Devereux brothers are important figures in Garfield County history
“They both came to Aspen at my father’s suggestion and later on, as you know, worked under him and then as partners in various enterprises, particularly the so-called Devereux Ranch at the mouth of Mitchell Creek.” – March 31, 1977, letter from Alvin Devereux IV about his father, Walter B. Devereux, and uncles James Henry and Horace K. Devereux The marriage of Julia Ann Tanner and Alvin Devereux II on Nov. 19, 1845, lasted 27 years and produced seven children. Of these children, three sons played major roles in the development of the Roaring Fork Valley.The best known of the Devereux family is Walter B. Devereux. Born in 1853 in Deposit, N.Y., Devereux possessed a keen scientific intellect. A graduate of Princeton University and of the Columbia School of Mines, he pursued the profession of mining engineering in Michigan, North Carolina, the Dakota and Arizona territories, and Mexico. Devereux became manager of the Aspen Smelting Co. in 1883. He later designed a hydroelectric plant to power Aspen mines and was an organizer of the Grand River Coal and Coke Co. In 1888, he brought hydroelectric power to Glenwood Springs, completed its municipal water works, and developed the hot springs pool. His projects in the 1890s included the construction of the Hot Springs bath house, the Hotel Colorado and the Vapor Caves. During this time, he also patented numerous mining-related inventions.A triumvirate was created when Walter’s two younger brothers, James Henry and Horace K., came to Aspen at Walter’s encouragement.James Henry Devereux was also a Princeton University graduate. His interests focused on many mining and land development projects, and he assisted Walter in many of his Glenwood Springs developments. Like his brother, James also had interest in light and water projects.The youngest brother, Horace, had an energetic personality. A Princeton graduate also, Horace came to Aspen in the early 1880s. He, too, pursued mining and real estate interests. Additionally, Horace was an expert marksman, horseman and athlete. A cavern discovered during one of Horace’s strenuous climbs on Iron Mountain later was developed as the Fairy Caves. His athletic interest brought the sport of polo to Glenwood Springs. At the age of 39, Horace enlisted in the Spanish American War and rode with Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. A wound to the wrist brought him home but earned him a captain’s commission.Many local real estate transactions record dealings between the Devereux brothers, displaying their family and financial commitment to each other. Their most visible partnership was the development of a ranch at the mouth of Mitchell Creek, where they planted a large orchard of Bartlett pears.Development of the Roaring Fork Valley was an immense project taking vision and energy. The combined forces of the Devereux brothers provided the necessary intellect, capital, and planning required to build communities and industries throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday and Thursday through Saturday. For more information, call 945-4448.
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