|Birth: ||Jul. 18, 1857|
|Death: ||Mar. 18, 1936|
Progressive Men of Western Colorado
Published 1905, A.W. Bowen & Co., Chicago, Ill.
Although "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" have at times been thick around him, Robert Helvey, of Routt county, residing on Deep creek, sixteen miles northwest of Steamboat Springs, has encountered them with resolute courage and determination, and if he has not taken the buffets and rewards with equal thanks, he has at least met them with an unyielding spirit, and even used some of the buffets to his advantage. He began his youth with family responsibilities upon him, far beyond the weight due to his years, but he bore them with a manly constancy and devotion to duty, and thereby strengthened his character for all the subsequent conflicts of life so that he has triumphed over them, winning for himself a comfortable estate and securing at the same time the lasting regard of his fellowmen. He was born at Percival, Fremont county, Iowa, on January 18, 1857, the son of Melvin T. and Mary A. (Blair) Helvey. They were early settlers in Iowa, where the father was a prosperous farmer and devoted to rearing his family of four children, three of whom are living, Robert, Mrs. William Dunfield and Charles. When the integrity of the Union was threatened by armed resistance at the beginning of the Civil war he joined the mustering armies in its defense, and before the end of the sanguinary conflict laid his life on the altar of his country in one of its desperate battles. Thus deprived of its main support, the family was driven to the necessity of providing for its maintenance as best it could, and so when he was but fourteen years of age Robert was obliged to give up his slender school advantages and begin the battle of life for himself. He earned his own living from this time on, and even out of his meager wages contributed to the support of his mother and the rest of the family. Three years later the responsibility of supporting the household fell more heavily and almost wholly on him, but he remained at home and performed his duty as well as he could. In 1878, when he was twenty-one years old, they moved to Nebraska and located on a farm ten miles north of Nebraska City, where all his hopes of profit were blasted by the unwelcome invasion of the grasshoppers which destroyed all his crops. In 1880 he moved to Lincoln, that state, and there for a few months followed teaming to get a new start. In the summer of that year he came to Colorado and located at Georgetown, being among the first settlers there, and again found profitable employment as a teamster, remaining two years. At the end of that period he sold his teams and moved to Denver where he worked in the round house and as a fireman for the Union Pacific and Colorado Midland railroads until 1884. He then changed his residence to Cardiff and continued railroad work there for a short time, at the end of which he moved to Tacoma, Washington, where he followed railroading and teaming until 1892. In that year he came to Colorado, and the next year, making Steamboat Springs his headquarters, engaged in freighting and teaming which he continued two years. In 1895 he homesteaded on his present ranch of one hundred and sixty acres, of which he cultivates one hundred and ten with good returns. He has plenty of water, being interested in two ditches, and having made his own improvements and directed his own ranching operations, has his place developed much to his taste and through his own efforts. Hay, cattle, and horses are his principal productions, and on these he finds he can securely and profitably rely. His mother, who has accompanied him in his wanderings, now resides at Steamboat Springs. On December 25, 1876, he was married to Miss Lavina Holmes, a native of Cedar county, Iowa. They had five children, three of whom died in infancy and two are living, Harley, and Mrs. Jay Paxman. Their mother died on March 16, 1892, and on March 17, 1894, Mr. Helvey married a second wife, Miss Effie A. Cantonwine, who was born in Boulder county [error: born in Jefferson Co.] this state. Five children have blessed their union. Of these a son named Floyd has died and Stella E., Robert A., Vera F. and Oscar W. are living.
Effie Adella Cantonwine Helvey (1866 - 1937)*
Vera F Helvey Lester (1901 - 1983)*
Oscar W Helvey (1903 - 1999)*
Created by: Ann Koch
Record added: Oct 22, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12136962
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.