John Barkely Dawson Colfax County, New Mexico

John Barkely Dawson, a rancher and cattleman, formerly of Colfax County, New Mexico, but now living in Colorado, was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in 1831. He passed through this Territory in 1853 en route to California, attracted by the discovery of gold on the Pacific coast. He spent the winter of 1859 in New Mexico and drove cattle through the Territory from Texas to Colorado until 1867, when he located in Colfax County, on the Vermejo Creek. He purchased from the Maxwell Land Grant Company twenty-three thousand acres of land, known as the Dawson ranch, and the Dawson coal fields and Dawson railroad were named in his honor. He continued ranching until 1900, when he sold out to the Dawson Fuel Company and removed to Colorado. He now owns a large ranch in Routt County, Colorado. He was born a typical frontiersman, and is now located one hundred and twenty miles from a railroad. He left Kentucky when a youth with absolutely nothing, and in the midst of an active business career, in which he has had to contend with all the hardships, trials and vicissitudes of pioneer life, he has steadily worked his way upward, and from 1902 until 1904 was president of the Citizens' National Bank, of Raton, New Mexico.

Mr. Dawson has been married three times. His third wife was Miss Lavina Jefferson, of Burlington, Iowa, a daughter of an old Virginian family. Their children are: Augustus G.; Si M.; Bruce A.; Manley M.; L. Jefferson, who died in 1888; John B., who died in 1888; Edwina, the wife of Frederick Whitney, of Waterloo, Iowa; Laura, the wife of Earl Wilkins, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Henry M. Dawson, who died in 1887.

Manley M. Dawson, secretary and treasurer of the Raton Electric Light & Power Company, at Raton, New Mexico, was born May 20, 1874, in Colfax County, on a ranch near the Vermejo creek, and is the son of John Barkley Dawson. He was educated in the public schools of Raton, and in Missouri State University at Columbia, Missouri, while eventually he was graduated in law at the Northern Indiana Normal School, at Valparaiso, Indiana. He practiced his profession for two years in Denver, Colorado, and afterward engaged in the sheep business with his brothers for a short time. Returning to Raton, New Mexico, in 1898, he resumed the practice of law, in which he continued until elected probate clerk of Colfax County in 1900, which position he filled for two years. Upon his retirement from office he became cashier of the Citizens' National Bank of Raton, serving from 1902 until 1904, when he became secretary and treasurer of the Raton Electric Light & Power Company, which is his present business connection.

Mr. Dawson was married June 29, 1896, to Miss Grace C. Strong, a daughter of Albert M. Strong, of Joliet, Illinois, and they have one child, Bernice. Mr. Dawson belongs to the Masonic fraternity, having taken the degrees of the blue lodge and of Aztec Commandery No. 5, K. T. He is also a member of Raton Lodge No. 865, B. P. O. E.

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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