Pueblo County, Colorado
Numa Vidal

Contributed by Karen Mitchell and Jean Griesan. Photo by Floyd Kelling.

        Numa Vidal
        Numa Vidal, "Prince of the Saloon Men," was born in southern France.  Well educated, he went into French government service and worked for the postal department in Cairo, Egypt. He immigrated to the United States in 1867, lived in Washington, D.C., for a time and went westward to Central City and Denver.        Vidal came to Pueblo from Denver to open a saloon in July 1872, shortly after the Denver & Rio Grande railroad was built.  His wife Mary died here on September 4, 1878, at the age of 31.  Vidal and his mother-in-law reared the two little motherless girls. Vidal built a hotel in Manitou Springs in 1874 and with a partner opened a hotel in the new town of Leadville in March 1878.  He closed the business in Leadville in 1881. Meanwhile in June 1878 he had fitted rooms on Santa Fe Avenue in magnificent style with a black walnut bar and brussells carpet.  The establishment included a restaurant and oyster bar. In 1881 he opened a fine hotel, the Numa, at the southeast corner of Fifth and Santa Fe Avenue.  This was not a financial success, and a new owner renamed it the St. James.  Vidal operated the business from time to time after that. The hotel later became the home for Pueblo Elks Lodge 90. Vidal was in Pueblo to make arrangements to ship the furniture from the St. James to a hotel he had built in the bustling new town of Creede, when he became ill and died April 20, 1892, at the age of 49.

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