|Death: ||Aug. 24, 1916|
El Paso County
Thomas P. Gwillim was born in Wales in 1853. Little is known of his time there but by 1878 he was married to Ann M. Smith Gwillim and had a daughter, Sarah, who was about one year in age. Thomas and Ann immigrated with many other Welsh nationals to the United States because of mining opportunities and better living conditions. He was 25 at the time. The first census records show the family in El Paso County in 1880. He was a merchant. George R. Gwillim was a merchant who came to Colorado Springs in 1872. George lived on the Divide near Monument, Colorado in a town called Gwillimville. He relocated a thriving cheese factory business there in February of 1878. In September 1878, the brothers produced so much cheese that they were able to ship 16,000 lbs. back to cardiff, Wales. Thomas temporarily relocated up to Gwillimville for a few years and then made a permanent home in Colorado Springs and ran a store next door to George's cheese store.
Thomas took advantage to what the Homestead act offered. He completed a small home, barn, and garden for his family and brought them out. By 1895 he had earned the title to his 160 acres by the sweat of his brow. His farm eventually grew to 480 acres. Ann was 40 years old when she gave birth to Sarah. She had Winfield in 1895.
Much coal was taken from the ground under the towns of McFerran and Franceville. Pools of black liquid were discovered and there was talk about oil in the area. In 1902, oil was being discovered in Fountain and Colorado Springs. The decision was made to sink a well on the homestead and in February of 1904, the well was sunk to 920 feet and oil shot into the air.
Ann and Thomas divorced in 1906. In 1910, Thomas served as the Justice of the Peace for Falcon.
In 1916 the bodies of Thomas Gwillim and Mary Simmons, his housekeeper were found in the sitting room of Mr. Gwillim's home. A very short investigation done by the coroner led to the final accusal that Mr. Gwillim must have been in an argument with Mrs. Simmons. He shot her multiple times and then shot himself. Not yet being dead, Thomas allegedly walked to a far closet; sat himself inside (after he shot himself)and faced the door; drank a jug of whiskey, and cut his own throat. He was 63 at his time of death. Few "murderers" recieve a headstone as they were dispised by good citizenry. Mr. Gwillim has a stone. Is it possible that he was wrongly accused? The story and leads are all long gone.
El Paso County
Plot: section 12
Created by: Ingrid Mcdonald
Record added: Oct 01, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59497413