THE GOLDEN RIVER
ON THIS PAGE - 2017-4:  Thelma Carson’s notes     Pioneer Families: Phelps, Irvin, Carson, Wynn NOTES Pioneer Families:  Phelps, Irvin, Carson and Wynn These are some old notes found among my grandmother (Carson, mother’s side) stuff.  It seems similar if not identical to something I have read in a published book on Pioneers in San Juan County, NM.     Excerpt: Orange Phelps (named after his parents’ home in Orange County, Ireland) and Elizabeth Hazelton were married in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, in the early 1850s and headed west to California.  The Phelps party, prospecting for gold, then moved to Colorado settling briefly in Denver and, in 1861, the Animas City area (north of Durango) - where the party was trapped by hard winter and almost perished.  They later lived in the Purgatory River area (by Trinidad) where they raised cattle. In 1875, the Phelps settled in the San Juan Valley, homesteading 160 acres approximately 3 miles north of what is today Bloomfield.  Their first home was made of logs hewn with a broad axe.  The roof was of strong poles coated with a heavy layer of clay.  A good cellar ws dug.  Their first crop was put in with a cow and ox, and the wheat was threshed with a flail, then made into flour by a hand grinder.  Orange Phelps buildt the first water wheel that was placed in the San Juan River for irrigation purposes.  The Phelps family raised cattle, wheat, produce, and grains - which they sold, along with butter and eggs, to the miners at Silverton.  They transported their goods to Silverton by mule train during the summer months.  A versatile pioneer, he was also a tanner and shoemaker - valuable items in the barter economy of the area at the time. Later, the Phelps family moved to Junction City, close to today’s Graham Road.  One of the Phelps was postmaster at the Junction City Post Office. Orange and Elizabeth Phelps had four daughters and two sons, born during the 1860s and 70s who accompanied them on their moves before settling in the San Juan Valley.  Janie Phelps told tales of additional trips to California by wagon along the way. In the 1880s, four Carson brothers arrived in the San Juan Valley.  Their family had settled in Canada after immigrating from Ireland in the 1860s.  When grown, the brothers left Canada and made their way south, prospecting, trapping, hunting and working for the railroad.  Carson City, Colorado was the site of a gold strike the brothers made.  They later sold their interest to a mining company and moved to the San Juan Valley.  There two of the brothers, William and Christopher (Kit) met and married two Phelps daughters (Sara Janie and Ema Nettie.  The young couples settled down, farming the land along the San Juan River.  The each had five children, descendants of whom are still in the area. William Carson, besides being a farmer and merchant, was an inventor.  He invented an early version of the washing machine.  However, while in Chicago arranging for a patent and sale of teh design, he died unexpectedly and the washing machine plans disappeared.  Willliam, as a merchant, traded with the Navajos setting an example for future Carson generations. Fred A. Carson, William’s oldest son (1887-1957) born in Farmington right after it was founded, carried on that tradition.  He became one of the areas early Traders on the Navajo reservation, owing a trading post south of Gallup and later Oljato in Arizona.  Farmington, however, was always the home town of this trading family.  Fred married Elsie Arden Irvin, daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne Irvin Sr and Lavina Irvin.  They had two children. The Irvins lived in Junction City not far from the Carson home in the 1880s.  An early NM pioneer family, the Irvins had lived in the Gallup area and then near Silver City during the days of the Apache Wars.  They had known Geronimo before he was captured and were instrumental in securing his eventual release. Fred Carson Jr (1915-1973) married Thelma Lucille Wynn [my grandmother] (1918-) daughter of Raymond and Annalene Wynn. Fred and Thelma owned trading posts at Nazlini, Naschitti, Oljeto, Toadlina and Dulce.  Farmington was the family’s home base, as with many trading families.  The family lived in town during the school year while the husband/father ran the store.  Later, managers in place, Carson served on the Farmington Police Commission, the City Master Planning Board, and the Commissionon Indian Affairs. Thelma Carson’s notes I am including these notes because someone in the Farmington area or beyond might find them useful.  Family history is not usually interesting to most people unless someone is doing research for personal reasons, a book or to pin down family lineages.  My grandmother, Thelma Carson, wrote these notes down in a notebook, using a pencil which will fade over time. Thomas Wynn and Sally Count came into Iuka, Mississippi, from someplace in Canada.  Daddy was English, Welsh and Irish, the Welsh coming from the Wynns and the English from the Counts.  Here they raised cotton.  I have heard Daddy tell of the Negro field hands and of his Negro M[a]mmy.  Here they had a family of seven children.  Thomas was a school teacher and wrote some fine verse.  When Daddy was nine years old they came to Farmington - stopping off in Texas for a period of time (I believe Dumas).  They arrived in Farmington in 1906.  There were five brothers and sisters [that] came around this time.  I do not know if they came at the same time or not.  They were J.C., Bent, Dolly, Laura Belknop and Thomas.  Thomas (Daddy’s father) was in bad health and died in 1912.  When they first came to Farmington they lived on Vine Avenue (either [in] the old Howard house or the one next to it. When Mom and Daddy were married they were both working at the Navajo Methodist Mission.  Mom was supposed to be in charge of the kitchen and dining room.  She said the school teachers would eat anything the Navajos cooked and she didn’t know how to cook so the Indian girls made all the bread, etc., while she pretended she had.  They thought she was a good cook. They were married in the Methodist parsonage in Aztec.  Jim Wynn and Grace Locke (who were later married) were their witnesses.  Mr. Johnson got them a farm on what is now 20th street.  I was born here.  How Daddy hated that farm! His fir job was on the farm at the “Bundy Place.”  Mr. Bundy was a Methodist minister.   One time they had Mom and Dad stay at their place while they took a trip.  Mom told about Daddy going out to milk and throwing a corn cob at the pig and killing it.  She also found a bottle of Sovereigner whiskey upon the mantle and drank it.  They hated to see the Bundies come home. Daddy told of going to the horse races in Gallup and betting his horse and saddle and having to walk home.  They walked with some wagons.  They had their dog with them.  The people let the dog ride but not the men. My first memories are when I was four.  We lived in a little white frame house just off of Behrend.  Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Joe lived in a 2 story brick house on the corner.  I remember that Daddy kept bees here.  They could swarm all over him and not sting him, but they grabbed me every time they could.  We had a swing made of a wire cable and old tire.  Orian and I had a tree house.  He also had a billy goat and cart.  We would ride in the car clear downtown and right into the grocery stores.  We lived here when I started to school, which was the old brick building on the hill.  Mrs. Swinburne was my first teacher.  Louise was born in the living room of this house.  I remember we had Mrs. Blackburn (an Indian woman) to help during this time.  I remember coming out the next morning and Mom was in bed on the couch and there was the baby in the clothes basket. From here we moved to behind the Farmington Drug Store (corner of Orchard and Animas) while our house below town was built.  Daddy hauled the blocks from an old mission on the bluffs.  He paid $10 for them.  That area was all willows and sage brush at that time.  He made all the roads with his teams. I was seven, Orion eight, and Louise 2 when we moved down there.  Marene was born three years later. J. Allen Johnson was born in Sullivan, Indiana.  As a young man he had T.B. and the doctors didn’t expect him to live.  He obtained a job helping the Mexicans herd sheep.  He lived in a tent summer and winter.  He not only was completely cured but lived to be 97 years old. He returned to Goshen, Indiana where he married Anna Cowan.  They came to Gallup,  New Mexico where he and his brother, Tom, ran a meat market.  While here they brought a ranch south of Gallup still know as the Johnson Ranch.  They also ran cattle by Silver City.  Later they moved to Farmington and lived on Orchard Street.  Grandpa and Mr W.A. Hunter built the Hunter Merc building which was a general mdse store.  Later it was the First National Bank building and then became Stirling Furniture. He and his two brothers, Rom and Murray, bought extensive acreage on the Piedra River northeast of Pagosa.  Their ranch was next to the Toner Ranch.  The meadows where they ran their cattle is still know as the “Johnson Meadows.” The Johnsons adopted Mom in Gallup while running the butcher shop.  Her mother, Mary Elizabeth Vogel, worked for the Johnsons in their home.  Mr. Vogel, George Vogel, a carpenter by trade, also a miner, had come into Gallup to work in the coal mines.  The mines shut down and he left to find work.  He was never heard from again - possibly he was killed by the Indians.  Mom was baptised in the Catholic church.  I went to the Catholic church after I was married and talked to the priest.  I found this record: Certificate of Baptism, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Gallup, New Mexico.  This is to certify that:  Mary Elizabeth Vogel, child of George Vogel, Born in Gallup, New Mexico, on the 22nd day of July, 1895.  Baptized on the 1st [?] day of March 1896.  According to the rite of the Roman Catholic Church by the Reverend Father Geo. J. Juillard.  The sponsors being:  Ino Benz, Annie Shaffer as appears from the baptism registrar of this church.  Dated April 21, 1945 (when Thelma Carson got it).  Vol 1 page 1208, No. 3.  Hesse OFM Pastor R.C.F. Order of Franciscan monks.  Seal Church of Sacred Heart, Gallup, New Mexico, Franciscan fathers. Adoption of Thelma’s mother: As far as the actual adoption goes, there is much conflict in stories.  All of the time I was growing up I was told that Mom didn’t know she was adopted until after she and Daddy were married, and her adopted mother had died.  They supposedly went to a performance where a seer demonstrated his ability.  As they went in Mom wrote upon a slip of paper “What was my adopted mother trying to tell me when she died?”  He supposedly replied from the stage “In your home you have a picture of her.  Look behind the frame and you will find the answer.”  When they looked there was Mrs. Johnson’s will.  In order to make it legal she had to say “to my adopted daughter.”  In later years I was told that Mom found it out when they went to New York.  Mrs. Johnson’s sister said “And this is the little girl you adopted.”  At other times I was told that she always knew it and was told of the slights she received from Allene Johnson and other children because of it.  I do not know where the discrepancy comes in.  I do know that Mom was always very hurt and very sensitive over it.  Whether the first story was true and later she thought of it so much that she blamed her childhood hurts upon it or whether the second story was true, if so, why the first? Anyhow, it seems to be fairly clear that she had three brothers, one whose name was Clarence and two sisters unknown.  Her mother’s name was Mary Elizabeth Vogel.  Mom was three years old when the Johnsons adopted her.  Not long before he died, I wrote Mr. Johnson and asked what he could tell me about the Vogels.  He replied that at the time they took her they promised that she was never to know she was not their own and he was sorry but could not tell me anything.  I believe she was adopted in Gallup.  There are still some Vogels (old time family) living there. She [Thelma’s mother] told me of living on Orchard Street and of Tom Johnson living on Orchard St. at [address not furnished].  She remembered the ranch at the Piedra [river] and told of her mother and she making a trip up there in the buggy and her mother whipping the wolves off with a buggy whip.  She had been just a small girl back then. Many years later when she was around 69 or 70 we took her back up the Piedra and she went right to her old house, first describing it to us.  When I was a small girl I remember going to the brick house on Orchard St. with her.  The house had been rented out, her adopted mother was dead and Mr. Johnson was living in Golden, Colorado.  She found a silver bowl lying upon the cellar steps which she said had been her mother’s.  The house was a dark red brick with a wooden front porch two steps up. There were steps going down to the cellar from the livingroom.  It was the second from the alley. Mrs. Johnson died the first year after Mom and Daddy were married.  Shortly thereafter h remarried a woman named Mary? I remember staying with them in Golden when Mom went into the hospital in Denver for a goiter operation.  Louise was two and I 5.  I was very afraid of her as she was very stern and very stingy.  To get to their house you crossed a deep arroya from the street car tracks.  They lived in a colonial style house on a hill with big rolling lawn and hammock under some large trees.  They kept geese.  I was terrified of the gander as would hiss very loudly and bite you[r] legs every chance he got.  We were here on Easter Sunday. Grandpa [dyed] goose eggs for us and put them in a nest in one of his old sstraw hats for us.  This was the first time I ever saw dentures.  Imagine how horrified I was to see him, in his night gown and cap, take his teeth out and place them in a glass upon his dresser. When he came to visit us I remember mostly his saying “Children should be seen and not heard.”  We dreaded his visits because we couldn’t talk, and he drank a pint of hot water upon [rising] and expected us to do likewise. He was a strong church member and I can remember going to church in Golden with him.  After I was married he sent the girls several nice books of Bible stories.  Just before he died he sent me the pictures I have of him, and of we children when small. His body was turning stone when he died and he had one limb amputated and was scheduled to have the other removed.  He was a very nimble and vigorous man.  When he was 75 he wrote Mom that he might come to Albuquerque as he was “thinking of going into business there”! I remember staying with Aunt Eunice (see below) in Durango.  She was an ambitious sort of person and owned a rooming house just a door or two north of the Depot, called the Wynn Rooming House.  She was tall, black hair, wore glasses, very quick in her movements and always laughing.  Thomas Wynn and Sally Count.  Their children, with the earlier dates listed seeming to be birth dates: Flora Etna Wynn, (Flynt) Sept 1, 1883.  Died July 27, 1926.  Buried Farmington. Ethel Itilla or Stilla Wynn (Clarence Dean) May 6, 1885.  Died March 24, 1927.  Buried Farmington. Eunice Gertrude Wynn. (Bill Emerson) Dec. 17, 1887.  Buried Foster, Oregon Frederick Cornelius Wynn.  Dec. 28, 1891.  Buried Foster, Oregon.  Fred married Ruth La Brier.  She had two girls by a previous marriage,  Ruth and Elizabeth. Eula Beatrice Wynn  Buried Camus, Washington. June 10, 1936. Raymond Carmack Wynn. May 2, 1894. Died July 5, 1942.  Buried Farmington.  This was my mother’s mother’s father talked about in her notes here as Daddy.  Raymond married Anallene Johnson.  Children:  Orian Thomas;  Thelma Lucille; Faye Louise; Edith Marene.  Edith Belle Wynn.  Jan 9, 1897.  Buried Eureka, California.  Etna and Flyn (see above) Children: Onie  -married Buck Lassater, children Arron Lee and Jennell Olin - married Jackie Lassater (first wife)  Second wife name?  One boy, name? Winnie - Bob Smith Eula - Bod Franklin.  Children Oran and Arthur. Allen - unmarried Allene -- ?? adopted children Gertrude - Theo Gogoline (two boys - names?) Leatha - Roy Raper
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