Tracing Pagosa’s pioneers, here and abroad


Here are some more notices concerning Pagosa’s pioneers — the information taken from obituaries in The SUN and other early-day Pagosa newspapers.

Mrs. May Johnson was an early-day resident of Edith and Chama. She was born in Philadelphia, Penn., May 21, 1863, and married E. T. Johnson during the early 1880s, when the couple came west. She died Dec. 14, 1932.

Nels Johnson died in Del Norte  Oct. 20, 1945. He wasborn in Malon, Sweden, Jan.16, 1884, and came to the U.S. at the age of 18. He subsequently lived in Chicago, Denver, Leadville, Durango and Pagosa Springs, where he worked in lumber mills, as did many early immigrants to the U.S. from Scandinavian countries.

Philip R. Johnson was born at Marlboro, Vt., Oct. 14, 1892, and died May 32, 1960. At the age of 5, he moved with his family to Kansas, where they resided until 1910, when they moved to Pagosa Springs. He served as Archuleta County Clerk, county judge and clerk of the district court. In 1923, he married Helen Krhanek. They had three children: Norma Rae Johnson, Mrs. Phyllis Gibson and Eldon Johnson. His brother was Charles Johnson.

John “Vic” Johnson was born June 5, 1886, in Jakobstad, Finland. At the age of 17, he came to Archuleta County. He married Clara Bayles and the couple had three children: Hattie, Raymond and Duane. He passed away Feb. 22, 1957.

Elizabeth Jane Howe Jones was born in Indiana Sept. 8, 1840, and died in Archuleta County March 5, 1927. She was the sister of  Wiliiam,  Abe and Phillip Howe. With her parents, she moved to Missouri where she married William Jones. In 1883, they moved to Kansas where her husband died two years later. In 1895, she moved to Archuleta County.

Terrie Nossaman Jones (Sarah Teressa Nossaman) was born Oct. 26, 1888, in Tierra Amarilla, N.M., to Mr. and Mrs. Welch Nossaman. She married Frank M. Jones August 10, 1932, in Tiajuana, Mexico. He died in August of 1936. She passed away in August of 1970.

Andrew William Joy was born July 18, 1890, at Burlington Junction, Mo. In 1908, he moved with his parents to Colorado. In 1924, they came to Pagosa Springs where they opened a grocery store, probably located on the first lot west of the present Archuleta County Courthouse. He passed away July 24, 1936.

Mrs. Ivy Keane was born Feb. 2, 1874, in Castle Rock, Colo., to Charles and Mary Alice Fresh. She lived her childhood at Russel Springs and at Del Norte, Colo. On June 25, 1891, she married Jack Keane at Del Norte. They moved to the Upper Piedra north of Pagosa Springs in 1910 and made their home there for 48 years. She died in August of 1958. Their children were Mrs. Viola Weaver, Mrs. Ivy Robbins, Mrs. Clara Hardman, Mrs. Mary Grimes and Jack Keane.

John (Jack) Keane was born in Richardson, Wisc., May 16, 1867, and died in October of 1936. At the age of 18, he moved to Cotapaxie, Colo., and from there to Del Norte, where he married Ivy Fresh in 1891.

John R. Keane was born Sept. 27, 1913, in Pagosa Springs and died Oct. 3, 1962, in an airplane crash near Lake City, Colo He married Georgina Louise Smith December 24, 1932, and their children were Mrs. Georgia Lou House and John Keane.