Ben Quick Ranch
Benjamin Quick, one of the first settlers of Upper West Plum Creek, contributed much to this region. In 1860 he drove a wagon west with enough provisions to last two years. They came from Missouri, wife Mary (Jackson) and family arrived in Douglas County in the summer of that year. They settled in an old cabin near the Bear Canon church while proving up the homestead on the land that remained theirs well into the next century. The log cabin which he later used for a barn was their first home on their land. Ben served as witness to neighbors proving their homesteads; they include the names; Cantril, Kinner, Davis, Robinson and others. In approximately 1867 he built a frame house, which too many was putting on style for only when one prospered in the wilderness could one afford such luxury.
Fort Washington, built in 1868, was located in his back yard and was used as protection from Indian attack. In 1884 his finest achievement was to build a stone house of Rhyolite, which was quarried on his property. The stone was also used to build a stone fence around the yard. Mr. Quick’s land was irrigated with a dike and reservoir. Work on the dike had started in 1886. In this year he also donated four acres of his land for the Glen Grove School, known as school district No. 6, which he organized along West Plum Creek. As you view the stone house look southwesterly to the top of the hill and you can see the cemetery overlooking his homestead, which he donated for other homesteaders in the valley.
He was said to be a very generous man who shared his prosperity with others in the community. The Castle Rock Journalof September 1888 ran this article when Mr. Quick ran for office:
“THE PROHIBITION CANDIDATES; Benjamin Quick, the nominee for Representative is a native of Ohio and was born in 1828. In 1844 he moved to Missouri where he lived until 1861 when he came to Colorado and settled in Douglas County, and has resided in this County ever since. He is therefore and old timer. He lives at Glen Grove where he is engaged in farming and stock raising. He is well acquainted with the needs of the county, and if elected, will no doubt prove the right man in the right place.”
In 1898 Mr. Quick purchased additional property, adding 120 acres which was said to be near Larkspur. In a newspaper article from 1899 Benjamin was referred to as one of the “heaviest taxpayers on the county.” He raised cattle and horses, grew crops of hay and more, and did his share of prospecting. He also was involved in the Douglas County Bank and the First National Bank of D.C. as a Director. In 1905 he was able to receive phone service as the West Plum Creek lines were completed. In May of 1905 the newspaper reported that Mr. and Mrs. Quick had returned from southern California where they had spent the winter; they brought oranges and lemons back with them. That same year, in November, the same local paper reported that once again the couple would leave for the winter, this time going to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, for the good effects that the healing waters there could provide.
It was February of 1915 when Benjamin Quick died, at the age of 90, after suffering with pneumonia for a week. The Record Journal printed an obituary of Mr. Quick’s life summing up with: Thus the career of a sturdy pioneer is ended. A life full of activity, spanning nearly a century, cannot be adequately described in a few short paragraphs; but his work in breaking the way for civilization into the wilderness of the west will furnish a lasting monument to his name, and long will he be remembered among those who have known him, because of the sterling qualities of his character.
Thanks to the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection. U.S. Census records, Biographical Record, Clara McClure Turner’s history presentation, the book “Douglas County A historical Journey” and the book “Larkspur ‘76ers.
Drawing made after 1867. Ben and Mary oversee their ranch. The hill behind the house holds the Quick/Glen Grove cemetery. On the other side of the hogback is Perry Park. This drawing looks west.
Ben Quick Residence from the south side. Notice the Rhyolite used on the entire house as well as the fence in the forefront.
Benjamin Quick’s brothers – Doc, Cornelius & unknown
Ben Quick is pictured center right side.
Harriet Quick Skelton