Saturday, March 12, 2011

Narrative By Eldred Bennett Trezise:Part 1 Coming to America

As promised I am posting this story in a serial format. The story is a collection of memories written by my Grandmother Pricilla's brother Eldred. When I was growing up my parents and I visited him on numerous occasions. He had a very impressive train set up that seemed to fill his basement and had multiple trains running at the same time. He also was an accomplished painter. For my mother and father's 40th wedding anniversary he presented them a beautiful painting of the Rocky Mountains during aspen. The painting still hangs in our home. I want to give credit to the web site this is published on as it looks like one of Uncle Eldred's children originally posted it. The credit follows the post. Please respect the copyright of this material in this and all further portions of the letters.


The Trezise family originally came from Cornwall England and settled in Ishpeming, Michigan. My father, Edward John came over to the United States with a brother. He left his wife, Grace and four children in England while he searched for work and established himself in this country. The children left in England were: Elizabeth Mary (Polly) who was born 6/8/1881; Edward John who was born 12/13/1882 [should be 30 Aug 1883—SCM]; Priscilla Jane who was born 1/23/1885; and Charlotte Anne who was born 6/11/1886. A baby sister, Priscilla Anne was born on 9/2/1882 and died 12/13/1882. Edward worked for the Michigan Central Railroad. My father sent for my mother and brother and sisters and they came to Ishpeming. I was born in Ishpeming 11/23/1893. My brother, Lewis Henery was also born in Ishpeming on May 8, 1895.

Shortly after my brother Lewis was born, my father followed the Gold Rush to the Klondike in British Columbia. While there, he met a man named Johnny Brown and they became good friends. My father returned to Michigan and moved the family by covered wagon to Leadville, Colorado where it was rumored they had discovered vast veins of gold. Johnny Brown went to Leadville ahead of my father. The prospectors arrived in Leadville by the hundreds, until it became a metropolis of 14,000 people. Many were living in tents, shacks, dugouts, and lean-tos built of wood and canvas. All of the stories about the vast wealth to be found there was only half the truth. Many of the people there starved to death and died of malnutrition.

My sister, Dora Ellen was born while we were living in Adlaide Park near Alma, Colorado on March 8, 1897. Heating was done with wood and lighting with candles and oil lamps. A huge fire took place and wiped out the whole mountain side. The mountains were covered with thick timber at the time and the tents, shacks, lean-tos, sheds and houses all were consumed. The only part left was the downtown section. We lived in a house near the Matchless Mine when my brother Thomas Wesley was born on December 21, 1898.

One has only to walk through any of the six cemeteries located there and note the dates on the markers to realize how very young the people were when they passed away in those days. There were a few stories going around about someone striking it rich, including the Tabor family. If the Tabors had diamonds, jewels, mansions, and fantastic wealth, I did not see it. Horace Tabor died when I was only six years old and I do not remember a lot about him.

1 comment:

  1. This is a narrative that covers the history of the family of Edward John Tresize and their immigration to America from England. It was originally posted on but is not avail. May have been posted by his children.