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Samuel Hartsel
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Birth: Nov. 22, 1834
Allegheny County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Nov. 20, 1918
Denver County
Colorado, USA


Samuel Hartsel had almost reached the eighty-fourth milestone on life's journey when death called him. His friends will miss him, but the memory of his beautiful life, of his sincerity and simplicity, will not be forgotten. They will not mourn for him as they would for a young man cut off in the flower and promise of his youth but will rejoice in his memory as that of a man who laid down his task in the twilight of the day, when all that he had to do had been nobly and fully completed. He had remained active in business to the last and no long illness terminated his passing. Only on the day of his demise he had visited his office in the Ferguson building in Denver, in which city for a number of years he had made his home following long connection with extensive ranching and cattle raising interests in Park county. He had for fifty-eight years been identified with the development of the west and even in the evening of life, when success in substantial measure had come to him, he would not put aside business cares and duties. Such a record should put to shame many a man who, grown weary of the struggles and trials of life, would relegate to others the burdens that he should bear. Mr. Hartsel found interest and pleasure in business to the last. His plans were ever carefully thought out and promptly executed, and what he accomplished represented the fit utilization of his innate powers and talents.

Mr. Hartsel was born November 22, 1834, in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, near the town of Bethlehem, a son of Jacob and Katherine (Hartman) Hartsel, who were also natives of the Keystone state. The founder of the family in the new world came from Switzerland in 1735. Jacob Hartsel was a farmer by occupation and thus provided for the support of his family, which numbered ten children, all of whom are now deceased. The parents have long since passed away.

Samuel Hartsel was educated in private schools and early began work upon the home farm. In 1850 he removed westward to Ohio, settling near Youngstown, where he remained for two years and then returned to Pennsylvania. In 1852, however, he became a resident of Benton county, Indiana, where he remained until 1856, when he removed to Dubuque, Iowa, where he continued until the spring of 1857. At that date he established his home in Leavenworth, Kansas, and was employed by the famous overland company of Russell, Majors & Waddell until the spring of 1860, when he started from Atchison, Kansas, along the Platte River trail and arrived in Denver on the 22d of May, 1860, and on May 25th he reached Hartsel, which was named for him. The journey westward had been made in an ox train and he located at the placer mining town of Hamilton, on Tarryall creek, near the present town of Como. Although the mining excitement had brought him to Colorado, he gave up mining within a few months and spent two years in herding cattle by the month at from a dollar and a halt to two dollars and a half per head, being employed by the Hamlin Cattle Company. In the fall of 1862 he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres, a tract which constituted the nucleus of the Hartsel ranch, comprising nine thousand acres of patented land and three thousand acres of leased land, becoming one of the largest and best stocked cattle ranches of the state. He also developed the Hartsel hot springs and the Hartsel town site. His original homestead cabin is still the central part of the main ranch house, its huge fireplace having made the cabin an attractive sitting room through fifty-six years. There is no phase of pioneer life with which Mr. Hartsel was not familiar. In 1866, after a round trip requiring two years and marked by two attacks from Indians, he reached Colorado with the first herd of thoroughbred shorthorn cattle brought into the state, which he had purchased from Mr. Cobb, father of Mrs. Gordon Jones, having made the trip from Missouri. Seven of his Mexican herders were killed in the Indian battles on the Kansas plains. Mr. Hartsel himself was at one time captured by Indians, this occurring when he was picking wild raspberries in the Puma hills, about twenty miles from his ranch, and about two years after he had brought his shorthorns to Colorado. After a brief period, however, he was released. He always remained a cattle man and specialized for many years in the raising of shorthorns. His first ranch was located on Tarryall creek, about three miles below Hamilton, but in 1862 he removed to another part of Park county, settling in a district that has since been known as Hartsel. There he located at the junction of the two Plattes and resided upon his ranch for a half century, at the end of which time he sold out and also disposed of the Hartsel town site and the Hartsel hot springs. His business affairs were always most energetically, wisely and carefully directed and success in substantial measure came to him. Although he practically lived retired after disposing of his ranch and removing to Denver, he was nevertheless connected with investment interests and spent much time in looking after several pieces of residence property which he owned in the city, maintaining an office in the Ferguson building. He became a large property owner in Denver, and his keen judgment in business affairs remained unimpaired to the last, he spending several hours in his office in the management of his interests the day of his demise. He always maintained a deep interest in the pioneers, realizing how valuable was their contribution to the development of the state, and he spent much time in visiting the early settlers, delighting in the reminiscences of the early days. He made it a point to attend the funerals of the pioneer settlers of Colorado whenever it was possible for him to do so and he was long a valued member of the Pioneer Society and also of the Sons of Colorado.

On the 1st of April, 1877, Mr. Hartsel was united in marriage to Mrs. Nancy B. Mayol, the widow of Frank Mayol, a pioneer, who passed away in Chaffee county. Mrs. Hartsel bore the maiden name of Nancy Boone and was born near Millersburg, Ohio. By her second marriage she became the mother of the following children: Katherine, who is the wife of Dr. F. E. Prewitt, of Denver; Myrtle Louisa, who gave her hand in marriage to George W. Schoephoester, who died of influenza, December 7, 1918; Henrietta S., the wife of Paul J. Donovan; and Samuel B., who died in infancy. The wife and mother passed away in Denver, March 29, 1910.

In his political views Mr. Hartsel was always a republican from the time he cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont, ever remaining most loyal to the principles of the party. While in Park county he served as county commissioner and also as assessor, making a creditable record in office. His religious faith was that of the Presbyterian church and his life was guided according to its teachings. He never deviated from a course that he deemed right between himself and his fellowmen, and the respect and honor accorded him were the legitimate outcome of the manly and honorable course that he ever followed in all of his relations with his fellowmen. His life and his character were as clear as the sunlight. His record was as the day with its morning of hope and promise, its noontide of activity, its evening of completed and successful effort, ending in the grateful rest and quiet of the night.

The History of Colorado, Vol 4 by Wilbur Fiske Stone
Family links: 
  Catharine Hartmann Hartsel (1803 - 1873)
  Nancy M Boone Hartsel (1845 - 1910)
  Samuel Bancroft Hartsel (1887 - 1888)*
  Samuel Hartsel (1834 - 1918)
  Joseph Hartsel (1846 - 1901)*
  Joe Hartsel (1848 - 1901)*
*Calculated relationship
Samuel Hartsel
Born Allegheny City, PA.
Nov. 22, 1834
Died Nov. 20, 1918
South Park Colo.
Pioneer 1860
Fairmount Cemetery
Denver County
Colorado, USA
Created by: David Stearns
Record added: Apr 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68069794
Samuel Hartsel
Added by: David Stearns
Samuel Hartsel
Added by: David Stearns
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