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The Elze's of Colorado

Updated March 21, 2008

The German colony came to Colfax Fremont County, Colorado Territory under the command of Carl Wulstein in August 24, 1869. They paid $250 for transportation from Chicago to Colorado for the purchase of land, tools. stock and for the erection of cabins and town buildings. Each member (under contract for 5 years) was paid $2 per day whether they provided skilled or unskilled labor. Members were not allowed to purchase land until the 5 year period was up and if they abandoned the group, they lost the entire $250. The german colony left Chicago via train with 367 people (supposed to be 250), their 1st destination was St. Louis. From St. Louis they went by rail to Fort Wallace, Kansas. The railroad ended there. Then the german families proceeded by ox and mule (which they had to learn to drive before using) to Pueblo, Colorado, arriving March 17, 1870. They left Pueblo, Colorado on March 18, 1870 and arrived at the site of the colony March 21, 1870. Robert Elze joined the German colony in Colorado in 1881.

THE ELZE FAMILY. Robert Elze came to America to escape the German conscription. Shortly after the German Colony arrived in the valley, Robert and his brother came in from Leadville. He married Martha Ograske, who had come with her parents with the Colony. The children born to them were: Robert, Susie, Otto, Arnold, Charlie, Selma, Bertha, Lena, Gottlieb and Fred. They settled on Breezer Flats and all, including the small children, worked hard. When Robert Sr. was 68, he was working with dynamite, opening an irrigation ditch. An accident caused the loss of his eyesight and the loss of part of a cheek. The only thing that prevented his bleeding to death was his heavy beard. Robert and Martha lived with Otto and Laura until his death at 93 and Martha's death at 86.

Henny Elze

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