Pueblo County, Colorado
Contributed by Karen McKenzie.
Ellen Moore was born to Robert Lee
Moore and Olive May Berry. Robert Lee Moore born
Blairsville GA, son of Burton and Martha (Blythe)
Moore. Olive was the dau of Issac Nelson Berry and
Merci Treat Forsyth (first cousin to Gen Geo
Forsyth of the Battle of Beecher Island).
Martha Blythe Moore
1893 photo in Rye CO Ella Berry-Payne holding
Robert Nelson Payne, seated, Merci Treat Forsyth-
Berry, Evaline Moore (young girl), Albert Payne (young
boy), standing Olive May Berry- Moore holding Ellen
Rye Homested house in the 1980's still in use
Rye Homested house with Martha Blythe-Moore in
prior to 1903 when she moved to Mancos.
Evaline Moore and Ellen Moore as young girls.
Ellen married 1st Roy Aubry Lathrop and 2nd Ed
sister was born 1890, Evaline Treat Moore married
Elliott Briggsdale CO where their family still own
Letter written to Mabel Elliott Baxter by Ellen Moore
Asked as I was to put on paper, my recollections of
father Robert Lee Moore and my mother Olive May Moore,
hardly know where to begin, But, since each of them
fairly young children, into an area in Colorado which
Pueblo County, grew to adulthood, married, and lived
nearly all their first thirteen years togather, that
probably is the place to start.
History tells us that the U.S. Government, in order
encourage settlement of our country west of the
River, opened up areas, parcels at a time, to
homesteders. Dad's parents, as many others did,
the "Western fever" and left North Carolina and
where they had originated and arrived by covered wagon
Denver Colorado in the earley 1870's.
It so happened that a new tract of land a bit
Denver, had just opened to settlers. The lans lay west
the town of Pueblo and ran back thirty some miles to
foothills of the Wet Mountain Range of the Rockies.
The Moores really had "Oregon country" in mind; but
were traveling with quite a large brood of children of
some were quite small, so they decided to at least
look at this newly-opened land before continuing
Result? They didnt ever see "Oregon".
They found what they thought they were looking for,
homested right, built a log cabin and other necessary
buildings, farmed, gardened, raised domestic animals
poultry, and finished rearing their children.
A good many other families took up land in the same
of course, and before long a little village began and
flourished, since thirty some miles to Pueblo, in a
wagon, was "quite a piece" to go for supplies. The
was given the name "Rye".
Dad was an eight year old when the family settled in
new location. Just how old mother was when her
the Issac Nelson Berrys came into the Rye area, I
recall; but it was after the settlement was well
and thriving. They were not homesteders. Grandpa Berry
Blacksmith by vocation and a Minister of the
Presbyterian Church by avocation.
Mother was the youngest of her family and was under
when they came to Rye, I know. By that time Dad was
well into his teens, for he was eight years older
Mother. Of course, they knew each other a good
and finished growing up as friends.
Dad had two great misfortunes during his earley
years. Soon after he was a year old, he developed
what, at that time, was called "white swelling". It
known now as "Tuberculosis of the bone". One of his
ankles was affected and, due to the decaying of the
it during long months of suffering, he was a cripple
remainder of his life.
A few years later, a group of boys, he among them,
throwing rocks with sling shots. As one of the boys
whirled his sling for the throw, the rock slipped out
backwards and struck Dad in the eye. The sight of
eye was destroyed as a result. So Dad had two
against him almost his entire life.
Naturally, any and all types of work, farming, for
were just not in Dad's line. He could work with
and poultry and he just loved doing it. He could
fish and hunt, but took ONLY what we could use for
Above all, Lee Moore, was ALWAYS on call by
acquaintences, or stangers who needed help in sickness
death. THAT is my fondest recollection of my
The first occupation Dad took up for earning a
was clerking in the general merchandise stores of
days. Rye eventually had two of that type of
stores. He was clerking in the first one when he
Mother were married Nov. 28,1889.
They rented a house in the village and on the first
October the next year sister Evalyn was born; then,
three years later I made my appearence.
As time went on we lived in various places outside
village of Crow on the way to Pueblo, where Dad worked
By that time Evalyn and I were old enough to be
the ways of our simple living as a family. For
instance; If the weather was at all fit, the four of
a happy and interesting walk as sure as Sunday
came around. In season, we often took pails and
baskets into which we picked wild plums or choke
which Mother soon converted into preserves, jams, and
jellies which made delicious eating for us when the
countrysides were blanketed down with snow.
Then there was a community literary Society in which
and Mother both participated eagerly. Even we
in the area had our turns. The group put on plays,
readings - humorous and otherwise, had local debates at
and contests with neighboring Societies at other
alot of singing, and had just a grand social time.
It was then that I became aware of the fact that
a beautiful Contralto voice. She was a little
reluctant to display it, but if she could have had
chance to have it trainned, I know she could have
places with it. She also played the organ well but
confined her playing to Hymns, mostly since she had
reared in a Ministers home.
We spent over a year in the Crow area and by that
Evalyn was well on the way to being seven years of age
Dad and Mother knew they had to get her where she
to school, so we moved back to Rye and Dad went back
clerking - that time in the newer store.
across the road from the Methodist Church, so it was
for all of us to get involved in Church activities,
all of us enjoyed. There again, we had the pleasure
hearing Mother's voice as she sang in the choir.
But always there was that Sunday afternoon walk up
foothills of the Mountains. There was no way of
telling which of we four enjoyed those excursions the
most. Our parents sure taught us girls to love
everything in nature.
Of Course, I started to school the second year we were
in Rye. After we girls were going to school, we
learned to appreciate another talent our Mother had -
ability as a seamstress. She made all our clothes
did a commendable job of it.
About the time I started to school the man, Johnnie
for whom Dad was working concieved the idea of
regularly, a wagon of general product to the coal
camps in Huerfano County, which adjoins Pueblo County,
peddled out among the residents of the coal camps both
and South of Walsenberg. Dad was given charge of
venture and built up quite a good trade. But the
were long and lonely. So after a time, he decided
could see more of his family if we moved to
since he consumed much more time with his peddling
spent making the trips back and forth to Rye.
We moved the summer before I was eight and after that
pattern of our family life changed. Walsenberg was
much larger than Rye, we had no relatives or tried
to be with often, there was no inviting hills close to
into on pleasure walks, Dad no longer had the group of
to seven men - all relatives by either birth or
who had always done their Fall hunting in the
Rye, there was no one who seemed to care whether we
inside a church. So Dad made the trips to Rye for
commodities usually on the weekends.
After two school years, Dad gave up the huckstering
found work at the coal mine at Pictou North of
some three miles. He had elways had a marvelous
for mathematics, machines and electricity, so he fired
boilers and ran the power house for some time. Then
was put down in the mine to run the pumps that kept
from flooding it, thus making mining impossible.
Of course we moved to Pictou where both Evalyn and I
finished grade school. For Evalyn it was a two year
period, then since there was no High School at
arrangements were made for her to go to Mancos
Montezuma County, live with and work for Uncle French
Dad's youngest brother and his wife aunt Hattie, and
attended High School. That was the Fall of 1905.
In the summer of 1907, Uncle French learned of a man
owned land, between Mancos and Durango, which showed
outcroppings of coal. He was trying to find a man
test out possibilities for a coal mine or mines.
French wrote Dad to learn if he would be interested in
the test work.
With Evalyn already over in that part of the State,
corresponded with the man and they finally came to
terms. So we moved that summer over to Durango in
We spent the next five years there during which time
finished all my High School work. Evalyn came home
after we were in Durango, she completed her last two
of High school, graduating in 1909. I had two more
years to go at that time.
It was on a Winter's day during my senior year, that
four welcomed a little baby brother into our family
circle. That was February 26, 1911 during a heavy
storm. As much as three feet of snow down on the
ground and more falling when we had to call the doctor
Mother. That boy, Ronald Leroy - named by the
of his two sisters - was the pride and joy of us
and for some reason, I the only survivor of the four,
welcomed him, still love him very much.
Ellen Bertha Moore-Lathrop (later Johnson). date
but after Robert Lee Moore died 1949. (he is buried
Greeley CO at Linngrove cemetery).
typed by Karen Moore-McKenzie, granddaughter of
to the Pueblo County Index Page.
Please e-mail comments and suggestions toKaren Mitchell.
© Karen Mitchell