Pueblo County, Colorado
Thomas Jefferson Steele

Contributed by Jean Griesan.

Steele, Thomas Jefferson (arrived in Colorado in 1859)

Thomas Jefferson Steele, 83 years old, cattleman and pioneer, who came to Colorado in 1859, died at Nucla, Colorado, June 19, 1931. Steele, who had been a member of the Masonic Order for 62 years, traveled to a point near the present site of Denver with a train of 117 wagons. He brought one of the first herds of cattle to the State. His first home was on Cherry Creek, some distance from the settlement that later became Denver.

Later during Indian troubles, neighbors moved to Denver but Steele built a picket fort around his home for protection. In 1863 Steele moved to the Fountain region section and was in the cattle business there until 1908, then becoming a turnkey in the Pueblo jail, where he worked for 9 years. Once he was attacked by a prisoner and seriously injured. Steele moved to Norwood in 1910, and had lived on the Western Slope since.

He saw the first survey stakes driven in the present site of Colorado Springs.

Mr. Steele is survived by his widow and nine children, 17 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Extracted from "The Real Pioneers of Colorado," by Maria Davies McGrath, published in 1934 by The Denver Museum, retyped with added notes by Jane P. Ohl, in October 2001.

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