John Pearson Sr. Colfax County, New Mexico

John Pearson, Sr., deceased, one of the pioneers of Elizabethtown, Colfax County, located in Elizabethtown in May, 1868. He was born at Sunsval, Sweden, July 7, 1848; learned the trade of shoemaker in Sweden; came to the United States in 1866. His first winter here was spent in a Michigan lumber camp, from whence he went down into Indiana, where for six or eight months he worked at his trade. Next we find him in Kansas, employed in railroad construction work, and from there, a few months later, he came to New Mexico and located at Elizabethtown, where he worked on the Maxwell ditch until it was completed. Then he prospected in the Red River district, worked in the Aztec mines for six months, and clerked for Lewis Clark at Placidella Alcalde in Rio Arriba County. Coming back to Elizabethtown, he opened a shoe shop in partnership with Sam Salisbury. Afterward he was in business for himself at Cimarron. In March, 1872, he again returned to Elizabethtown and opened a shoe shop and grocery, being associated in this venture with Herman Froelick. They dissolved partnership in the fall of that year, and Mr. Pearson continued to run the shop in his own name. In December, 1874, he bought Peterson & Hitchcock's store on Willow Gulch; in November, 1880, bought out Charles Rand on Ute Creek, and ran the two stores together. The former he sold in 1882 to Magnus Olson, his uncle, who came with him from Sweden; and then moved back to Elizabethtown, continuing, however, to run the Ute Creek store until 1903. On his return to Elizabethtown in 1882 he formed a partnership with Mr. Froelick, bought the A. F. Meadow building, and conducted both a wholesale and retail business here until 1903. Also during a part of that time he was interested in placer mining. His uncle, Magnus Olson, also interested in mining for some years, died here in 1895.

Mr. Pearson served as school director of Elizabethtown, and for a number of years was postmaster of the town, having been appointed by President Cleveland in February, 1887, and served until 1897. Since September 16, 1903, he resided in Douglas and Lowell, Arizona. He died at Lowell, Arizona, January 23, 1906.

Of his family, we record that his wife, formerly Miss Nephene Mary Guhl, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. She still lives in Elizabethtown. They have had eleven children, of whom three are deceased, namely: Amelia Mary. William Thomas and Walter Edwin. Those living are Nellie Renshaw, wife of James Abreu of Springer: Emma Christina, in Elizabethtown; Charles August, of Raton; John, Jr., Elizabethtown; Harry Guhl, Chilili. New Mexico; Roy Frederick, George Edward and Lillie Nephene, all of Elizabethtown.

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

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