Written by Dolores Plested. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”
The Plested Family has been active in the business, cultural, and civic life in Trinidad since Rev. William Plested of New York City brought his family to Trinidad in 1882. Rev. Plested suffering from consumption hoped to regain his health in the west.
The family consisted of his wife, Alice Gordon Plested, seven year old Alice, six year old Edith, four year old William and three year old Howard. They lived in a three-room house on what now is West Kansas while building their home at 816 Pine St. (still standing). Later Rev. Plested homesteaded a tract of land above Victoria Square.
Rev. Plested served as deputy clerk of the County Court of Las Animas County and U.S. Land Attorney. Just before his death in 1893, he built and operated the Sunflower Creamery near Hoehne.
Rev. and Mrs. Plested were very active in the First Methodist Episcopal Church, then located on the present site of the Court House. The parsonage there was their gift to the church. When their youngest son, Howard died at the age of twelve, Mrs. Plested, (who had inherited some money from her father) gave $10,000 to the Methodist Missions in his memory. The sum helped to found the Howard Plested Memorial Secondary school in Meerut, India, which has grown into an outstanding educational institute.
William Gordon Plested and his sisters attended Tillotson Academy and after his fathers death, they moved to attend Denver University.
Edith and Alice married and never returned to live in Trinidad but William came back in 1899 to manage his mother’s business affairs and remained in Trinidad the rest of his life. He was Clerk of the District Court from 1903 to 1907, and later was cashier of the International State Bank from 1911 to 1926.
He became interested in the coal mining as early as 1905, and was associated with Charles Beuchat Sr. in acquiring controlling interest in the Bear Canyon Coal Company in 1925 which they built into a successful independent operation.
Plested married Nellie Bernice Nicholls, sister of Mrs. Jesse Norhtcutt and had five children, Bernice, William, Evelyn, Dolores and Alice. Each grew up in Trinidad and graduated from Trinidad High School.
Mr. and Mrs. Plested were very active in the musical life of Trinidad. Mrs. Plested was an accomplished pianist and organist and Mr. Plested as a vocalist. Mr. Plested was active the community and civic organizations and was a member of various regional and national coal mining associations, as well as director of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce. He died January 11, 1958 and Mrs. Plested, June 28, 1964.
Bernice Plested made a career of teaching at Thatcher, Sopris and Trinidad. She was married to Glen Hancock, and after a divorce, to John J. Herring, both are now deceased.
William Gorden Plested Jr. entered law and was president and general counsel of the Federal Land Bank of Wichita, until his retirement in 1973. He married Elora Lonergran, who died in 1980, they had two children, Judith Neher of Boulder, Co., and Dr. William Gorden Plested III of Los Angeles, Ca.
Evelyn Plested who died October 7, 1978 married Thomas Delbert East Jr. of Trinidad who died October 23, 1950. They had two sons, Thomas and Gorden. She was a leader in civic affairs in Trinidad receiving many honors and awards for her work. She worked for the Chronicle News and for twenty years for the Selective Service Board.
Dolores Plested made a career of journalism, working on the Chronicle News in Trinidad, The New York Times, KMYR Radio Station, then Bureau Chief in Denver for Fairchild Publications of New York City. Through the years she kept active ties with Trinidad, spearheading the drive to acquire Bloom House Museum, and established the 700-member Friends of Historical Trinidad: and was a key figure in establishing the Arthur Mitchell Gallery.
Alice Plested went into stenography working on Time Magazine and at Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital, New York; and on the Navajo Reservation in Window Rock, N.M.
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