Denver, Colorado Genweb

Denver, Colorado SociEty


July 2003 Biographies Last updated on 06/17/2006

Edgar Clarence Stevens,
Son of Ophelia Heatley and Eugene Stevens

Written by Emma May Stevens Noland
contributed by her daughter, Mary Wilson Miller


As a boy, in Leadville, Edgar rolled a barrel hoop down the wooden sidewalk and it bounced into the bay window of Mrs. Horace (Augusta) Tabor's living room, next to the Assay office on East 5th St. He related many stories of his early childhood in Leadville. He and his sister, Jean were stepping across an open cellar door in the kitchen, to see who could step the farthest, when Jean missed her step and fell, knocking her unconscious for a short time.

In 1890, he and some of his siblings, contracted Scarlet Fever or Diptheria, (there are conflicting stories as to which disease it was.) Edgar was about seven years old. It left him with a hearing and sense of smell loss, which impaired him the rest of his life. His youngest sister, Viola Irene, died of Malignant Scarlet Fever, in Denver and a year, to the day, the older sister, Ella Katherine, died of Dropsy, at the age of nine.

After the silver panic in 1893, Eugene took Edgar back to his mother, Harriett Stevens Bush, in Joliet, Illinois to see if the change in altitude or better Doctors would help, to no avail. Edgar was 9 years old then. He told of jokes he played on the hired girl, Mary Calvon, who was born in Ireland. Mary tried teaching Edgar how to mop the floor, he kept saying, he didn't understand--until Mary got the entire floor mopped. Edgar related that he had some warts on his hand, as a boy and his grandmother, Harriett Stevens Bush sent him to a woman who made him get some rocks out of the Joliet river bed and she rubbed them real hard on the warts.....several weeks later, the warts were gone. He couldn't explain how they disappeared.

In Joliet, Edgar was raised a Baptist, by his grandmother and later attended the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, for two years, studying mining and machinery. In Champaign/Urbana, he met Mary Ellen Jackson, whom he later married.

When Edgar was about 20 years old, he returned to Colorado for his sister Jean's 18th birthday, in 1904. It is not known if he remained in Colorado at that time or returned to Joliet. He belonged to Mrs. F. I. Smith's Young Men's Bible Class at First Baptist Church in Denver. He had been Christened when he was 4 months old, January 25, 1885, in the Annunciation Catholic Church, in Leadville, Colorado.

At some time, Edgar worked for the Watson Dairy on Sand Creek, near where the original Denver Airport was built. He also worked in Eagle, Colorado, time and place, not known. In Colorado, he worked in mines around Idaho Springs, the "Little Mattie," up Chicago Creek and at Sugarloaf, for the United States Gold Corporation. It was thought he had worked at the Argo Mill, but no record has been found on the employees time sheets. Part of the mill workings are still standing at Sugarloaf.

Edgar and Mary Stevens had five children:

1. Gertrude V Stevens, December 31, 1910, Denver, Colorado
2. Eugene Stevens, June 7, 1914, Denver, Colorado
3. George Edgar Stevens, February 22, 1916, Denver, Colorado
4. Emma May Stevens, March 31, 1918, Denver, Colorado
5. Baby Girl Stevens, March 12, 1919, Denver, Colorado

Children's histories are listed separately.

In January, 1918, Edgar went to work for the Vulcan Iron Works, at the foot of the Colfax Viaduct. He worked there until the Vulcan consolidated with Stearnes Rogers and the Dorr Company and became the General Iron Works and moved to Englewood, Colorado. Edgar worked here until he became ill with Cancer in 1948. A career of thirty years.

In May of 1920, the family moved to 730 Lowell Blvd. They attended Barnum Baptist Church for many years where the children accepted Salvation and were Baptized.

Edgar was a quiet, reserved man and didn't mingle much with his fellow workers, due to his hearing loss. He was a hard worker and devoted to his family, who loved and respected him for the man he was. He had a theory in his life that, “If he couldn't say something nice about someone, he didn't say anything at all.”

The first of May, 1944, Edgar and Mary moved into the small cottage behind the big house at 730 Lowell Blvd, (the small cottage was 3646 W. 8th Ave,) where they had lived for 24 years. The family was all grown and gone. Four days after they moved, Mary died suddenly of a heart attack, May 4, 1944. Her untimely death, at the age of 57 years and 11 months, was quite a blow to her family and a host of friends. If she had lived until June 9, 1944, they would have celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. After Mary's death, Edgar moved back into the family home, where his daughter, Emma May and her family could live with him, so he wouldn't be alone. Edgar's grand-daughter, Mary and he were very close and spent many hours playing canasta. When Mary would get home from school, Edgar would say, "what took you so long, I already have the cards dealt." When Edgar died, Mary felt like her world had ended and has never quit missing him.

In April, 1948, Edgar became ill with Cancer of the colon, at the age of 64 years and was unable to work from then on. He underwent 7 operations in 3 years and lost his left leg, below the knee, from a blood clot. He enjoyed going to the mountain cabin, Jesse and Emma had purchased near Evergreen, Colorado. Here he could walk around and enjoy the scenery and fresh air, in the mountains he loved so well.

July 13, 1952, at the age of 67 years and 6 months, he died and was buried in Fairmount Cemetery, next to his wife, Mary. Together in life, they were together in death.


Biographies Index
Excerpts from History of Denver (1901)
Denver County Main Page

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