Reprints: 1919 – The Harmon Family counted among Lafayette’s earliest pioneers

Wilson Harmon

Guy D. Harmon, a farmer and stock raiser of Boulder county, within the borders of which he was born on the 5th of March, 1867, is a son of Manning and Julia A. (Rexroad) Harmon, the mother a native of Virginia, while the father was born in Massachusetts.

They were married in Illinois and in 1861 removed to Colorado, settling first at Golden, where Mr. Harmon devoted his attention to mining for a number of years. He later took up agricultural pursuits in Boulder county and there purchased a farm which he continued to develop and improve to the time of his death. His widow survives and has now reached the age of eight-four years. In their family were six children, five of whom are living.

Guy D. Harmon was reared and educated in Boulder county and acquired a common school education. He assisted in the work of the farm during vacation periods and after his textbooks were put aside and remained at home until he had attained his majority.

He then began farming upon the tract of land which he now owns and occupies, comprising one hundred and forty acres situated a half mile south of the village of Lafayette, and as the years have passed he has continued the work of development and improvement, converting the tract into a valuable farm property. The entire place is well irrigated and the land is proving very productive, so that he annually gathers golden harvests.

In 1889 Mr. Harmon was married to Miss Margaret Dixon, a native of England and a daughter of Charles and Ann (Barker) Dixon, who were born in the same country. They came to America in 1881, settling in Boulder county. Colorado, where the father passed away but where the mother still makes her home. Mr. and Mrs. Harmon have become parents of two children: Frank R., who is associated with his father in business; and Nellie A., who is now taking a training course in a hospital of Denver.

The family attend the Methodist Episcopal church and fraternally Mr. Harmon is identified with the Knights of Pythias. In politics he is a democrat and while never an office seeker he has served on the school board. He is interested in all that pertains to the welfare and progress of his community and his aid and cooperation can be counted upon to further all measures for the general good.
From: History of Colorado V. 4, J.S. Clarke Publishing Co., 1919

Feeling that some of the most important events in my life will not be preserved if I leave the task of writing them to others, I have decided to prepare it myself. I was born in Randolph County, Va., in 1835, the daughter of Samuel and Naomi (Hoffman) Rexroad. My father, who was born in 1803, was engaged in the lumber business in New Albany, Ind., and died there December 18, 1840, when I was quite young.

My mother, who was born January 15, 1807, was a second time married, a few years after the death of Mr. Rexroad becoming the wife of Hiram Harmon. She died February 8, 1857.

In the year 1861 my husband, myself and our two little girls, Katie and Nellie, came to Colorado, leaving Illinois April 11, crossing the plains in a covered wagon, and arriving in Golden City June 8. In our travels we saw many Indians, but they were not on the warpath at that time. Later on many white people were killed and much property destroyed. We came here as gold seekers, but that was not a success. We then moved to a farm on Boulder Creek. With the care of a large dairy and a family of small children my life was a very hard one. My son, Wilson M., was born August 26, 1861; Frank H. was born January 30, 1863; and Guy D., March 5, I867. When my children were old enough to go to school, we moved to Boulder, where I maintained them the best I could, always working very hard. After a few years we again moved on a farm where my boys made for them selves and me good homes ten miles southeast of the city of Boulder.

All of the children are married except Frank, who lives with me. Katie is the wife of T. B. Compton, a shoemaker by trade, living in Boulder. They have two children: Claude, eighteen years old, who is attending the high school; and Camille, thirteen years old, who is not strong enough to attend public school and is studying under a private teacher at home. Nellie is married to John R. Miner, a farmer living in Weld County. They have two children: Nettie and Ray, sixteen and fourteen years old respectively.

The first of the boys to marry was Guy, who married Maggie Dixon, an English girl; they have one son, Raymond, now six years of age. Wilson married Mary Harris, a Welsh girl. They have three children: Earl, six years old; Julia, four; and Ella.
From: Portrait and Biographical Record of Denver and Vicinity, Chapman Publishing, Chicago, 1898

Wilson M. Harmon, identified with farming and stock raising interests in Boulder county, has through well directed effort won a substantial measure of success. He started out in life with no capital and by reason of close application and energy has become one of the prosperous agriculturists of his community. He was born in Golden, Colorado, August 26. 1861, a son of Manning and Julia A. (Rexroad) Harmon, the former a native of Massachusetts, while the latter was born in Randolph county, Virginia. They were married in Illinois, to which state the mother went in early life.

She was born in 1835, the daughter of Samuel and Naomi (Hoffman) Rexroad. Her father was born in 1803 and became a lumber dealer of New Albany, Indiana, where he passed away December 18. 1840, during the early childhood of his daughter Julia. Her mother was born January 15, 1807, and a few years after the death of her first husband became the wife of Hiram Harmon. She passed away February 8, 1857, leaving behind her the memory of a beautiful Christian life. She had early become a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and was ever most loyal to its teachings.

She was an obedient daughter, an affectionate wife and kind mother and an obliging neighbor and. more than all, her life was permeated by her Christian faith manifest in kindliness and helpfulness toward all. She survived her second marriage only a few years. Her daughter, Julia A., was reared in Illinois, where she became the wife of Manning Harmon. They remained residents of that state until after the birth of two daughters, Katie and Nellie. On the 11th of April, 1861, Mr. and Mrs. Harmon left Illinois with their two little daughters and in a covered wagon started across the plains, reaching Golden, Colorado, on the 8th of June. They saw many Indians during the trip but were not disturbed by them, although at a later period many white people were killed by the red men and much property destroyed. While Mr. Harmon attempted to win success in the mines, he did not accomplish his purpose and took up his abode on a farm on Boulder creek, devoting his attention to the cultivation of his land, while his wife, in addition to her household affairs, assumed the care of a large dairy. Three other children were added to the household in Colorado. Wilson M. being the first of these, while Frank H. was born January 30. 1863, and Guy D. on the 5th of March, 1867. When the children were old enough to attend school the family home was established in Boulder that they might have the educational opportunities of the town, and after a few years they returned to the farm, where the sons made a good home for the mother, who is still living at the very advanced age of eighty-three years, the father having passed away a number of years ago.

After acquiring a common school education Wilson M. Harmon took up farming on his own account. He had been reared to that occupation and early became familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. In 1906 he purchased his present farm, which is the mother’s old homestead, becoming owner of eighty acres of land which is now splendidly improved. He has made many changes in the place, adding substantial modern buildings and otherwise developing the property.

In 1892 Mr. Harmon was married to Miss Mary Harris, a native of Pennsylvania, and to them have been born five children: Earl L., who is now a student in the University of Colorado at Boulder; Julia L., also attending that institution; Ella, deceased; John S., now a high school pupil; and Wilson R. The religious faith of the family is that of the Congregational church and Mr. Harmon is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America. Both he and his wife are members of the Grange. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party but he has never sought or desired political office. He is, however, serving as treasurer of the school board and is interested in all that pertains to local progress and Improvement, cooperating heartily in plans and measures for the general good.
From: History of Colorado V. 4, J.S. Clarke Publishing Co., 1919

(Lafayette History editor’s note: This “Reprints” blog posting is content that appeared in a publication that is no longer in print or is no longer copyrighted. No effort was made by the blog editor to correct misspellings or errors in fact. Please be aware that reposted items in the “Reprints” category of this blog may contain significant factual errors. If you wish to cite “Reprints” content and need help sorting out what’s fact and what isn’t, please feel free to contact the Lafayette History editor.)