Pueblo County, Colorado

Contributed by Karen Mitchell.

Among the energetic and capable business men of Pueblo is Robert L. Rapalje, a dealer in brick, stone and concrete. He was born in Hickman, Kentucky, on the 3d of February, 1866, and is a son of Daniel S. and Nannie K. (Edmonston) Rapalje. The father died in Tennessee in 1879, while the mother survived for more than a decade and passed away in Pueblo in 1890. Robert L. Rapalje was a pupil in the public schools while spending his boyhood days under the parental roof. His father died, however, when the son was but thirteen years of age and he was thus early thrown upon his own resources. He started out to provide for his own support and through the intervening period has been dependent entirely upon his own labors and energy. On the 1st of May, 1884, when a youth of eighteen years, he arrived in Colorado and began learning the bricklayer's trade, with which he has since been connected. Gradually working his way upward along that line, he has been identified with important building projects in the state. He did the mason work on the Pueblo County courthouse and also the brick work on the city hall. He likewise built the Centennial high school, the annex to the Central high school, the Young Men's Christian Association building, the Amherst and Pope blocks, the Vail Hotel and some of the finest residences of the city. He does some contracting on large and important buildings in brick and stone and has been accorded some big jobs. In fact, he has been closely and prominently identified with building operations in Pueblo and occupies a prominent position as a brick, stone and cement contractor and dealer. On the 11th of February, 1894, Mr. Rapalje was united in marriage to Miss Cora B. Neargardner and to them have been born two children: Marie, the wife of William N. Thomas; and Robert R. In religious faith Mr. and Mrs. Rapalje are connected with the Christian church and fraternally he is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Woodmen of the World, the Improved Order of Red Men and the Master Builders' Association, of which he is the treasurer. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party but he has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking, preferring to concentrate his time and energies upon his business affairs, which have been wisely directed and are bringing to him a very substantial measure of success. Nevertheless he is a public-spirited citizen and one who gives active aid to plans and measures for the general good. His has been a useful life and one which has contributed to the improvement of the city in which he makes his home. He is now doing work on the State Asylum and his fidelity to the terms of a contract constitutes one of the features of his growing patronage. History Of Colorado Illustrated Volume II Chicago The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1918

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