History of Clear Creek and Boulder Valleys


O.L. Baskin & Co. Historical Publishers


Biographical Section


George W. Stratton

            "Among the prominent citizens of Freeland may be mentioned the name of George W. Stratton who fills the bill of Superintendent at the Great Western mine.  He was born in Westminster, Vt. June 15, 1838.  He received an academic education and at the age of nineteen he went to Boston, Mass. where he followed clerking until 1860.  He then emigrated to California where he followed mining and prospecting for a short time, he then wandered over the hills of Nevada and Montana prospecting, but after several years experience in mining, he finally settled down at Salt Lake City, where he opened a livery stable, which he run about one year, and in the fall of 1869 he came to Colorado and located near Mill City, on a ranche, where he remained about two years.  He then moved to Freeland, where he variously engaged for several years.  He then began mining in the famous Freeland mine in company with Mr. Israel Stotts.  They prosecuted the development of this mine about two years; then Mr. Stratton began prospecting, and his labors have been liberally rewarded.  Mr. Stratton owned the extension of the Freeland, which he sold in 1879, for quite a sum of money; but having great faith in the mines around Freeland, he has continued to secure several valuable mines at that place.  Mr. Stratton is a man of ability and good judgment, while his known integrity and honorable record in the past command the confidence of his fellow men and are an index of his future."


John Silvertooth

            “John Silvertooth was among the first immigrants who crossed the plains, and settled in Clear Creek Co.  He was born in Mercer Co., KY June 9, 1821.  He received a good common school education.  He remained at home, upon his father’s farm until 1850, and then removed to Platte Co., Mo., and followed farming until 1860, and in the same spring he came to Colorado, and located at Idaho Springs where for two years in partnership with Mr. Floyd, he ran a general merchandise store.  The he began running, and has continued the business at intervals for the past eighteen years with varied success.  Mr. Silvertooth has never aspired to any high office, but was Deputy Sheriff under W.L. Campbell, and has been Constable for some four or five years in the Idaho District.  Mr. Silvertooth owns a fine ranche on Bear Creek, and has some property in Idaho.  He is a public-spirited man in favor of all measures calculated to advance the best interests of the town and State.


Clarence Stephens

            “Clarence Stephens, who has been identified for the past two years with the mining interest of Colorado, was born in Brooklyn Feb. 14, 1847.  After receiving  a good common-school education, he attended the Columbia Mining School about eighteen months.  After leaving school, in 1865, he was employed by the Patten Water and Gas Pipe Company of Jersey City, N.J. to superintend the laying of piping in Burlington, Vt.; Lock Haven, Penn.; Cohoes, Schenectady and Syracuse, N.Y.; Charlestown and Lowell, Mass.; and a great many other places.  Mr. Stephens came to Colorado in 1877, and located at Mill City where has a brother.  he began mining in 1878 by purchasing a half-interest in the Hugo mine for $4,000 located on Silver Creek where he now owns some fine property connected with the Hugo.  Mr. Stephens is now located in the Banner Mining District where he has a fine ranche, and some of the finest mining property in the State.  Among the finest lodes may be mentioned the Big Chief, Nathan, mammoth, First National, Second National, Fourth National, Oregon, Stephens Chance and Lulu which are all being developed.  He has some fine ore that assays as high as $15,000 per ton.  Mr. Stephens is unmarried, is genial and affable, and no person ever went to him on business, however, unimportant, and failed to meet a courteous reception, and the consideration due one gentlemen to another.”


Barnard Schwartz

            “Mr. Schwartz was born in Germany Sept. 10, 1835.  he received a good common-school education and at a early age he learned the baker’s trade and in 1855, came to America, and after a few months stay in Trenton, N.J. he went to Lehigh, Penn, where he remained until the fall of 1856, when he went to Baltimore, Md., where he worked at his trade until the spring of 1860, when he fell in with the flow of emigration to Pike’s Peak the then El Dorado, and located near Black Hawk, where he opened a bakery, which he run until the spring of 1861.  He then sold out and removed to Idaho Springs, where, for about seventeen years, he was engaged in the grocery and bakery business and in the meantime, developed some very good mines.  In 1878, he sold out his grocery and is now principally engaged in mining and has some fine mining property on Chicago Creek.  Mr. Schwartz is a public-spirited man, and in every way a good citizen.  He was married, in 1860, to Miss Laura Witney, in Minnesota.


Israel Stotts

            “Mr. Stotts, one of the original owners of the famous Freeland mine, was born in Zanesville, Ohio, Sept, 15, 1833.  He was reared on a farm, he received, but little education while at home.  In 1853, he went to Fulton Co., IL where he remained about one year.  In 1854, he traveled across the range into Oregon, where he followed mining for about three years.  In 1857, he returned to Ohio, where he spent a few months with his friends; then returned to Fulton Co., Ill, where he married Miss Ellen Smith, February, 1859; then he moved to Iowa, where he lived until the spring of 1860, when he came to Colorado, and located at Idaho Springs, where be followed gulch mining until May 1861, then he moved his family to Freeland, where he spent most of his time on the Freeland mine.  In 1876 he sold half of the mine to J. M. Dumont for $10,00.  Shortly afterward, he sold the remaining half to Maj. Platt, of Denver, for $25,000, and began work on the Gum Tree Lode, and has a tunnel of 755 feet, and a good ore house.  Mr. Stotts has a good mine and has refused the offer of $100,000 for his mine.  Mr. Stotts is a good, quiet, upright citizen, and an expert miner.



John Sjoquise

            “Mr. Sjoquise is a native of Sweden.  He was born June 13, 1849.  He was reared on a farm and received a common-school education.  He emigrated to America in 1871, and located in Minnesota, where he remained about four months, then he went to Marquette Co., Mich., where he spent about three years, then he went to Canada, but in 1875, returned to Colorado, and located at Georgetown, where he spent two years in mining, and in 1877, he came to Lawson, where he has a commodions building, and is always glad to meet his old friends.  He is unmarried, but has bright prospects for the future.