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Among the very early settlers of Beulah was August W. Klipfel of Grant City, Missouri, a member of the 106 Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. After the war, he encouraged a small group to come west with him in search of a home for his family.
He camped in the upper area of South Creek about 8 miles above Beulah. He was determined to find work so he could bring his wife, Leah Thomas and three children (Edward, Mabel and Charles T.) from Missouri to the Beulah area to reside. Two children, William J. and Mary Anne, were buried in Missouri. In a short time, he did bring his family west in a covered wagon drawn by oxen.
Charles T. Klipfel, a young lad of 6, well remembers the night of their arrival in Pueblo in 1882. A horse thief was hung on Pueblo's "Hanging Tree"! Later in 1882, they homesteaded on the Couzzen Springs Road on a location then known as the "Yuker Place". On this homestead the family suffered a frightening experience during corn planting season. Charles was helping his father when he was bitten on the heel by a rattlesnake. The closest doctor was in Beulah on Pine Drive at the present site of the W.K. Hurd home. A donkey was ridden to get help. While waiting for the doctor, Mrs. Klipfel caught chickens, split open their backs and wrapped them around the boy's ankle. Heat from their bodies drew out the poison. However, the scars remained with him always.
The "Slattery Place" on South Creek was their first home in Beulah Valley; it is now the Occhiato home. August raised cattle, farmed and operated a sawmill.
The family later moved farther down South Creek to the location now owned by Mrs. Beverly Klipfel. This home was destroyed by fire on a cold winter night. The children were ill with measles and had to be laid on blankets on the ground until they could be moved to their permanent home which was an old log schoolhouse moved from Pueblo Mountain Park from the Horseshoe Lodge Area. This was later known as "Uncle Francis' Cabin". Four children were born in Beulah, Francis I, Mellie, Mildred Elizabeth and Valentine J. (Vollie). Two children died in Beulah, Mabel in 1892 and Edward in 1894. Both are buried in the Beulah Cemetery. Two sisters, Nellie (Klipfel) Dutcher and Mildred (Klipfel) Walters moved to Powell, Wyoming. The three brothers, Charles T., Francis I, and Valentine (Vollie) remained in Beulah. August W. and Leah Thomas died in January, 1918; their deaths were only 16 days apart. Both are buried in Beulah Cemetery.
When Charles was 9 years old, he was hired by Cal Hurcules to build a rock wall. His pay for the summer's labor was a baby calf. He later purchased the farm from Mr. Hurcules; it became the home of his son, Wesley T. Klipfel. This rock wall still stands on the Kay Keating property today. Charles T. Klipfel married Faye Altman in 1901, and to their union eight children were born. They built their first home "Nightingale", on Central Street. Later, they moved to their permanent home, "The Red Gables Ranch", and resided there until their deaths. Faye died in 1936 and Charles died in 1940.
Charles T. drove a freight wagon from the Beulah Marble Quarry to the Pueblo train depot; this marble was used in the capitol building in Denver. He was a stagecoach driver in 1901 between Beulah and Pueblo. Many people travelled by stagecoach to Beulah to stay at the hotels and boardinghouses in the area. Among the passengers was a young woman suffering from Tuberculosis who came to Beulah on a stretcher to regain her health. She resided in a tent and on that property she later built the Pine Drive Store; she will be remembered by many as Mrs. Tom (Selma) Smith.
For many years, Charles was the Republican Chairman and his brother, Francis, was the Democratic Chairman. They looked forward to election days and were best of pals.
In 1921, Charles and sons, Herman, Beverly and Wesley contracted from the U.S. Forest Service to gravel North Creek Divide. This work was done with horses. Charles and sons built the tank and helped dig by hand the pipeline for the Pine Drive Water System. They also hauled gravel with wagon teams and built some of the first swimming pools on Pine Drive when Beulah became a summer resort. Two incidents are well remembered by the Klipfel Family. Mrs. Faye Klipfel, Charles' wife was walking near the present site of Gayway and saw a little arm floating in the irrigation ditch. The ditch carried a large amount of water at the time. She removed the body of her neighbor's little girl. Then on September 17, 1919, Emmet Klipfel was struck by lightening while standing under the school bell and writing on the blackboard. He was knocked unconscious and burned severely. His life was saved by the toes of his shoes which were sewn with copper wire. A new pair of shoes had been ordered from a mail order house and had not arrived.
As County Commissioner of Pueblo County, Mr. Klipfel has placed his unusual organizing ability at the service of the public and has made a remarkable contribution during the four years he has been in office.
Born in Pueblo, on April 19, 1903, Mr. Klipfel is a son of Charles T. and Faye (Altman) Klipfel, both now deceased. His father was a farmer and he remained on their farm helping his father until he was twenty-one, securing his education in the public schools of Beulah. After he came of age he was employed for a short time by the Platt Rogers Construction Company, but returned to farming and managed his own farm for several years. He suffered a serious injury to his back which caused paraysis and forced him to give up farming. After a year and a half, however, his health returned sufficiently so that he was able to take a position as watchman with the Nuckles Packing Company in Pueblo, and gradually he undertook more responsibility until he had charge of the night scales. While engaged in this work he invented a sweeping compound which was very successful and he has continued to manufacture it in a small way ever since. In 1942 he was elected County Commissioner of Pueblo County and has held this office for three years plus one year as city commissioner. When Mr. Klipfel came into office he found that the County owned large tracts of land which it had held for delinquent taxes, in some cases for as long as sixty-five years. He had a map made which showed clearly the exact location of all County lands and he then began an intensive campaign to sell these tracts with such success that to date over 50,000 parcels have been sold and the County is now collecting revenue from what had been practically waste land. His success in showing these lands has aroused wide interest so that public officials from all parts of the West have come to study his methods.
During his four years as commissioner Mr. Klipfel has been a profound advocate for reduction in taxes. Mr. Klipfel is also interested in the Mutual Machinery company in which he is a partner. Perhaps his chief title to fame, however, stems from his ability to barbecue. He uses methods of his own and has been most successful, having fed groups of anywhere from sixty to over seven thousand persons, and wherever an outdoor pit barbeque is needed he is the first one called upon to prepare it. Mr. Klipfel is a Republican in politics and is president of the G.O.P. Boosters Club and a member of the exective board of young Republican State Committee. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church, and belongs to the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce and the Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the Saddle Club. He is greatly interested in fraternal organizations and belongs to the South Pueblo Lodge No. 31 of the Free and Accepted Masons, to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, to the Chapter and Royal and Select Master Council of the Royal Arcanum, to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and to Woodmen of the World. His recreational interests are fishing and deer hunting. During the War he has assisted actively on all patriotic and welfare drives, the Red Cross, the March of Dimes, on which he was a committee member, and on the Community Chest drives he had charge of organizing the rural areas of Pueblo County. He is interested in welfare and community organizations and has served on the committees for Crippled Children and Cancer and the Goodwill Industries, and is a member of the boards of McClelland Orphanage and the United Services Organization.
On May 31, 1925, Mr. Klipfel married Edna Fay Lemmon of Illinois. They are the parents of four children: 1. Charlene, a graduate of Central high School and now attending Pueblo Junior College. 2. Ellen Joyce, attending Central high School. 3. Patricia Ann, also in high school. 4. Charles Herman, Jr., at present in grade school.
Willard Klipfel, owner-operator of the Springfield Implement Company, located in Springfield, Baca County, Colorado is a dealer for the Minneapolis-Moline and New Holland farm equipment. He is also a dealer for Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth cars. He offers sales and service to a territory consisting of the entire exterior of Baca County. Mr. Klipfel is a native Coloradoan. He came to Springfield in 1959 to establish this business on a small scale and has developed and expanded it to a $475,000.00 a year volume.
Willard M. Klipfel was born to Mr. and Mrs. Beverly Klipfel in Pueblo County, Colorado, on October 29, 1935. His mother, the former Miss Goldie Hankla married Beverly Klipfel in Pueblo in 1931. His father was water commissioner of Beulah and Rye, Colorado. Willard M. Klipfel acquired his early schooling at the public schools of Pueblo. When a young man, he worked as a service station attendant and later did construction work at Beulah, Colorado.
Mr. Klipfel married Miss Mary Elizabeth Green, a native of Pueblo, Colorado, and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Green. Her mother was Miss Evelyn Connally prior to her marriage. Three chldren have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Klipfel: Morris C., James A, and Cynthia Ann.
Mr. Klipfel is a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Springfield, Colorado. He is a man who accepts responsibility and is always reaching out for accomplishment and the development of business in his community.