Pueblo County, Colorado

Contributed by Jean Griesan.

Pueblo Chieftain April 14, 1991 Irish Immigrant Became Pueblo Political, Business Leader A frightened Irish lad, just off the ship that brought him from his birthplace in County Cork, became lost in New York City in the late 1840s. A policeman who asked the youth his name and thought he said "Royal." Consequently, Catherine Riehall was unsuccessful in her attempt to locate her child. He later was adopted by a family named Butterworth who took him to Mount Holly, N.J. The boy's adventuresome spirit led Andrew Royal to Pueblo where he became a businessman and civic leader. Many years later, Royal returned to his hometown in Ireland and learned that an older brother Patrick also had emigrated to America. They later were united as well as their sister Ellen, who also had accompanied the mother to America. The mother died without knowing the fate of young Andrew. When he was 16, Royal left his adopted family in New Jersey and drifted westward to Ohio, Illinois and Missouri. In 1859, he married Hester Markham. He served in the Union Army five years during the Civil War and its aftermath. He fought in 30 battles and participated in 40 long marches, including Sherman's March to the Sea. He was mustered out as a captain in the 27th Missouri Infantry after declining a commission in the regular army. Royal read law and became a partner in a law firm in Maryville, Mo. He would become probate judge in Maryville and the title stayed with him the rest of his life. Royal came to Pueblo in 1881. Shortly afterward, he purchased the Pueblo Democrat and started the city's first evening newspaper. It was short-lived. He operated the Southern Hotel in South Pueblo for four years, and at the time of his death, the Royal Hotel. He also was president of the Pueblo Mining and Investment Co. and was a director of Pueblo National Bank. His estate was valued at $20,000. Royal was active in the Grand Army of the Republic, attended several national encampments and in 1899 was elected commander of the Department of Colorado and Wyoming. He moved the department headquarters to Pueblo. Royal served in the Colorado General Assembly in 1882-1883. In 1888, he was elected Pueblo's mayor. During his tenure, the small parks on the Mesa were planned and improved. An unsightly hill where Union Avenue merged into Abriendo was planed down and named Royal Park. The mayor personally planted most of the trees. McClelland Library later was built in Royal Park. The genial Irishman died at age 68 of Bright's disease in Pueblo in 1904. He was buried in Riverview (now Roselawn) Cemetery.

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