Pueblo County, Colorado
Contributed by Karen Mitchell.
Beshoar, Michael M. D. (1858 - 1907)
Born in Pennsylvania, Michael Beshoar was living in Arkansas when the Civil War broke out. He was chief surgeon of the Arkansas Infantry when he was captured by Union forces. For the remainder of the war, he cared for the wounded on both sides of the conflict.
Following the war, Beshoar made his way west, arriving in the young town of Trinidad in 1867. Operating the first one-horse buggy in town, he traveled throughout the mostly unsettled territory, helping the sick, delivering babies, performing operations, and was one of the first to help the Indians and Hispanics with vaccinations against smallpox.
He opened the first drug store between Denver and Santa Fe, founded the first city newspaper, The Advertiser, as well as the Pueblo Chieftain. He was the first president of the Rocky Mountain Medical Association, organized in 1874.
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, a founder of the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce and held such public offices as county coroner, clerk, judge, school superintendent, and was a state legislator.
He is buried in the family mausoleum high on the hill, over looking the Masonic cemetery (in Trinidad).
From "From the Grave, A Roadside Guide to Colorado's Pioneer Cemeteries," by Linda Wommack, published by Caxton Press, Caldwell, Idaho in 1998.
Contributed by Jean Griesan.
Hon. Michael Beshoar, M. D., a pioneer of '67 in Trinidad, has long been one of the most influential citizens of this place, with the growth and progress of which he has been intimately associated. Not alone in his profession, but also in political life and the newspaper business he has attained prominence. In 1881 he established the Advertiser, a well-known paper of Trinidad, which he conducted until 1897, and then sold. With the exception of General West, of Golden, he is the oldest editor in the entire state. He is also, in point of years of practice, the oldest physician in Trinidad, as well as one of the oldest in Colorado.
Dr. Beshoar was born and reared near Lewistown, Mifflin County, Pa., a son of Daniel and Susan (Rothrock) Beshoar. His father, who was a native of Cumberland County, Pa., followed farming as his life occupation, and also engaged in speculating to some extent. He died in Indiana at the age of sixty-five, and his wife, in Pennsylvania, in 1848, when thirty-five years of age. Of their ten children, four are living: Michael, Anna, Hannah and Asenath. Our subject was educated in public schools and Tuscarora Academy, at Academia. At eighteen years of age he began to study medicine under Drs. Hoover and Morse, in his native county, and afterward attended the Philadelphia Medical College, Jefferson Medical College and the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, finally graduating from the University of Michigan in 1853, with the degree of M. D.
The doctor's first location for practice was at Pocahontas, Ark., where he remained for ten years. In 1861 he acted as surgeon of the Seventh Arkansas Infantry, and in 1862 became medical director of General Hardy's command. After the battle of Shiloh he was transferred to the department of the Mississippi and continued to serve until the fall of 1863, when he was captured with "Jeff" Thompson and his quartermaster. He was given his liberty in the city of St. Louis under bond, and while there, a prisoner under bond, he took a post-graduate course in the St. Louis Medical College. Meantime he became convinced that the southern cause was hopeless and that surrender might as well be made at once, thus saving thousands of lives. On being released as a prisoner of war, he agreed to attend the refugee women and children at Benton Barracks, having been solicited to take this work by Dr. Madison Mills. As acting assistant surgeon he was connected with the St. Louis post hospital, and Jefferson Barracks hospital, after which he was placed in charge of the post hospital at Fort Kearney, Neb., and at the same time was made medical purveyor for all the territories.
Resigning this position in the fall of 1866, Dr. Beshoar came to Pueblo, Colo., and opened the first drug store ever established between Denver and Santa Fe. In 1868 he established the only newspaper in that town, which paper is now the well-known Pueblo Chieftain. From Pueblo he came to Trinidad in 1867, however, still continuing his newspaper business in the former city. The trip between the two towns he made on horseback in one and one-half days. In the fall of 1867 he was elected to the territorial legislature (capital at Golden), but was defrauded out of his seat by the opposing party. He has made Trinidad his home since 1869 and has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession.
Politically a Democrat, on his party ticket Dr. Beshoar has been elected county assessor, county coroner, county clerk and county judge (which office he filled for seven years) and he is now serving his fourth term as county superintendent of schools. At the first state election, in 1876, he was the regular Democratic nominee for lieutenant-governor. Afterward he served for one term in the lower house of the state legislature. Prior to the war he also served two terms as a member of the Arkansas legislature. He was the first vice-president of the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce, which position he now holds. Besides his landed interests in Arkansas and Colorado he has extensive mining interests in Mexico, having purchased one of the famous old mines there known as the Temerosa mine.
The Las Animas County and Colorado State Medical Societies, American Medical Association and American Public Health Association number Dr. Beshoar among their members, and he is also a member of the Pan-American Medical Congress. Fraternally he is a member of Las Animas Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M., in which he is past master and which he represents in the grand lodge; also the Colorado Consistory, Scottish Rite, and socially he is connected with the Trinidad Club.
In 1872 he married Anna E. Maupin, and they have five children: Bonnie, who is deputy county superintendent of schools; Burnie, Ben, John and Bertram.
During the long period of his activity in the west, Dr. Beshoar has met many famous men, among them the scout, Kit Carson, who was his personal friend. Among his other friends of early days were such men as Gov. Henry M. Rector, of Arkansas, Gen. Thomas C. Hindman, "Jeff" Thompson, General Hardy, Col. Albert G. Boone, Gen. Elwell Otis, etc. Dr. Beshoar and Hon. A. H. Garland, ex-attorney-general of the United States, served in the Arkansas legislature at the same time.
The Medical and Surgical Register of the United States and Canada (1898) has the following reference to the subject of this sketch: "Beshoar, Michael; University of Michigan medical department 1853, member American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, Colorado State Medical Society, Las Animas County Medical Society, and Pan-American Medical Congress; surgical and medical director in Confederate army two and one-half years, and A. A. surgeon United States Army two and one-half years, until after the close of the late war; founder of Daily Chieftain, Pueblo, Colo., in 1868; managing editor Daily Advertiser, Trinidad , Colo., since its foundation in 1881; member of the Colorado Editorial Association and county superintendent of schools, serving fourth term; office southwest corner First and Convent streets."
Extracted from "Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado," published by Chapman Publishing Company in Chicago in 1899.
to the Pueblo County Index Page.
Please e-mail comments and suggestions to Karen Mitchell.
© Karen Mitchell |