© 2001 by Leona L. Gustafson
FORGOTTEN PAST OF ADAMS COUNTY, VOL. I
One acre of land, the same being of equal length on each of the four sides, in the Southeast corner of the SE ¼ of Section 3 Township 2 South, Range 68 West.
The Webster Place attracted the interest of people both near and far. Well-known names in the county appear, such as Swanson, Schutt, Stonehocker, and Carlson. From afar appear the names of Gould, Evans, and Hunt, well-known names in business and oil.
During our research it was interesting to note that almost every owner, and there were many, lost the land at least once, if not twice, to the government for non- payment of taxes. Each of the owners was able to re- deem the property within the lawful time, however.
The history of the Webster Place as a separate piece of land began on November 18, 1867, when the United States of America granted the Denver Pacific Railway and Telegraph Company a Certificate of Incorporation for the land of which the Webster Place was a part. The certificate was written:
Object: To construct and operate a railroad .and telegraph line from the city of Denver, Colorado, in a northerly direction to the northern boundary of Colorado.
However, a railway or telegraph line never materialized on the piece of land which we have researched.
In the spring of 1887, Mr. Rockwood G. Webster received the southeast quarter Section 3 Township 2, South Range 68. During these twenty years the Denver Pacific Rail- way and Telegraph Company ceased to exist, for it had consolidated with two other railroad companies, one from Kansas and the other from Denver. These three railroad companies formed one company called the Union
Pacific Railway. Also in these twenty years, six of the company’s trustees entrusted with the land had either died, resigned, or were removed. From the abstract en- trusting George Gould we learn:
John Edgar Thomson, Adolphus Meier and John Evans, Trustees of its Railway lands and other property, and said Thomson dies, and said Meier was removed as such Trustee, and said Evans resigned, and Anthony J. Dulman was appointed as Trustee in place of Thomson. Said Dulman resigned and J. Gould and Russell Sage were appointed as Trustees in place of Evans and Dulman and J. Gould dies and Russell Sage is surviving Trustee.. ..and said George J. Gould is said Trustee.... in place and Successor to said J. Gould, Deceased....
The J. Gould mentioned is Jay gould, the famous businessman of the 1800’s.Mr. Webster built a house on his newly acquired land. It was located in the area of what is now Webster Lake and the Webster Apartments. The house is shown below.
The man in the picture is Stanley Carlson, who with his family, wife, Virginia, and son, Ronald, lived in the house and farmed the land for a short time.
One year later (1888), Mr. Webster conveyed one acre of land to School District #71 of Arapahoe County. (At this time this area was not known as Adams County but as Arapahoe County instead.) This acre of land is located in the southeast corner of the property. It is now the corner of 112th Avenue and Washington Street, on the west side of Washington Street. This transaction was never known as a sale or a gift. It came under the title of a "quit claim." As long as the school district maintained a school in operation, the district would have use of the land.
In 1895, Mr. Webster lost the land to the American National Bank of Denver. This happened because of his inability to pay back a loan he had borrowed earlier. Mr. F. F. Mead bought all the property, except the county road, from the County Treasurer in 1896, by paying the delinquent taxes of 1895.
In 1897, Mr. Webster took the case to the State Supreme Court and eventually won back the property from the bank.
A dilemma is apparent about the land ownership. In 1897, there were two owners of the property. One was Mr. Webster, who regained his land through court action, and the other was Mr. Mead, who already owned the land by paying the 1895 delinquent taxes on the property. Mr. Webster regained the position of sole ownership, however, by paying the 1895 taxes in 1903.
From 1903 through March 5, 1920, the property had water disputes, oil claims, and many other ownership problems over delinquent taxes. A signigicant date of the Webster School, located on the southeast corner of the farm, was March 5, 1920, when Mary Webster received the one acre of land from R. G. Webster. In December of the same year, the school district relinquished control of this one acre. Mary gained control of the land just ten months after she acquired its ownership.
The school district seemed to have second thoughts about letting Mary have control of the land, and on December 21, 1920, a complaint was raised by B. F. Sedbrook and School District #12, Adams County. The complaints stated the school district still had a right to claim interest in the property. Mary, however, maintained that all the defendants’ claims were "wholly unfounded and illegal." On January 6, 1921, the court agreed with Mary and all the rights belonging to the one acre were again returned to her.
In 1929, David J. Freeburgh became the owner of the acre. He became the owner of the land only, for Mary Webster had sold the school building to Clareance G. Freeburg with the understanding he would remove
David Freeburgh lost the property because of taxes he owed in 1936. The County Treasurer became the owner of the acre in 1937, and sold it to Adams County for $4.55, the amount of delinquent taxes due for 1936.
David Freeburgh was able to redeem the land in 1939, for $9.60, from the County Treasurer. He then sold the property to Margaret Snow in the same year. The warranty deed stated Mrs. Snow would pay only for the land and not the back taxes, which was Mr. Freeburgh’s responsibility.
Margaret Snow sold the property to Augusta Schutt, who was a former student in the school and is shown in the picture, in 1940. Mrs. Schutt lost the property to taxes to a man named Carl R. Smith, but she was able to redeem the property in 1941, from the County Treasurer. Theodore and Dorothy Elizabeth Swanson received the property through a gift deed from Augusta Schutt in 1942. They kept the property for three years.
Lloyd Wood gained the property and held the deed for less than a year. The next owner became Gertrude Levy in 1947.
In 1947, it came to the attention of the County Treasurer, Mr. Ben H. Taylor, that in 1896 or 1897, as mentioned earlier, there were two owners at one time. Mr. Taylor solved the problem by the cancellation of the certificate of ownership of F. F. Mead. Thus Mr. Webster was the sole owner once and for all back in 1897.
In 1953, Mrs. Dorothea Rice Kearn sold the eastern one- half acre to Claude E. Cantwell. Mr. Cantwell, besides owning the eastern portion, was given the right to use the well on the western half.
In 1954, there arose a dispute over oil and mineral rights. Mr. H. L. Hunt was the eventual owner of both. Mr. Hunt was the nationally known oilman from Texas.
Dr. Carlson built the Northglenn Veterinary Clinic, P.C. on this property. The well, which Claude Cantwell had rights to, was still in existence. In 1963, the pump house, which covered the well, burned down.
The story of the pump-house is very exciting. As an observer, you could safely have watched the happenings from a vantage point across the street. First, there were the sounds of sirens in the distance. The sirens brought little attention until it became apparent the sirens were drawing quite near. As an observer, had you rushed to your back. yard to see what was happening, you would have seen black smoke rising from the back portion of the clinic and looked around, quite oblivious to what was happening in his back yard. You then saw the black, curling smoke rising in the air and hurried to the scene of excitement.
During the years 1953 to 1964, the eastern portion of the acre had various enterprises on the property. At one time there was a cafe. This building was later used by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In the end, it was a vacant lot.
In 1964, Dr. and Mrs. Plese bought the northern half of the one-half acre. That same year Dr. Please built a professional building on the one-fourth acre of land. Following his death, his dental suite became an insur- ance office. The building also has a barber shop and an income tax office.
Mrs. Plese bought the southern one-fourth acre in 1971, from Standard Oil Company of California, reuniting the eastern half acre under one ownership.
The acre, owned at one time by Mr. Webster, then con- veyed to the school district, then subsequently owned by many persons, now has a secure future. The property both eastern and western portions, are well established community businesses. It appears they will continue in that direction.
Dr. R. H. Carlson
Mr. & Mrs. Casey Jones
Ms. Dorothy Swanson
Mr. Earl Stonehocker
Mr. Walt Stonehocker
Ms. Bertha Heid
Mr. Ed Whytal
Mr. Stanley Carlson
Ms. Virginia Carlson
Mr. Kurt Connor
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