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Joseph (John) Alvin Bigelow was born in 1845 in Wisconsin to Timothy Bigelow III and his wife, Elizabeth R. Bacon. He enlisted and served with the Indiana Infantry in the Civil War. He married Almeda Roxanna “Roxie” Tryon in 1870.
In 1889, Joseph and Roxie Bigelow with their five living children: Arthur Alvin born in Iowa in 1872; Lula Grace, born in 1880; Ray T. and Roy, twins born in 1884 and Nelson Glenn born in Nebraska in 1887 loaded up in a covered wagon and headed west with the related Roscoe family. (Their daughter Almeda was born in 1875 in Iowa. She died in Illinois in 1880.)
They reached Pueblo and went on to Red Creek Springs, where thirteen mineral springs once supported a health resort, but have since dried up. After a nice rest, the group pushed on to Babcock Hole on Hardscrabble Creek. They camped upstream from Greenwood Village as they didn’t want to attempt to cross the Rockies in the winter.
Joseph Alvin “unloaded his blacksmith tools, shoed the horses, set the wagon tires and make necessary repairs.” He fell in love with the Beulah valley while there for supplies. When he returned to his family, he had them pack up and head south to the "little village of Beulah”.
Joseph Alvin built a blacksmith shop where he supported the family for two years. In 1890, their seventh child, Herbert Holmes, was born in Beulah. Joseph’s father, Timothy Bigelow III passed away on April 26, 1891 while visiting the family in Beulah and is buried there.
In 1891, the family moved again when Joseph Alvin Bigelow homesteaded 160 acres in Second Mace (Fairview). (Patent in 1898—6th Meridian; 22S, 69W; Section 32; NE ½, NE ¼; SE ¼, NE ¼; NW ¼, NW ¼)
They built a house on what is now named Bigelow Creek. “The center structure was made of logs, the southern addition and the porch that faces east” were built later. Joseph Alvin added a blacksmith shop at the edge of the creek and continued working his trade. He was a big man, strong enough to grab and move an anvil by the horn with one hand or if it wasn’t too far, lift it with a finger in the pritchel hole.
The town grew and the citizens built a school. Joseph Alvin and Thomas McConnell built seats, desks and blackboards which were used at the school for many years. The Fairchild family lived nearby, but moved to San Isabel City where later the Marian Mine was established on their land.