Summary of the lives of the 5 Children of Eben and Ellen


As I have written, Leila, the oldest child stayed on the Ranch, married Ray Snyder, and managed the ranch up until it was sold in 1940. They had no children.


Edward the second oldest, I have covered above, with Arleen as they created the E.W. Hughes Investment Company in Colorado Springs which existed until after Edward's death in 1939, which Arleen then managed and owned until her death in 1969.


Walter Hughes


Walter Hughes, after Colorado College took a Coach position in a college in Washington State. He also attended graduate courses at the University of California. Then later returned to Colorado Springs where he, like his brother Edward, went into the Stock Market business. For some time he even had his own office in Ed and Arleen's space on the 5th Floor of the Exchange National Bank building in downtown Colorado Springs. (that suite of offices was originally occupied by William S Stratton, the somewhat excentric first millionaire of Cripple Creek whose fortune started with the Independence Gold Mine in 1891)


Walter married Jane Ewing in Colorado Springs. Their first child was called Ewing. They lived on Tejon Street. That marriage did not last. But Ewing, whose life was, I think, warped a lot by that unfortunate marriage situation, never-the-less was always welcome in Arleen and Ed's mansion at 1225 Wood Avenue on Millionaires Row, as another 'nephew.'


We played together when I lived for a year 1935-36 there at Ed and Arleen's house while my mother got her feet on the ground with my 3 sisters in Denver after my dad Ralph died during the worst of the Depression when she could not provide me a home. Ewing was mechanically talented far more than I, and was always building things out of wood and metal. He later flew and owned small aircraft. But he was always kind of out-on-the-fringes of the family.


Walter like his brother Edward was interested in flying. He owned a small private plane.Which his son Ewing also did.

Walter, who was, like his brother Ed, and my dad Ralph, drafted in the first World War the year it was ending, seemed to have a little taste for things military.


Walter Hughes in his WWI Uniform 1917 or 1918


When World War II came with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 Walter immediately volunteered to serve in the Army Air Corps. He did not get to fly but he was commissioned because of his College education and served in administrative fields on account of his business background. He was proud of his service, wore his uniform always and rose, during the war to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, but I never saw him during the war).


He courted and then married Flora McQuarrie, who, as I recall, was an Army Nurse. Below are several photographs which came out of Leila Hughes Snyder's Ranch Album.


Walter and Flora just after they were married. Photographed in front of Ellen Hughes (his mother, my grandmother's) apartment on Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs. (Picture of Ellen)



They had a first child, Richard, while Walter was still in uniform. (Notice his Lieutenant Colonel's silver leaf.  They were visiting 'Ed and Arleen's Wood Avenue house with its big back yard, pictured below, sometime in the late 1940's with a small fish-pond pool in it. Richard was a toddler when he, alone in the yard for just a few minutes fell in and drowned. It was a tragedy which they got over eventually and had a second child, which they named Gary. He became a successful businessman and last time I visited him he had a nice family in Virginia, near Washington, DC. He was in his late 40s.

Walter and son Gary




Rear Yard of 1225 Wood Avenue - Ed and Arleen's Home from 1930


One can get the idea of what the Ed and Arleen Wood Avenue Mansion was like from this view of its back yard. They were able to buy it for $20,000 in 1930, and a Mining Company which owned it went broke. In 2014 it was appraised at $1.1 Million, and a Bank President's family owned it.

Walter had a successful life and career in investment banking, living near Cleveland, Ohio most of the rest of his life. He and Flora visited Wales - the ancestral home of the Eben and Ellen family. This was in the 1970s, while Walter was aging and sick. But they were able to visit the Ellen Jones family in north Wales, where the family had, on the wall, a painting done in Wales of Ellen - probably from a photograph when she was about 20 years old. The painting was in bad shape from age and the usual humidity of Wales, but since it was of Walter's mother, they asked whether he would like it. He did.

It was shipped to their son Gary's home in Virginia. He had it professionally restored. It hangs in his home after Walter died in Cleveland, March 7th 1970 and after Flora died at 90 in 2001. When I visited Gary Hughes in Virginia in 2002, I photographed that original painting of Ellen Jones Hughes.


Ellen Jones at about 20 in Anglesy Wales before she, at age 24 immigrated to America and married Eben Hughes



Mary Hughes


Mary was the youngest Eben and Ellen Hughes child, born on the ranch after my father David Ralph, had been born in a soddy on the homestead grounds.


She grew up on the ranch, then left it, I am not sure when. But she ended up in Omaha, Nebraska and married a John Kretchemer. Once again, there was that 'Omaha connection.' I have not been able to find out just what Welsh family or families may have lived there - who were visited repeatedly by those - Eben, Will, then Ellen, and finally Mary, as they passed through.


However, as in many other nationalities, such as the Irish, and Scottish, immigrants to America made a bee line for communities of prior countrymen who were already settled in America. In the case of the Welsh, the ability to speak and listen in their Welsh tongue and not just English was helpful.


Today, 2011, there is still a very active Welsh community in Denver, Colorado, which meets annually and celebrates St David's Day - March 1st - with singing, music, and dance every year. (As I do, as the oldest direct descendent of our Welsh ancestors, delivering Leeks for the grandson Boys and Men, Daffodils for the granddaughter women and girls in Colorado Springs every year on that day.) Two of my very young great grandaughters were named "Caitlyn" and "Brin" Welsh names by their mothers, and one of my grandsons is named 'David' - all to perpetuate the continuity of our Celtic/Welsh ancestral line.


I learned much later - in the 1970's - that John Kretchemer was born in Pueblo, while HIS father died in Westcliffe, Colorado - up in what is called the Wet Mountain Valley, west of Pueblo. That German name came from the fact that the 'German Colonoization Company' came out from Chicago to the Wet Mountain Valley and tried collective farming. Which failed. But Germans from that group stayed, and some drifted back to Pueblo and points east. John Kretchmer came from that stock and ended up in Omaha where he met Mary.

I am not sure just how it came about but Mary and John got into the Photography business. They became very good professional photographers and opened the Kretchmer Photography Store in downtown Omaha. They had two children, Keith and Joan who grew up there in Omaha, and still (2014) are alive. Keith having gotten into the Stock business became, and is married (to a nurse when he was a commissioned officer during the Korean War), became wealthy and has a raft of kids.

Joan, very naturally bright, was taken into Arleen Hughes's Wood Avenue home after her mother Mary died because John could not give her as a teen ager a proper home. So Joan went to Colorado College, living at the Colorado Springs home with Arleen each summer while living in the Dorms during the school year, did well, graduated and was recruited into a US Government agency and served in it in foreign countries for a number of years. Then, in California, she married Ernesto Paniagua, Mexican by birth. And they went into the automobile export-import business, linked with his many relatives in Mexico. They had no children. Ernesto died in the 1980s. She still (2011) lives in California.

Both Mary and John Kretchmer - as did all the other nephews and nieces, visited Colorado Springs, Arleen Hughes, and took many excellent family photographs. Here below are some of the rarer once which came out of Leila's (Mary's older sister) Hughes Ranch Scrapbook.


Mary and John Kretchmer in the 1930s


Mary as photographer. I always knew she was the better photographer, John the better businessman


The Kretchmer Home in Omaha


Mary, Joan, and Kieth




Rare picture of Edward with young Kieth and grandmother Ellen (and maid's arm) in the Wood Avenue Breakfast room just before he sickened and died from food poisoning.



Breakfast Room had very large single pane window that looked out over the large yard with the fish pond in it. This picture was taken by Mary Ed's sister and young Kieth's mother.


Periodically while both Ed and Arleen were alive, the Hughes brothers and sisters, sometimes with Mama Hughes, and members of the Wilson Family - Arleen Hughes side of the family from Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania - would picnic on the higher ground on the eastside of Colorado Springs called "Austin Bluffs' and later designated by the city as 'Palmer Park" The below photo taken in the 1930's.



Picnic on Austin Bluffs. Ed and Walter standing. Leila and Ellen seated.



Walter and Edward


Mama Hughes with Marvis Wilson, Arleen Wilson Hughes sister.


Christmas around 1944. Taken by Mary Kretchmer. Left to right - Ewing Hughes (Walter's son), Bette Hughes (David Ralph's Daughter) Arleen Hughes, me David R Hughes standing, Joan and Keith Kretchmer.


Next is a long PDF File about Arleen Hughes' Life. It is my Tribute to her.


Just click on the blued name 'Arleen' above, or cut and paste this long URL below into your browser.