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A newspaper man and a dentist figure in Pagosa’s history

Here is more on some of Pagosa Country’s important pioneers.

The editor and founder of the first lasting Pagosa Springs newspaper was Daniel L. Egger. Egger was born at Miltonsburg, Ohio, May 17, 1861, to John and Elizabeth (Bauman) Egger, the seventh of 13 children.

He launched a lifelong newspaper career starting with the Monroe Journal at Woodsfield, Ohio. In 1887, he published The Transcript in Leoti, Kans.; then published the Lane County Herald at Dighton, Kans., for one year. In 1888, he moved to Mulvane, near LaMar, Colo., and founded the Mulvane News. After spending several months in a Denver printing office, he came, in March of 1890, to Pagosa Springs where he founded the Pagosa Springs News.

He personally published The News until 1899, then published the same newspaper jointly with his brother-in-law, Arnold Reef, until 1903. In August of 1903, he founded the Pagosa Springs Observor, which was soon consolidated with the Pagosa Springs Times into the Times-Observor. During 1906, he again published the Observor for a few months. In 1909, he moved to Bayfield and founded the Bayfield Blade. In 1910, he founded the Ignacio Chieftain.

Egger was active in every facet of business, social and economic life in the communities in which he lived. He assumed a prominent role in the incorporation of the Town of Pagosa Springs in 1891 and served in various town and county offices, including as county judge.

In 1885, he married Adele Reef, by whom he had four children; Leroy D., Marie, Helen and Reef. He died of apoplexy Feb. 24, 1922, in Bayfield. Egger relatives still live in the Four Corners area.

Meredith Elkins died in April of 1923, having fallen from the hay mow in the old Kirkpatrick barn north of Bayfield. Mr. Elkins was between 54 and 55 years old and lived in Mancos during most of his long residence in the San Juan Basin. He was famous as a hunting guide and conducted many mountain lion and bear hunts in the Pagosa Springs area, where he made the Arlington Hotel his headquarters.

Dr. Bert Detmer Ellsworth was born Jan. 25, 1881, at Gettysburg, Kans., and died Dec. 27, 1867, in Bellevue, Wash. He graduated from Kansas Wesleyan College in 1904 and taught school for four years. He married Anna Campbell in 1904, a union to which three children were born; Kenneth, Wayne and Elaine.

In 1911, he graduated from the School of Dentistry at Denver University and then moved to Pagosa Springs, where he followed his trade until 1966. Most of the dental apparatus on display at the San Juan Historical Society Museum was donated by Dr. Ellsworth.

Anna Ellsworth. The wife of Dr. Ellesworth, was born May 31, 1885, at Plattsburg, Mo., and died July 5, 1964, at Olympia, Wash.

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