"Joel Estes was typical of the frontiersmen whose families had started the march across the country and who, in his turn, had moved his family west. His maternal grandparents, Germans named Hiatt, were among the first settlers in Kentucky. Peter Estes, his father, was a Virginia plantation owner of Scottish parentage who, despite his wealth in Virginia moved to Kentucky. There he met and married Esther Hiatt, and their son Joel, was born on the Kentucky frontier on May 25, 1806. When Joel was six, his father again moved his family to the frontier. It was in Clinton County, Missouri, that Joel grew to manhood. He was a big, gangling boy and not particularly handsome, but he met and married the pretty and fascinating Patsy Stollings. Patsy, whose real name was Martha, was born in West Virginia on July 6, 1806, the daughter of Jacob and Patsy Stollings.
"Like most frontiersmen, Estes had many trades. He worked at odd times as a freighter from Liberty, Missouri, to the trading post of Joseph Roubideau, which later became St. Joseph. At one time he ran an outfitting store, and he was also interested in gold prospecting. After he married Patsy on Nov. 12, 1826, he moved his family to Andrews County, Missouri, and began the business that was to occupy most of his life timethat of stock raising and farming."
2. The date of discovery is in some doubt. It is given as September 12, 1859, by Josiah M. Ward in "Man Who Discovered Estes Park After Years of Wandering and At First Sight of It Declared 'Here I Make My Home,'" The Denver Post, March 13, 1921.
Mrs. Emily Graham, a pioneer, is quoted as saying it was October 12, 1859, in a Letter from Harry Ruffner to Superintendent Roger W. Toll, April 4, 1926, unfiled. Rocky Mountain National Park Library.
The commonly held date of October 15, 1859 is given in various sources, among them Shoemaker, "The Story of the Estes-Rocky Mountain National Park Region," p. 6.
3. Carothers, in Estes Park: Past and Present, p. 14, does not discount the possibility that other hunters and trappers, especially Rufus Sage, could have explored Rocky Mountain-Estes Park area prior to 1859. Rufus B. Sage makes an interesting case for his exploration of the Park in his Rocky Mountain Life (Boston, 1857), pp. 205-6.
Sill the discovery by Estes is the only case that bears the burden of fact. The late Enos A. Mills, a controversial but avid student of the area once wrote: "There is no positive proof that any white man was ever in the Estes Park region prior to Joel Estes discovery of it in 1859." Mills, Rocky Mountain National Park, p. 2.
8. William Byers on August 23, 1868, successfully climbed Longs Peak. He was a member of a party of seven which included Major John Wesley Powell. Powell, an extraordinary explorer, was on one of his fact-finding expeditions to the Rocky Mountain region. Powell, in 1869, traveled the entire length of the Colorado River from Wyoming to Arizona. He later became the founder and first director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution and in 1881 became director of the United States Geological Survey. For more information on the life of Powell and his ascent up Longs Peak, the reader can consult, William Culp Darrah, Powell of the Colorado (Princeton, 1951), pp. 99-102. Reference will be made later to Major John W. Powell and his party that climbed Longs Peak in 1868. See page 221.
10. Ibid., p. 18. In 1926 a memorial to Joel Estes, Sr., was erected in Estes Park, at the junction of the Fish Creek and the North St. Vrain Road. It is a seven-feet-high granite rock weighing about two tons. The stone bears a bronze tablet presented by the Estes grand children and the Estes Park Village Chamber of Commerce.
13. The Right Honorable Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, Fourth Earl of Dunraven and Mount Earl, was born in 1841. He was of pure Celtic origin and was educated at Christ College, Oxford. After serving some time as a lieutenant in the First Life Guards, a cavalry regiment, he became at age twenty-six a war correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph and covered the Abyssinian War. In this capacity, he shared a tent with Henry Stanley of the New York Herald.
Dunraven then became a special correspondent for a "big London daily" during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71. He reported the siege of Paris, saw the Carlist Rebellion and war in Turkey, and probably the Russo-Turkish War. He spent his leisure time hunting wild game in various parts of the world.
He was twice Undersecretary of State for the Colonies. He was Chairman of the Irish Land Conferences, as well as president of the Irish Reform Association and a member of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick.
Dunraven witnessed both the signing of the Convention of Versailles which ended the Franco-Prussian War and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
He married the daughter of Lord Charles Lennox Kerr. He had several castles, but took his name from Dunraven Castle in Glamorganshire which contained many old ruins. Carothers, Estes Park: Past and Present, pp. 33-34.
31. Letter of A. Phimister Proctor to David A. Canfield, February 18, 1946, unfiled. Rocky Mountain National Park Library. In Mills, Rocky Mountain National Park, p. 107, it is reported that the first marriage in Grand Lake took place in June 1882, between a Miss McGee, the town's first school teacher, and a Henry Schively.
39. There are various accounts of the "massacre" including: "An Account Written by Jacob Fillius for Mr. and Mrs. John Holzworth, of the County Commissioners' Feud in Grand County, September 10, 1937." Rocky Mountain National Park Library; Everett Harmon, "Grand Lake," Grand Lake Pioneer August 17, 1940; Notes on Grand Lake, McLaren and Gammon, Rocky Mountain National Park Library; and Letter from A. Phimister Proctor to David A. Canfield, February 18, 1946 and April 17, 1946, Rocky Mountain National Park Library. All of the above is unfiled material.
Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004