Huerfano County, Colorado
Page contributed by Karen Mitchell. Photos and data contributed by Frank L. Staplin.
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Staplin graves - 1/2 mile NW of Lovers Leap on Wahatoya Road south of LaVeta. SE1/4 of NE1/4 of Sec22 T30 R68.
The headstone inscription reads:
Capt. O.D. Staplin of Regt. 193 NY Vols War for the Union. Born in NY 1-6-1828 died 2-16-1904.
Mrs. H. Staplin, wife of the above born in NY 1-1838 died 4-4-1906
Orrin D. Staplin about 1865 - 1870..................... Orrin and Harriet on the La Veta homestead.
Orrin Don Staplin was born at Rutland, near Watertown, New York 1-6-1828. He was one of the sons of Daniel Staplin (born in 1781 in New London, CT and died in 1850 at Rutland, NY. Daniel and his wife were buried first at his home farm, and years later moved to the Maple Hill Cemetery).
Orin was raised in New York, lived in Chicago, and enlisted in the Union Army on 10-15-1861. He enlisted in the 94th N. Y. Volunteers which were merged with the 105th Vol. (acc. to GAR roster 1899 for those units, which lists his name). He was honorably discharged 9-1-1863.
Later he was in the 193rd in the Harpers Ferry area (Captain), peacekeeping in the area in 1866 at the war's end. (The roster gives his address as "La Vita, Hereford Co., Col.").
In 1873 Orrin D. Staplin was united in marriage with Miss Harriet Cronk of Iowa. Harriet was born in New York in January of 1841. In 1879 they journeyed to La Veta, Colorado. The first homestead was by Orrin, proved on 4-21-1888, and was located on Staplin Creek. Then on 5-23-1906 Harriet took out her own homestead. Another homestead is listed for Orrin on 10-22-1908, which couldn't be possible as he was already deceased at that time. I suspect this was a continuation of his prior homestead. He also had a silver mine (deeds and old claims on file in Huerfano Co. land titles).
O.D. leased some land to Joe Hendricks in August of 1882 so that Hendricks could place his sawmill there and process trees. O.D. must have been a very successful farmer as in October of 1894 he harvested two and half tons of potatoes from a half acre, and in 1896 he sold a ton of Rye flour in Rouse. The winters in La Veta were cold and had quite a bit of snowfall as a mention in the January 1900 newspaper says that O.D. Staplin finally got to town from the Wahatoya by walking and expects to get to town in his buggy on the 4th of July. In early 1900 O.D. was hit by lightening during a storm and was knocked out of his buggy and the team ran away, but Orrin survived.
Harriet Staplin must have had the constitution of most of the pioneer women of her time as in 1902 Adam Young, who had a ranch on the Wahatoya, swore out a warrant for the arrest of Mrs. Staplin charging her with assault and abusive language. Judge Kimsey imposed a fine of $40 and costs. Sure wish we knew what caused this but we're proud of her for her actions. Many of our pioneer women had to be tough as nails to survive the hardships they faced. In the 1900 census of La Veta, Precinct 5, Harriett states that she had born 5 children with only one surviving.
In August of 1903 Elbert Edwards, 18, died of tuberculosis at the Staplin ranch up the Wahatoya where he came from the east to be cured of the disease. Evidently this precipitated Orrin and Harriet to think of their own immortality, as in November 1903 James Zumalt went up the Wahatoya to blast a burial vault out of the solid rock on a hill just opposite the Staplin's new ranch house for the old couple's final resting place. Also in 1903 Mr. and Mrs. O.D. Staplin sold four of their ranches, 640 acres at the foot of the Spanish Peaks, to D.R. Hindman of Rouse for $10,000 for a summer resort. They retained what was known as the Stranger ranch and wanted to build a residence there. But on February 16, 1904 Orrin Don Staplin passed away and was placed in the rock burial vault on his homestead, thus ending a marriage of thirty-one years.
In May, 1905 Harriet bought Mrs. Daigre's lots opposite the Methodist Church on Francisco Street and proceeded to build a new residence immediately. On April 4, 1906 Mrs. Harriet Staplin joined her husband in death and was laid to rest beside her husband O.D. in the vault on their old ranch on the Wahatoya.
Orrin and Harriet had one son, Frank Staplin, born in July, 1874, who was listed as being a student at the La Veta School in 1890. Frank was the publisher of newspapers in Taos, mining camps including La Belle NM, Farmington, NM and Santa Fe, as well as being involved in a general store in both Taos and Farmington, mining and oil at one time or another, a mercantile store and trading post with Bert Phillips, the artist.
Frank Staplin married Mary Lyons, born in 1878 in New Mexico, daughter of Patrick Lyons, from Ireland. Patrick served with the Army in the West, then with the Union Army during the Civil War; was in the New Mexico campaign against Gen. Sibley, then joined the Commissary Dept. handling cattle. After leaving the Army, he was a rancher in northern NM. Four of his ranches were sold to the Maxwell Land Grant Co. Patrick married Lucy DePew, who was from California, in 1874, and had daughters Mary and Lulu.
Frank met Mary Lyons in Taos, where Patrick maintained a home. They were married in Taos in 1901. They lived in Taos and also retained a home in La Veta. After the death of his parents Frank sold the La Veta home to S.J. Capps and son for $1,250.
Frank and Mary Staplin had one son, Orrin Lyons Staplin, who was born in 1903 in Taos, New Mexico. In the 1920 census of Santa Fe, Orrin was enumerated in his parents home as being 18, but was also enumerated as being 18 years old in the New Mexico College of Agriculture.
Frank Staplin and Mary Lyons Staplin about 1901
Frank Staplin in the doorway of his newspaper office in beautiful downtown La Belle, N.M. mining camp, 1896.
Orrin Lyons Staplin lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also had one son.
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