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History of the Clyde and Mabel Morey Family

By Children: George, Otto, Margaret, Augusta, Emily, Wilson, Pollyanna, Mary Jane

Excerpt from The Pioneer Book II of Washington County, Colorado
Prepared and published by the Washington County Museum Association, Akron, CO, 1976

Clyde’s mother, Margaret Ann (Huff) Morey, came from Richmond, Virginia. She was born in 1839 and married Clyde’s father in 1859. One of her memories was the firing of the cannons near Richmond during the Civil War. Clyde’s father, Wilson Shannon Morey, was born in 1837 at Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon the marriage to Margaret, they moved to Clearfield, Iowa, and were engaged in farming. To this union were born 11 children, 7 boys and 4 girls. Their names: Ray, Bill, George, Dee, Russell, Otto, Clyde, Viola, Iva, Myrtle, and Bertha. Clyde’s father died in 1931. His mother died in 1903. They helped build the Sugar Beet Factory in Brush, Fort Morgan, and Las Animas. They were employed by the Dyre Construction Company. Their job was steel construction and installing of machinery. When the smoke stack (200 feet high) was completed, Clyde, along with others, climbed to the top and looked down. They didn’t stay too long. Clyde and George, being out of work, then moved to Telluride, Colorado, and worked in the Gold Stamping Mill. It was here that he lost the thumb and index finger of his left hand. The Naval Fleet was on display in Los Angeles, California. This attracted Clyde and George. However, the great earthquake in San Francisco stopped them from reaching their destination. Stopping in Las Vegas, they went by stage to Hart, Nevada. This was where the new gold strike was. However, in1911, they returned to Brush, Colorado. They were soon to homestead in Washington County.

Mabel’s mother, Augusta Wilhelmina (Johnson) Olson, was born in Sweden in 1874. She married Mabel’s father in 1892. Mabel’s father, Alfred Nels Olson, was born in 1862 on an island off the coast of Sweden called Oland. In 1882, he came to the United States, settling around the Great Lakes area. In 1892, he returned to Sweden for his bride. They arrived in America in 1893 and attended the World’s Fair in Chicago. They moved to Charlevoix, Michigan, living on a farm. To this union were born 4 children: Alick, Ruth, Mabel, and John. In 1910 they moved to Akron, Colorado. They settled on a homestead southwest of Akron in 1911. Alfred farmed and carried mail between Rago and Pineo. Augusta substituted in this. One of Mabel’s fondest memories of her childhood was the trip taken by her and her mother to Florida. They traveled by train and crossed Lake Michigan by boat. That was quite a trip in those days. Mabel’s mother died in 1965, and her father in 1949.

Clyde and Mabel met when Clyde came to the Olson farm to buy eggs, butter, and homemade bread. This became a regular trip for Clyde—along with some Sunday meals. They were married in her parents’ “Sod” House in 1915. They moved to Brush, finding a house to rent for $10.00 a month! They acquired a homestead located one-half mile north, and two miles west of the old Rago School.. Clyde and Mabel moved into their new “Soddy.” Construction of the Soddy was performed by Clyde, George, and Otto Morey, Ralph and Clarence Hubbard, and Frank Sherwood. It was here that all eight of their children were born. George, Otto, Margaret, Augusta, Emily, and Wilson were born in the Sod house. Pollyanna and Mary Jane were born at Slocum’s Hospital in Brush. All the children, except Pollyanna and Mary Jane, attended the Rago School. Scherer’s Draw was the ever-present menace to the sod house. Every time a rain of any consequence came along, the draw would overflow. One time it came so close to the house that it filled the cellar and the well. They only thing preventing the flood from entering the house was the back step. There were many happy times and many hard times on the farm. Raising eight children miles from town and a doctor, contending with measles, chicken pox, whooping cough, appendicitis, broken bones, and babies was no easy task. It was hard even getting to town. It took all day going and coming. In 1911 Clyde and Mabel bought their very first automobile, a new Dodge touring car. This cost approximately $1,900.00. After receiving careful instructions on how to drive the new auto, Clyde did just fine until he drove it into the garage. Evidently he failed to find where the brake was located. The garage took a severe jolt that day. “Whoa” just didn’t affect the Dodge! Clyde, Mabel, and family did a lot of visiting with friends and family during those days. A large dinner with home-made ice cream was the usual treat. Box socials and pie socials were community high-lights. Mabel was a charter member of the Rago Club. This club was chartered as a missionary organization, providing help and assistance to missionaries. The club was founded in 1934. The Moreys lived on their farm until 1938. They sold the farm to John Steyaert and moved to Sumner, Washington, on Elhi Hill. They purchased land on the hill, some of which includes part of Lake Bonnie. They built a three-bedroom home where they have lived since 1938. In 1965, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. In 1975, their 60th wedding anniversary was celebrated with their 8 children and Mabel’s brother John being in attendance. There were many grand and great grand children, friends, neighbors, and other relatives attending the open house held in their honor. Clyde, age 92, and Mabel, age 77, are still going strong. They are active, healthy, and attend church regularly. Every year they work in their garden, raising enough for canning and most generally enough for their relatives and friends, too. Clyde and Mable will always have a warm and special spot in their hearts for many wonderful friends and neighbors, for the “old homestead,” the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and the clear blue skies of “SUNNY COLORADO.”

[Editor’s Note: Clyde Morey died in 1987 at the age of 104; Mabel Olson Morey died in 1995, aged 97.]
Photo: Douglas County History and Research Center