Biographies Header

Charles H. McCoy
CHARLES HENRY McCOY
     While fate laid upon the pioneers of this and other states a heavy burden of care, toil and danger, and freighted the argosy of their hopes with hardships and privations, she did not leave them wholly without some recompense besides the chance to win a good estate from her wildernesses, in that she gave them opportunity to build an enduring memorial of their early trials and later triumphs in some town or county named in their honor, which marked the outpost of civilization at which they camped and thus inscribed their names on fame’s imperishable records, to signalize their courage and perseverance in settling a new section after the march of progress and enlightenment, of development and industrial life, of civilization and culture had gone far beyond them. This was the fate of the subject of this brief memoir, who came to the portion of what is now Eagle county, in which he now lives, when it was still the abode of the Indian and the beast of prey, and started its redemption from the waste to the uses and profit of mankind. Mr. McCoy was born in Adams county, Illinois , at the village of Clayton , on April 15, 1842, and is the son of John and Martha J. (Watson) McCoy, natives of Kentucky , the former born in Garrard and the latter in Boyle county. They moved from their native state to Illinois soon after their marriage and there they passed the remainder of their lives, successfully engaged in farming. The father was an earnest and active Republican in political affiliation and an elder in the Presbyterian church, to which his wife also belonged. He died in 1884 and she in 1892. They had a family of five children. Three of them, Emma, Alta and John D., are dead, the latter dying two years ago in Lordsburg, California ; Blatchford A. and Charles Henry are living. The last named received a common-school education of limited extent in his native state, remaining with his parents until the beginning of the Civil war, when he enlisted in defense of the Union as a member of the Third Illinois Cavalry. He served in this regiment until September 4, 1864, when he was mustered out at Springfield , Illinois . He then located in Knox county, Missouri, where he was engaged in farming until 1879. In that year he came to Colorado and located at Leadville, where he remained ten years, prospecting and mining with varying success there and at Kokomo, conducting also at times a teaming and hotel business. He expended a considerable amount of his gains in developing mining properties, and from some of his ventures reaped rich rewards, while from others he got nothing. In 1880 he purchased his present ranch of one hundred and sixty acres in Eagle county, and when a postoffice was established on it it was named McCoy in his honor. He has one hundred and twenty acres of his land in good tillable condition and raises large crops of hay, grain and fruits. The improvements he has made on the place are substantial and in good style, making his ranch one of the most attractive homes in the county. He carries on an extensive cattle business, favoring thoroughbred Herefords, of which he has a large number. From the foundation of the office he has been the postmaster at McCoy, and he now enjoys the distinction of being the oldest postmaster in the county by length of continuous service. He also served on the school board and as a justice of the peace and notary public many years. In political faith he is a stanch Republican, and in fraternal life belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and the order of Odd Fellows. He is now also engaged in the hotel business at McCoy, in addition to his ranching and stock industry, and is credited with conducting the best hotel in western Colorado . On September 4, 1865, he was married to Miss Rebecca Burke, a native of Adams county, Illinois . They have had six children, of whom Edgar, Bertram and Francis C. have died and John F., Charles B. and Frederick C. are living, highly respected by all.

(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado , Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)


 Copyright Genealogy Trails 2013 All Rights Reserved
with Full Rights Reserved for Original Contributor