Jackson Creek Ranch / Grout
Newton Grout came to Colorado Territory, from Maine, with the brother of Upton Treat Smith in 1869. These two families were united by marriage when Newton’s sister, Sarah Elizabeth, married Upton. Coming first to mine, as many people did, these men settled down to become successful ranchers in Douglas County.
Newton quickly became known for his carpentry skills and he built many buildings in the area. His building skills included the Perry Ranch, now known as Perry Park, when in 1871 he built a home, barn and servants quarters for the Perry family. 1872 is when the Bear Canon Methodist church was finished; it became a place for the upper and lower West Plum Creek communities to gather. The church is now known as St. Phillips. Then the Lone Tree School was built, as well as the Upton T. Smith, Whitman, Ratcliff and Dillon homes.
On May 2, 1880 Newt and Pearl (James) were married. They came to have six children; Robert C., Margaret L., Leo A., Lenore A., Newton S., and Pearle E. Newton’s father, Robert Clark Grout came to live with his son after 1880. The 1880 U.S. Census showed that Robert lived with his daughter, Mrs. U.T. Smith, for a while.
Robert C. Grout was also a carpenter, but he became known for other abilities which included a deep interest in astrology. He built, from his own design, a telescope which was sold after his death, June of 1899, to the Colorado A & M College and it was used for 100 years after they acquired it. A newspaper article from the Castle Rock Journalof February 1900 mentions the telescope in hopes that the local high school would purchase it for $500.
“…the telescope manufactured and owned by Mr. R. C. Grout, lately deceased and a proposition that has been made for its transfer to this place. The lens are of great power and are fitted with 14 eye pieces and clock work to keep it in position on any one of the heavenly bodies on which it may be fixed, and is otherwise perfect and complete in every detail. For the housing of the glass Mr. Grout constructed a building, the roof of which may be detached & swung, to one side when the glass is in use and as easily replaced. Believing that the possession of this instrument would be a wonderful stimulus to the interest of our school work and also that it would add a very attractive feature to our county high school (as we should be the only high school in the state having such facilities for astronomical investigation) the writer has sought and obtained from Mr. N.S. Grout,… reasonable terms and terms which would seem to be within the easy reach of this community.”
Newton Grout’s ranch was known for its bountiful orchards of small fruit trees, grapes, gooseberries, strawberries, blackberries and currants among which other fruits were grown. Many more crops were grown on the ranch including; corn, turnips, watermelons, wheat and oats. He also raised horses, cattle and pigs. He took milk, from his dairy cattle, to the creamery and he shipped veal to the city markets by train. The Castle Rock Journalof August 1894 stated the following:
“A day of both pleasure and profit can be spent at the home of Mr. N. S. Grout, which is located on Jackson creek almost under the shadows of the mountains. He is what might be called an independent ranchman, since everything that is needed to supply a bountiful table is raised by himself and family. The store rooms contain meats and canned fruits in abundance, while the garden is filled with all kinds of vegetables, including melons; and tame cherries, black berries, raspberries, currants, apples, &c., &c., are successfully raised by him. If one should tire of wandering over the ranch and studying agriculture, they can by the kindness of Mr. Grout, Sr., study astronomy or view the sun’s spots through a fine telescope, which is one of many specimens to be seen of his wonderful mechanical skill and ingenuity”.
It would seem that Newton Grout’s days would be filled with family, ranch and carpentry activity, but it was found that he also had time, over the years, to; Take the County census, hunt, participate on the Court House Committee, store ice for the summer, serve as treasurer for the Lone Tree school district, help with the building of the County Wagon Road, serve as election judge for Glen Grove and hold parties and dances at the ranch.
Newton died of pneumonia in 1901 at the age of 58 years. The Castle Rock Journal told of his sudden death.
“Sudden Death of an old settler comes as a great shock to his friends. Died- At his residence on Jackson Creek, Jan. 14, Newton S. Grout, of pneumonia. Mr. Grout was sick but a short time, the announcement of his death coming as a shock to his many friends and acquaintances here and at Sedalia. He was a native of Maine, but has been a citizen of Douglas county since the early 70s. He served in the army during the war of the rebellion and was a member of the local Post G.A.R. A widow and five children survive him
Mr. Grout was 58 years old, his birthday having been less than a month ago…. The oldest son, Robert, has been attending the Preparatory school at Boulder, and was called home by telegraph after his father’s death. The funeral occurred Thursday morning at St. Phillips church, Bear Canon. Being attended by a large number of neighbor’s friends and family.”
Life at the ranch continued on and in 1906 a well of over 200 feet was drilled. What happened with the ranch is not clear, but Margaret married George H. Stewart in 1908 and then the 1910 U.S. Census showed that Leo A. Grout, a son of Newton’s, still lived in the Glen Grove area. The local paper, the Record Journal, told of Mrs. Newton Grout, Pearl, coming back to the area from her home in Denver, in April of 1922, to attend a funeral and to visit her daughter Margaret.
This photo is thought to be taken between 1905 & 1915 when the Stewart family owned the ranch.
Thanks to the book “Douglas County a Historical Journey” by Marr, Clara McClure Turner’s 1976 presentation, Douglas County Marriages 1864-1925 and the book “Our Heritage the People of Douglas County”, the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection and Ancestry.com US census.