|Birth: ||Oct. 23, 1848|
|Death: ||Dec. 6, 1913|
El Paso County
From; The History of Colorado, Vol 4 by Wilbur Fiske Stone, pg 464-465
EDWIN WIGHT GIDDINGS.
Edwin Wight Giddings. merchant, mine owner, banker and holder of valuable real estate interests, to whom, however, business was but one phase of his existence, for another side of his nature showed broad charity, liberal philanthropy and assistance of all those projects and measures which are of cultural and moral worth and value, came to be recognized as one of Colorado Springs' foremost citizens, so that his death was deeply deplored when on the 6th of December. 1913, he passed away. He was twenty-four years of age when he came to this state from Romeo, Michigan, his native city, and took up his abode in Colorado Springs, where he lived for more than four
decades. He traveled extensively over the state in the early days and in other sections of the west, representing a commercial house of Denver, and thus he established a very wide acquaintance, winning friendships that endured throughout life. He was most widely known throughout the Rocky Mountain region and wherever known was held in the highest esteem. He became an active factor in the commercial circles of Colorado Springs when forty years prior to his death he established a dry goods store on South Tejon street. A few years later a change in the firm led to the adoption of the style of Giddings Brothers & Bent and at a later period the firm became Giddings Brothers. As the years passed they developed one of the largest and best known department stores in their section of the state and also one of the most substantial in the
west. The methods of the house would bear the closest investigation and scrutiny and every effort was put forth to please the patrons, so that it came to be recognized "once a customer, always a customer" with the Giddings house. In the early '90s Edwin W. Giddings erected a brick block at the corner of Tejon and Kiowa streets in Colorado Springs and remained an active factor in the control of the business until 1911, when he and his brother withdrew to be succeeded by his son, Ralph O., and T. C. Kirkwood. The present well known firm of Giddings & Kirkwood. After laying the foundation of his fortune in the mercantile business Mr. Giddings began investing largely in lands and live stock not only in Colorado but in other western states. He also became an investor in mining properties in the Cripple Creek district and was one of the owners of the Strong mine, one of the big producers of that region. He was likewise interested
in several other properties, including the El Paso Gold King. He shared largely in the development of the gold camp and was one of the men who bore the brunt of early
struggles in that region. He became identified with the banking interests of Colorado Springs, holding a large amount of stock in two of the leading moneyed institutions of the city, and he was also the owner of "Commission Row" at the corner of Huerfano and South Cascade avenue, together with two buildings on South Tejon street.
On the 19th of May, 1870, Mr. Giddings was married in Romeo, Michigan, to Miss Hester Elizabeth Ayres, whose parents were from the state of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Giddings became parents of four children: Louis E., now of Colorado Springs; Sarah A., the wife of Dr. B. B. Griffith, of Springfield, Illinois, by whom she has two children; Ralph 0., of Colorado Springs, who has two children; and Roy W.. of San Diego, California, father of four children.
While Mr. Giddings was regarded as one of the wealthiest men in Colorado Springs, it was well known that his success resulted entirely from his own efforts, his good business judgment and his irreproachable integrity. His word came to be recognized as of sterling worth. It was on a par with any bond solemnized by signature and seal. He did not weigh his acts in the scale of policy but tested them by the standard of right, and in all of his business affairs he was never known to take advantage of the necessities of his fellowmen.
Mr. Giddings was prominent in Masonic circles, holding membership in El Paso Lodge. No. 13, A. P. & A. M., almost from the time of its organization until his demise. He also had membership in Pikes Peak Commandery. No. 6, K. T., and he belonged to Colorado Springs Lodge, No, 309. B. P. 0. E. He had membership in the El Paso Club, but in later years his time was divided between his office and his home, which, according to a contemporary biographer, "became the Mecca for hundreds of people who had personal troubles to relate or friendships to renew." Mr. Giddings belonged to no church but was a generous supporter of all. He believed firmly in the good which they promoted and his aid could be counted upon to further any cause which he considered of value in bringing higher ideals to the individual and higher standards of community
service. The hospitals of the city indeed numbered him as a benefactor and in each institution of the kind in Colorado Springs there were many patients who were there
recuperating through the kindly generosity of Mr. Giddings. He became one of the organizers and strongest supporters of the old Chamber of Commerce and with its
revival some three years before his death he was elected, though much against his will,, to the presidency and continued in the office for two years, filling the position at the sacrifice of his business affairs, his time and his strength. He was a most charitable man and his benevolences were many, yet frequently none knew of them save himself and the recipient. He had the faculty of placing young or old, rich or poor, at ease in his presence. Friendship was to him no mere idle term. It meant personal obligation as well as companionship — the obligation to assist wherever and whenever he could.
He cared nothing for society in the usually accepted sense of the term, but he drew his friends to him with "hoops of steel." His widow still occupies the family home in Colorado Springs and is one of the city's most earnest workers along the lines of charity, civic development and war service, her labors being far-reaching and beneficial.
Hester Elizabeth Ayres Giddings
El Paso County
Plot: Block 58
Created by: Ron West
Record added: Mar 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67648337
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