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People of the Times

The Morse Brothers, about 1911 (Courtesy Julie Vaupel Monson)

The year 1876 was important to Colorado and to Willard Samuel Morse. At age 20 he came to the new state from Massachusetts to find adventure and prosperity. With an accounting background, Willard began working as a money order clerk near Denver, then became a foreman of a small smelting plant in Denver. He soon moved to Leadville where his interests officially changed from banking to mining. In 1884 Willard was managing the Fryer Hill Smelting Works and by 1892 he was general manager of the Holden Smelting and Milling Company in Aspen. Willard Morse’s brothers were also pioneers of Colorado; Calvin arrived in 1883, Bradish in 1893 and George after 1900. Morse at one point rose to general manager of the entire Guggenheim mining operation in Mexico and eventually retired from a successful career with the American Smelting and Refining Company in 1922. Julie Vaupel Monsongrandniece of Willard Samuel Morse

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