Pueblo County, Colorado

Contributed by Karen Mitchell.

Charles B. Willis, captain of Fire Company No. 3 at Pueblo, was born at Corinth. Orange county, Vermont, August 16, 1863, a son of Jonathan B. Willis, who was a shoemaker by trade and who in 1870 removed with his family to Denver, where he conducted a shoe shop until the 2d of February, 1872. He then removed to Pueblo and opened a shop on Santa Fe avenue, becoming one of the pioneers of the city, as he had been in Denver. The old log shop which he occupied in the early days is still standing. He remained for years an active factor in business and had prospered in his undertakings but suffered losses through a bank failure. He died in the year 1900. Charles B. Willis had to go to work when a youth of but twelve years, owing to the failure of the bank in which his father had placed his savings and which brought great financial disaster to the family. Mr. Willis then began herding sheep and was thus employed for two years. He afterward began driving a team for his father in connection with city employment when a youth of fourteen and has been in the employ of the city continuously since. He was a member of the early volunteer city fire department and when the city first established the paid department in 1893 Mr. Willis became a member. He was made a captain in 1895 and he served as chief for two years. He has been a very active and prominent factor in bringing about the present efficiency of Pueblo's fire department. He is now captain of Fire Company No. 3, which company is splendidly organized and drilled, doing most effective work in fighting the fire fiend. Mr. Willis was married on the 23d of November, 1884, to Miss Lavina Loop, a native of Kansas. He is fond of hunting and turns to that sport for recreation. He has membership with the Knights of Malta, the Knights of Pythias and the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. His religious faith is that of the Baptist church and his political views are in accord with the principles of the republican party. He was a little lad of but seven years when the family home was established in Colorado and he has since resided within the borders of the state, having therefore for forty-eight years been an interested witness of the growth and progress which has led to the substantial development of Colorado, placing it on a par with the older states of the east in all of the advantages and opportunities furnished to its citizens. He can relate many an interesting tale concerning both Denver and Pueblo and he well deserves mention among the honored pioneer settlers. History Of Colorado Illustrated Volume III Chicago The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1918

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