Branching out from Springfield, Illinois
On June 1, 1910, George Hamer Spaulding (son of Milton E and Zeruah Grace Hamer) married Mabel Annie Kizer in Monticello, Arkansas. Their son, George Homer Spaulding, was born in Springfield, Illinois on July 12, 1918. Homer was chosen over Hamer for young George's middle name so he would not be a Jr. His parents called him "Junior" anyway.
(L) Baby George Homer: (C) George Hamer & Mabel with baby George Homer;
(R) the Spaulding home on Rural Rte 4 in Springfield, IL.
"Pikes Peak or Bust"
In 1919, when "Junior" was a little more than twelve months old, the Spauldings packed their belongings in their wooden-wheeled Crow-Elkhart touring car and set off on an 800-mile trek to Colorado Springs, hoping the Colorado air would provide a healthier environment for Mabel. There being few motels in those days, stopping for the night along the way meant setting up camp and sleeping in a tent. At right, the Spauldings camp en route to Colorado.
Temporary Colorado Springs home (a rental) at 1106 E. Pikes Pike
(L) The House at 1106 E. Piles Peak 1919. (C) School for the Deaf and the Blind
in the background. (R) They were called "Rompers."
(L) Christmas 1919. Note the homemade rocking horse. (LC) Father and son 1919.
(RC) The family garden behind the Pikes Peak house in 1920.
(R) Tasting Colorado Springs water in 1920.
In the Springs they rented a house at 1106 Pikes Peak Avenue, within sight of the Colorado School of the Deaf and the Blind. While Mabel tended the house and her baby, husband George and his brother James started the Spaulding Brothers carpentry and painting business. But in February 1921, George returned to what he knew best when he purchased a 240-acre farm on the north side of Drennan Road, just east of Marksheffel. He and his little family lived in the shack you see in the "Feb 1921" photo below while he farmed the land and built a proper house. (Note the business name "Spaulding Bros. Contractors....." on the bed of the pickup parked alongside the shack. The photo likely was taken by James, who probably also helped George build his farm house.) According to current land records, the farm house was completed in 1924 and two out buildings (a chicken coop and two-hole privy) were added in 1934. And according to the 1939 Colorado Springs City Directory, James died 9 Jan, 1938 at age 54.
(L) Feb 1921 (C) Corn crop 1921 (R) Hay crop 1921
(L) Grandma Mabel outside her new farmhouse. Note the front porch
has not yet been added. (R) Boy George c. 1922.
(L) George "Jr" c. 1922; (C) Christmas c. 1927; (R) Working the farm c. 1931
(L) George with new pilot wings and new wife, July 1941.
(C) George Homer & Ila with George Hamer & Mabel.
At this point, the house is about 20 years old.
Note how the flag pole is secured by a bracket on the front porch post.
(R) January 21 1945.
Young George would spend his formative years -- from age three to age 22 -- on the Spaulding farm. He graduated from Drennan High School in 1935 then attended Colorado A&M in Fort Collins for one year before moving back to the farm. He returned to school attending Colorado College as a sophomore in 1939-40. With two years of college under his belt, he proposed to Ila Fae Kifer and enlisted in the Army Air Corps to begin cadet flight training. The July 1941 photos above were taken just after his graduation from flight training, his commissioning as a second lieutenant and his and Ila's wedding on July 18th. The couple departed almost immediately for Langley Field, VA in their new 1941 Chevy coupe.
World War Two began and George went off to the SW Pacific only five months after the newlyweds arrived in Virginia. In August 1946--after the war was over and George had been discharged from the Army Air Corps--George, Ila and their young sons Gerald and Jon, returned to Colorado Springs, but not to the farm. Instead, they moved in with Ila's sister Evelyn and brother-in-law while George built a house near Prospect Lake at 1225 East Rio Grande.
(L) A visit to the farm with first born while moving from Deming to Albuquerque in Dec 1944.
(C & R) The house George Homer built near Prospect Lake in 1946.
In 1947 George Hamer needed help with the harvest, so George and Ila rented out their brand new home on Rio Grande and the family of four moved into the Spaulding farmhouse with Grandpa and Grandma (George Hamer and Mable). When the work was done, "Junior" informed his dad that he hated farming and would be enlisting in the Air Force. At the same time he strongly encouraged his pop (now age 60) to sell the farm and move into town, which he did. While George Homer went to China, followed eight months later by Ila, Gerry and Jon, George Hamer built two more houses in Colorado Springs, these located side by side on Espanola Street (northwest corner of Espanola and Royer). Some three decades later, George and Ila would occupy one of these homes, Jon the other.
(L) "Pop, you should sell this farm and move into town."
(R) The houses George Hamer built in town in 1948.
The Spaulding farmhouse -- 2007
In September 2007, the "Spaulding place," as some of the long-time neighbors still refer to it, is part of the Banning-Lewis property development project. Its gates are chained and locked and NO TRESPASSING signs warn would-be intruders to stay away. The last occupants, who painted the house red while they lived there, were told to move out about three years ago. The house is now vacant and set for demolition at some point in the near future. The photos below were taken "inside the ropes" in September of 2007.
(L & LC) The same front porch as in the 1941 pics above.
(RC) The original flag pole bracket remains today.
(R) Compare to "Boy George c. 1922" and "George 'Jr' c. 1922" above.
Somewhere along the line, a metal roof was installed over the
original shingles, probably to defend against hailstones.
(R) Entering through the mud porch.
After passing through the back door (L) from the mud porch, you come to
a stairway on your left that leads down to a small basement (LC & LR).
Once inside the three-bedroom home, holes reveal lath and plaster walls.
(L) Broken toilet. (LC) A very small tub. (LR) View from front door of living room and kitchen.
Those home made, free standing shelves in the living room are now in Ger's garage.
(R) View from the kitchen window.
(L) No bike (compare to "Christmas 1927" above)
(C & R) Two out buildings, a chicken coup and two-hole privvy,
both added to the property in 1934-5 under FDR's WPA program.
Is it possible to have warm memories of visiting an outhouse on a cold night?
Grave markers of George Hamer Spaulding (1887-1953) and
Mable A. Spaulding (1890-1950) in Block I of Evergreen Cemetery,
just a stone's throw NE from the Spaulding-Himebaugh family plot.
George Homer Spaulding (1918-2002) and
Ila Spaulding (2921-2007) are buried in the
same grave at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.
See "Lives & Times of George and Ila" for their life stories.
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