quite a pleasant day. Mr. Vittum and Mr. Templeton left us today, and went on a sheep ranch.

April 16 – Snowing some this morning. About two feet of snow on the level. The sun came out towards noon, and it began to thaw.

April 17 – Cloudy in the morning, but pleasant most of the day. Helped clean house.

April 18 – Have had a pleasant day. Almost impossible to be out-of-doors, the sun dazzles one’s eyes so. The snow is melting very fast.

April 19 – Warm and pleasant again today. Went to meeting at Unity Church in the afternoon.

April 20 – Snowing and blowing nearly all day. About two inches of snow fell during the day. Mr. Nicholson came in the evening.

April 21 – Colder this morning. Attended School today, and was the only scholar there.

April 22 – A cold north wind blowing nearly all day. Two new boarders came today, their names were Howard and Maguire. Gen. Sickles and four fellows from Holt’s Ranch came, also.

April 23 – Have had a pleasant day. Mrs. Kell left this noon for Denver. The guard at the Calaboose commenced boarding here this morning. Three more fellows came here for supper and lodging.

April 24 – Have had a very warm day. One of the fellows from Holt’s Ranch went back this morning. Another prisoner was brought here for board at supper.

April 25 – A warm day, the snow about all melted on the plains. Mr. Vittun came back today. One of the prisoners left this noon.

April 26 – Have had a very warm day. Mr. Van Andward, a German from Turkey Creek, came in this afternoon. I sent two meals over to the Calaboose. A new prisoner was brought here to his supper.

April 27 – As warm as summer today. Mr. Foote came back this noon. A man came in from Holt’s Ranch. Have been to work at home today.

April 28 – A Mr. Parker came here to board. Two of Holt’s men went to Denver, and another went back to the ranch.

April 29 – Another warm day. Johnnie Himebaugh went up in the Mountains to stay a few days.

April 30 – As warm as summer today. Gen. Sickles and wife and Mr. Van Andward left us today. Father bought a load of wood for $6.00.

May 1 – Warm and cloudy. A friend of Mr. Vittum’s came today, also, three of Holt’s men, and Mr. Scott from the Mountains. One of the prisoners left this noon.

May 2 – Some colder this morning, the wind blowing hard all day. Three of Holt’s men left this morning.

May 3 – Quite cold this morning, and the wind blowing hard all day. Three of Holt’s men left this morning.

May 5 – Another pleasant day. Mother read a letter from Aunt Mary Adams today, Williams came here for board this morning, and Mr. Wood from the Divide came in to supper.

May 6 – A warm day. Started to School this morning. Mr. Wood left this afternoon. Mr. Price, from Topeka, Kansas, came here for board this noon.

May 7 – A warm day. Two new boarders came today, a man from the Mountain House and from the Eureka House. John Laborence went back to the Ranch this morning.

May 8 – The wind blowing very hard all day. Gen Sickles came in this evening, and Williams left today.

May 9 – Cool and cloudy, with a northwest wind. Three new boarders from Iowa came in tonight, by the names of Ward, Tipple and Rhodes. John Laborence came in today and Mr. Hudson left us for a ranch.

May 10 – Warm and pleasant in the forenoon, but cold and cloudy in the afternoon. Dick Templeton came in from Aikens Ranch this evening, also, a couple of fellows from Pueblo by the names of Scott and Keifer.

May 11 – Rain today, the first of any amount for over six months. A thunder shower during the evening. The two prisoners escaped last night, by overpowering the guard. Mr. Ward and Mr. Tipple left this noon. Mr. Livermore came in today to dinner, and John Laborence went to Pueblo.

May 12 – Raining off and on all day. A new boarder came this morning by the name of Kynaston, from the meat market. Mr. Livermore left today.

May 13 – Pleasant and cloudy today. Wiley Adams came in from Holt’s Ranch this afternoon and another man, for lodging.

May 14 – Warm and pleasant today. Parker’s wife and a man by the name of Staly came to dinner today.

May 15 – Warm and pleasant today. Wiley Adams and the other man went back to their ranch this morning.

May 16 – Have had a warm day. Parker and wife, and Mr. Staly left us today. John Himebaugh came back this afternoon. Mr. Templeton’s brother from the States came this noon. Mr. Griswold commenced boarding this afternoon.


---  No diary entries after May 16, 1874.  ---





1.      Regarding part of Lee’s May 6, 1874 entry: “Started to School this morning.” This date corresponds to the first day of prep classes at the newly chartered but not yet under construction – merely a site on vacant land – Colorado College. These prep classes convened in the Wanless Building on Pikes Peak Avenue at Tejon Street. Also in 1874, the first Colorado College classroom, a three-room wooden building, was erected on Tejon Street across from Acacia Park.

2.      Regarding his March 2, 1874 entry: “Started for school this morning, to Prof. Rogers’. I study Higher Arithmetic, Physical Geography, Mental Arithmetic, and Algebra.” It is unclear who Prof Rogers was, whether he was associated with any school, or if so, which one, or whether the school Lee refers to was high school or some sort of private tutoring in advance of starting Colorado College prep courses on May 6.

3.      65 years after Lee Spaulding began those prep classes for Colorado College in 1874, George Homer Spaulding attended CC for one year (1939-40) before signing up for cadet flight training with the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1940, and the day after Pearl Harbor, going off to war in the South Pacific.

4.      One of George’s classmates at Colorado College that year was Curtis Gates, the son of the sheriff in Lamar, Colorado. Gates would become a singer and actor under the stage name Ken Curtis and would go on to replace the “Chester” character on Gunsmoke. The character he played on Gunsmoke was Marshall Dillon’s deputy “Festus.”  




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Welcome Aboard


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Short Stories



"The Doolittle Raid: How America Responded to the Sneak Attack on Pearl Harbor"

The Mission That Saved Guadalcanal

"Enigmatic Man"

 "Ticket to Stalag Luft III"

DECREE Chapter 1


"Inaugural Ball"
"Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges"
"Coffee at the White House"

"Toss Up" "Waddlethromp" "Zero-g"

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