Pueblo County, Colorado

Contributed by Karen Mitchell.

There are few phases of pioneer existence in the west and southwest with which Edward R. Chew is not familiar and he has made valuable contribution to the development and upbuilding of the sections in which he has operated. He stands very high in his profession, being connected with the irrigation division as engineer of Water Division, No. 2, of the Arkansas Valley. He was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on the 3d of January, 1852, and is a son of Dr. Samuel H. and Emily (Higbee) Chew, the former a well known physician, who at the time of the Civil war joined the Confederate army in defense of his loved southland. His father had settled in Maryland in 1787 and the great-grandfather of Edward R. Chew of this review was a major in the Third Maryland Regiment in the Revolutionary war. In the family of Dr. Chew were three sons and two daughters. Edward R. Chew, the third in order of birth among the children, was educated in private schools and in Bethany College of West Virginia, which conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Science. His first professional work was done as a surveyor on the Lexington & Big Sandy Railroad, after which he engaged in farming and raising fine stock. He left home in 1876 and in 1879 became a resident of Denver, Colorado. He engaged in freighting between Denver and Leadville in that year and afterward took up the work of prospecting. He subsequently settled in Gunnison county, where he staked the first claim in the Tomichi district. In 1881 he went to New Mexico and in connection with a party discovered the Chloride and Palomas districts in the Black range. He was afterward captain of scouts during the chase after the Indian Chieftains Nana and Geronimo, the famous Apache warrior. He has prospected in all the western and southwestern states and in British Columbia and has met many hardships. He has passed through severe winters, has been denied many of the comforts of civilization while on prospecting trips, knows every phase of Indian warfare and has made valuable contribution to the development of the various sections of the country in which he has operated. He may well be regarded as a pioneer trail builder and the history of the entire southwest is largely a familiar one to him. In 1888 he began making Pueblo his headquarters. He has been prominently associated with many movements which have resulted most beneficially to this section of the country. He was largely instrumental in having the streams stocked with game fish. In politics Mr. Chew has always been active as a supporter of democratic principles and was chairman of the city democratic central committee for four different terms. He was also a member of the state committee from 1879 until 1897, when he was appointed to his present position by Governor Adams. With the exception of two years he has continuously occupied the office since 1897 and has made a most capable incumbent in that position. He found matters in a chaotic condition, but brought order out of disorder and has ever endeavored to do his duty most faithfully and efficiently, with justice to all. In his present position there are twelve water commissioners serving under him, for his is a very large district. He has to deal with all classes of people and has gained the confidence of all by the fairness and impartiality of his rulings concerning water rights. On the 17th of March, 1890, Mr. Chew was united in marriage to Miss Ella Shepherd, of St. Louis, and to them have been born two daughters and a son, Mary B., Dorothy and Edward R. In his fraternal relations Mr. Chew is a prominent Mason. He has attained the Knight Templar degree in the York Rite and since 1889 has been a member of the Mystic Shrine. He exemplifies in his life the beneficent spirit of the craft and is ever most loyal to its teachings concerning the brotherhood of mankind and the obligations thereby imposed. He also has membership with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He enjoys a game of golf as a means of recreation and he holds membership in the Commerce Club. He is appreciative of the social amenities of life and he is known as a skillful fisherman and hunter, greatly enjoying a trip into the open with rod and gun. His personal qualities are such as make for popularity among all with whom he has come in contact. His mind is stored with many incidents of pioneer life and experiences in the west, rendering him a most entertaining companion, but he also keeps in touch with the trend of modern thought and progress as it relates to the public welfare and interests. History Of Colorado Illustrated Volume II Chicago The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1918

to the Pueblo County Index Page.

Please e-mail comments and suggestions toKaren Mitchell.
© Karen Mitchell