Lt. Col. John Wanless

Lt. Col. John Wanless[1]

Male 1833 - 1886  (53 years)

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  • Name Lt. Col. John Wanless 
    Prefix Lt. Col. 
    Born 7 Jun 1833  St. Andrew's, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    Christened 25 Jul 1833  St. Andrew's, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Gender Male 
    IMMI Abt 1847  USA (possibly Illinois) Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    • However, from the birthplaces of his children, it looks like he moved from Ontario to Illinois about 1856-1857, or at least that's when Maria moved.
    Census 1851  Thorold, Welland Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Village of Thorold (ages are "at next birthday")
      Wm. Evans, 29, miller, b. Canada East, Church of England, residence outside limits
      Hannah, 30, b. Montreal, Canada East
      Thomas, 4, b. Montreal, Canada East
      William, 2, b. Montreal, Canada East
      Elizabeth Pike, seamstress, b. England, 22
      John Wanless, 19, miller, b. Montreal, Canada East

      Households are not delineated; this is the order in which they appear, so John (Hannah's brother) either lives with Hannah's family or next door to them.
    Residence Est 1854-1858  Galena & Chicago, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    • Lived in Galena (maybe) and Chicago sometime after 1847 and before he went to Colorado in 1859. Was admitted to the Bar in Chicago during this time. Son Mark's passport application says his father emigrated to the US in 1854 through Niagara Falls.
    Moved 1859  Kansas Territory (now Colorado), USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Occupation 1858-1859  Mendota, LaSalle Co, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    constable & collector 
    • [History of La Salle County, Illinois; Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886]
    Residence 1856-1859  Mendota, LaSalle Co, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • son George's obit says the family moved to Mendota in 1856 and Colorado in 1859
    Election 6 Apr 1860  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Judge of the Court of Common Pleas 
    Voter Registration 19 Aug 1861  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 19 August 1861 list of voters in territorial election, at Denver Library online gopher site, shows this:
      District 2 Precinct 2 [City of Denver]
      Held at Wauless' Court Room [I believe Wauless is Wanless, since John was elected Judge in 1860]
      ...
      Judges: W. Sargent, W. P. Cassiday, L. B. France
      ...
      For Representative and Votes
      E. S. Wilhite 250
      Ed Scudder 226
      John Wanless 124 [I assume this means John ran for Rep. and got 124 votes, losing.]

      John Wanless also appears as a candidate for Rep. in other precincts as Wanlep and Wanhf. He did not win in any precinct, and his name does not appear on the voters lists. The only other Wanless voter is Thomas, at Gayoso House, Georgia Gulch.
    Occupation 1861-1862  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Justice of the Peace 
    • Docket books of cases heard before Arapahoe County, Colo. justices of the peace: John Wanless (1861-1862) [books.google.com]
    Military 2 Dec 1862  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    • Captain of Wanless's Company , 3rd Colorado Volunteers. In his declaration in his pension file, he says he was commissioned a 2nd Lieut. in the 3rd CO Vols about 1 Oct 1862 and that he detached a recruiting service in Denver and then was appointed Captain, then Provost Marshal. Parts of the declaration are obliterated following this. Then he was made Lt. Col. in the 5th US Volunteers.
    Occupation 20 May 1863-27 Mar 1865  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Provost Marshal 
    • He served as provost marshal throughout 1864 and 1865. [Obituary]
      Pension file says he was detailed for duty as provost marshal on 8 Dec 1862 and served during dates shown above, and mentions that provost marshals were NOT in the military service.
    Military 5 Mar 1865  Colorado or Wyoming Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Made Lt. Col. of 5th Regiment of United States Volunteers (Union Cavalry) on March 5, 1865. [Union Army Records]
      Family lore says he graduated from West Point, but can't find him in WP graduates index at LDS. Pension file gives Lt. Col. commission date of 27 March 1865 to 9 Mar 1866 (when he was discharged).
      Declaration of John Wanless in pension file says he enlisted at Camp Douglas [it sounds like he took his 3rd CO Volunteers there] near Chicago in Cook Co, Illinois, under General Rully of Chicago. He took his regiment to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and then to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he served as President of a Gen'l Court "Marshal" until I was appointed District [obliterated] of upper Arkansas where he served until he was ordered to Fort Halleck, Dakota. [signed with his signature]
      US Volunteers: 5th Regiment Infantry history: Organized at Alton and Camp Douglas, Ill., March to May, 1865. Ordered to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, May 3, 1865. Assigned to duty in District of Upper Arkansas from Little Arkansas River to Fort Dodge and Cimmaron Crossing. Duty in Districts of Nebraska, Colorado and Utah and the Plains until November, 1866. Mustered out November 13, 1866.
    Military 31 Jan 1866-9 Mar 1866  Fort Halleck, Dakota Territory (now Wyoming) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Commandant at Fort Halleck according to post report dated Jan 1, 1866. According to the Overland Trail web site, this fort was in the southeastern corner of WY (then Dakota Territory) and was used to repel Indian attacks along the trail. John was honorably discharged on 9 March 1866, per his widow's pension application.
    Occupation Aug 1866  Colorado Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    hay supplier 
    • Cases decided in the Court of Claims of the United States, 1871
      By United States. Court of Claims, Charles C. Nott
      On 25 Aug 1866, John Wanless had awarded to him, in pursuance of a bid he made, a contract to furnish 200 tons of hay at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory. In the said contract, he also agreed to furnish an additional 600 tons of hay or such amount as may be required, to be determined by the chief quartermaster of the department of the Missouri. The contract was assigned by Wanless to A.J. Gill. Gill sued on 16 Dec 1868 and assigned his interest in the suit to Harvey Spaulding on 20 Aug 1869; Wanless has never had anything to do with this suit. 539-3/4 tons of hay was delivered and paid for.
    Residence Abt 1867  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • History of the state of Colorado, embracing accounts of the ... - Page 29 [books.google.com]
      By Frank Hall, Rocky Mountain Historical Company
      [in a chapter on the first houses built in Denver]
      Clement's addition, 160 acres, was pre-empted by Alfred H. Clements in July 1864. The first house was a small frame shanty on the present site of St John's Cathedral. The first brick house was that of Caleb B. Clements, built in the summer of 1865, and is still there, back of the cathedral. The 5rh was on the corner of 16th and Lincoln avenues. Col. John Wanless built under the hillon Lincoln about 1867. The next was the Sargent house on Lincoln between 18th and 19th avenues. These were the solitary evidences of occupancy in what is now the most aristocratic quarter of the city, for many years so remote from the general business and residence sections as to be almost inaccessible by pedestrians. The country between them and Arapahoe St was very sparsely inhabited.
      ---------------
      [It may have been more like 1869; this statement does not have supporting evidence such as land purchase to uphold it.]
    Residence May 1867-Mar 1868  Fort Sanders, Dakota Territory (now Wyoming) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Source: The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: January 1-September 30, 1867 [Google Books, page 462]
      July 10, 1867 Bvt. Maj. Gen. John A. Rawlins, Fort Sanders, Dakota Territory, to U.S. Grant: "Capt Lewis Lowry has been nominated for Trader by Gibbon at his new post Fort John F. Reynolds beyond old Fort Halleck and Augur requests his appointment. Papers have gone to Sherman. I think he should be appointed." (Telegram rec'd on July 12)
      July 11, 1867 John Wanless, Fort Sanders, telegraphed to Grant: "I respectfully protest against appointment of Lewis Lowry Trader at Fort Reynolds. The troops at this place go there and I respectfully claim position as matter of right and justice" (rec'd July 12)
      On 24 May, Capt & Bvt Lt Col Henry R. Mizner, Fort Sanders, had written to Grant: "I have the honor to introduce to your favorable consideration Col John Wanless, late Lieut Col 5th US Vols, Sutler at this Post since 15 January 1867. During the year 1866 Geo Wilson Jr was Sutler here, but having rendered himself so obnoxious to the entire Command (by extortionate charges, disregard of orders, and selling Three cent postages stamps for Five cents each), as to drive trade from him. Col Wanless purchased his entire stock and building and has since given general satisfaction to officers and men. Col Wanless keeps a large and well..."
      -- unfortunately the free preview ends there and somebody would have to buy or locate this book to see more about this matter

      In Feb 2011 there was a token for sale on eBay with this description: "A collectible military sutler or trader token from Fort Sanders, Wyoming, then Dakota Territory. obverse: J. WANLESS & CO. GENERAL WHOLESALE & RETAIL DEALERS FORT SANDERS, D.T.; reverse: 1868; brass, shell, 35mm. Cunningham DT130. "
      -- the picture showed a coin somewhat like a large penny

      24 March 1868 The Frontier Index newspaper has an ad for Wanless & Co, Fort Sanders, offering to fill the "wheelwright, material, blaksmith material and iron of all kinds" needs of "ranchmen and freighters". [http://newspapers.wyo.gov/]

      There are some remnants of Fort Sanders today, near the Little Laramie River which separates West Laramie from Laramie. [source: Greenhill Cemetery volunteer Kate Browning]
    Residence Apr 1868  Fort Russell, Cheyenne, Laramie Co, Wyoming Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Actually this only proves that Maria Gates Wanless was here; John may have been elsewhere at the time.
      -------------------------
      Diary and Letters of the Reverend Joseph W. Cook
      Missionary to Cheyenne
      Arranged by the Rt. Rev. N. S. Thomas, S.T.D.
      Laramie, Wyoming: The Laramie Republican Company, 1919.
      http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/thomas_cook1919.html

      25 Apr 1868
      Rode down to the city [from Fort Russell where he lived with Dr. Alden] with Mrs. Wanless.
      -------------------
      Note that Cheyenne had just been surveyed and platted in 1867; the minister in the book above says he baptized the first child in Cheyenne, although he may mean the first Mormon child. The railroad reached Cheyenne on November 13, 1867. 1867 also saw the establishment of Fort D. A. Russell, 3 miles west of the city. Wyoming Territory was carved out of Dakota Territory on July 25, 1868.
    Place 30 May 1868  North Platte River, Dakota Territory (later Wyoming) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Saturday May 30, 68-After breakfast the corps went into the field and commenced preparations for staking out the North Platte bridge. Returned to camp about 11 o'clock a.m. Very pleasant morning though quite warm. Heavy frost when I got up, ground white and water frozen. Rain in the afternoon. Col. Wanless and Major Bent dined with us today. The party went fishing in the afternoon but were unsuccessful. Krause fell in the water. Upton and I had a swim towards evening: found the water very cold. The Rocky Mountains are white with snow. No Indian news. This is a cold and windy night and as I write, Upton and the Captain are making up our beds. Mr. Hurd's messenger arrived with dispatches towards evening. Party well.
      [Diary of Judge A. N. Ferguson engaged as Civil Engineer with a U.P.R.R. Surveying Party April 25, 1868 to May 10, 1869; http://www.nps.gov/gosp/research/ferguson.html]
      -- I think this may have been near Laramie, from the description in the journal.
    Newspaper 31 Jul 1868  Laramie City, Albany Co, Wyoming Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Dissolution Notice - The firm heretofore existing under the name and style of John Wanless & Co., and doing business at Fort Sanders and Laramie City, Dakota Territory, and composed of John Wanless and Alexander Steel, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. The business of the late firm will be settled by Alexander Steel, who assumes all the liabilities and will collect all the debts due said firm.
      John Wanless
      Alexander Steel
      Fort Sanders, Dakota, July 31, A.D. 1868
      [Source: Cheyenne Leader no. 300 September 07, 1868, page 4, at «b»wyonewspapers.org ]«/b»
    Residence Sep 1869  Laramie City, Albany Co, Wyoming Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • church records shows John Clark W's birth here
    Moved Oct 1869  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • see Notes - their church records were transferred from Laramie to Denver in Oct 1869
    Census 1870  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Arapahoe Co, City of Denver [reel 94, p.8] Jun 4, 1870
      Wanless, John 46 male, white, retired speculator, b. Canada East, parents foreign, citizen, r.e. value: 18,500; pers. value: 14, 000
      Maria 44 fem, white, born Canada West, parents of foreign birth
      George 15 male, wh, b. Canada West, foreign parents
      Charles F. 13 " " "
      Emma 11 fem, wh, b. Canada West, foreign parents
      Thomas Sr. 73 male, wh, retired mechanic, born Scotland, foreign parents, not a citizen, pers. value: 5,000
      McDonnell, Patrick 25 groom, b. Ireland, citizen
      Fee, Lawrence 23 laborer, b. Ireland, " "
      Drummond, Robert 21 gardener, b. Canada East, citizen
      --This is a relatively wealthy family. John's wife and kids were not asked if they were citizens. Where are Frank (abt 6) and John Clark (abt 9 mos)? Did the censustaker just miss them? Note that John should only be about 37, per his birth record, and Maria, per logic and the 1880 census, should only be 34...
    Land 15 Dec 1871  Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • John Wanless patented land (now in Adams co), Colorado on December 15, 1871. One quarter section of land (SE Qtr Sec 32 Twp 2S R67W in the Denver district, Colorado Territory, containing 160 acres) was granted "to John Wanless in favor of the State of South Carolina." The grant was made based on the 1862 Act entitled "An Act Donating Lands to several States and Territories which may provide Colleges for the Benefit of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts." Turns out this means the state of SC was granted to right to sell public lands to its residents and invest the money to benefit agricultural & mechanical arts colleges in their state - if a state such as SC didn't have any public land, it could issue scrip to its residents and they could use the scrip to buy unclaimed public land in the West instead. What's baffling about this is John had no connection with South Carolina - at first we thought this patent belonged to John Andrew Wanless who did come from SC, but the matter-of-proof papers make it clear that it was John of Denver - he had 6 kids, lived in Denver, etc. [BLM records; John W. Schulz has copy of patent]
    Place 1871-1872  Laramie City, Albany Co, Wyoming Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Wanless Buildings and Wanless's Corner 
    • There are references in the Laramie newspapers in 1871-1872 to Wanless's Buildings and Wanless's Corner.
    Court 17 Dec 1875  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • John appears to have filed for bankruptcy or declared himself insolvent and unable to pay his debts around this time.
      ------------------------------------
      Wyoming reports; cases decided in the Supreme Court of Wyoming, Volume 2
      By Wyoming. Supreme Court
      Ware et al v. Wanless et al
      [a case about how debt is assigned]...all the debts of Wanless amount to about $37000. Creditors accepting assignment hold about $34,000 of that indebtedness. The claims of the opponents amount to $3000 more or less. They want to be paid in full. Funds available to distribute probably amount to about $4000, to divide pro rata on $34,000....On 17 Dec 1875, Fillmore and Hayford received from Wanless a written assignment of all his assets, consisting of merchandise, furniture, demands and real estate, for the benefit of his creditors. The property delivered was inventoried at $19,510; the liabilities at $36692.
    Residence 1873-1876  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Denver City Directory, 1873:
      Wanless, John residence: Lincoln, between Sheridan and Brown
      --George at same address

      Denver City Directory, 1876:
      Wanless, John - clothing - residence 315 9th
      -- Charles and George at same address
    Newspaper 29 Apr 1878  Laramie City, Albany Co, Wyoming Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Laramie Daily Sentinel no. 308 April 29, 1878, page 4
      The Gazette says that Colonel John Wanless, formerly of Denver, Colorado, but more recently of Laramie City, who went to the Pacific coast about three years ago, is anxious to come back to his old home in Wyoming.
    Census 1880  Leadville, Lake Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 1880 CO, Lake Co, Leadville, West Chestnut St [ED 73, p.315B, line 20]
      Wanless, John 47 white, male, married, lodger in hotel, lawyer, b. Canada, parents b. Canada
      -- His age here corresponds to his birth record. We know from his pension records that by this time he had separated from Maria and will obtain a divorce in Leadville in Nov 1880. His pension file also says he was admitted to the Illinois Bar, so he apparently did have legal training of some sort.
    Occupation 1860-1880  Colorado Find all individuals with events at this location 
    land speculator 
    • He was also a contractor for laying timber & ties for railroads.
    Occupation 1880  Leadville, Lake Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    lawyer 
    DIV 10 Nov 1880  Leadville, Lake Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    • Case 1071, County Court, Lake County, November 1880 term: No person appeared for the defendant. Granted motion of plaintiff (John Wanless) filed 25 Oct 1880 to set aside defendant's answer filed herein on 21 Oct 1880. Court heard report of Wm. Raymond a referee who was to judge the proof of the facts in the complaint. Said report upholds all allegations in the complaint. Plaintiff is granted relief and court decrees that the marriage of John Wanless and Maria Wanless be dissolved. Plaintiff John Wanless is to have full and sole custody and charge of the two minor children described in the complaint as John Wanless age ten years and Mark Wanless aged eight years.
    Newspaper 1 Mar 1881  Colorado Springs, El Paso Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The Daily Gazette 
    • Colonel John Wanless and wife started for Leadville yesterday morning.
    Land Est 1862-1882  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Name: JOHN WANLESS Township/Direction: 2/South Range/Direction: 69/West Book: Register of Homestead Entries, 5. vols. Type: Homestead Act Bureau of Land Management: 6 Application #: 2471.00
    Residence Mar 1881-Mar 1883  Colorado Springs, El Paso Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Per the obit Mary wrote for her mother. (See Mary's entry.)
    Newspaper 14 Sep 1883  California Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The Daily Gazette 
    • At the quarto-centenary celebration of the discovery of gold in Colorado, many pioneers were present, and letters were read from those who regretted they could not be present, including the Hon. John Wanless.
    Sued in Court 27 Mar 1885  Colorado Springs, El Paso Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The Daily Gazette 
    • District court docket for court opening tomorrow - civil docket:
      # 859 Irving Howbert vs. Mary L. Wanless and John Wanless
    Died 21 Jul 1886  Hot Springs, Garland Co, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  [10, 11
    Obituary 23 Jul 1886  Colorado Springs, El Paso Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Colorado Springs Daily Gazette - 23 July 1886
      Death of a '59ER
      ----- -----«tab»«tab»
      Death of a Former and Well Known Resident of Colorado Springs.

      «tab»The death of Mr. John Wanless at Hot Springs, Arkansas, is announced. He for some time was a resident of Colorado Springs and favorably well known here. From the Tribune-Republican of yesterday we gather the following:
      «tab»Colonel John F. Wanless, one of Colorado's oldest and most highly esteemed pioneers, died yesterday morning at Hot Springs, Arkansas, of paralysis. The memory of Mr. Wanless will ever be held in high respect among all old Coloradoans. He was liberal to a fault, and so kind that in many cases he is said to have been greatly imposed upon by those who pretended to be his friends, only that they might secure to themselves his pecuniary assistance. Colonel Wanless was a man of good impulses and lavish generosity. He would brave any danger for a friend, and was possessed of a certain commanding manner which enabled him to accomplish anything he undertook. He was a man of fine appearance, fond of athletic sports and reckless of his own personal safety to an alarming degree.
      «tab»Many old-timers remember him as a staunch early friend, and there were many heavy hearts in Denver yesterday when the telegram announcing his death was received.
      «tab»Mr. George F. Wanless, brother of the deceased, was called upon by a Tribune-Republican reporter at his home on Pearl street last evening, and in response to inquiries made regarding the deceased, furnished the following interesting information:«tab»«tab»«tab»
      «tab»"My brother, John Wanless, came to Colorado in the year 1859. He was a native of Canada and was of Scottish-German extraction. He was a hardy boy, who always had a decided taste for athletic sports, and a talent for forcible speaking and reading, although he had no gift of eloquence. He was a young man beloved of all his friends, who admired his numerous qualities, but who always admonished him regarding his personal recklessness. He came to Colorado in 1859 and served there throughout the war as provost-marshal, when the territory was under military rule.
      «tab»"Our family records are lost, but I think John must have been about 53 years of age, as near as I can remember. He served as provost marshal throughout 1864 and 1865, and was made lieutenant colonel in the regular army about 1867. This appointment was thought rather remarkable at the time, as he was only a captain in the volunteer service, and the promotion he received showed the confidence reposed in him at that early day.
      «tab»"He was for years a prominent democrat here, in fact he was always a democrat, but there was a time when he defied one of Denver's early democratic conventions in a manner that was long remembered. The convention was held at the time of the commencement of the trouble with the rebel states. A certain well known judge was presiding at the meeting, and there had been a set of resolutions drawn up which were strongly in favor of the union. These resolutions the judge vainly endeavored to read to the convention, but they did not suit the popular voice, and he was commanded in no very gentle tones to desist. At this my brother John became greatly enraged, and springing to the table, snatched the resolutions from the judge's hands, and read them to the people without a single intonation of fear. He then went out into the street, and within a remarkably short space of time had organized a volunteer service company in the First Colorado regiment. It was said at that time that he was one of the most popular men in the territory, and one of the very few men who could have organized a company in any such haste. He was a tall man and of stout build. He weighed more than 200 pounds and stood fully five feet ten inches in his shoes, but the remarkable feature of the case was, he was maybe the smallest man in all that gallant volunteer company, so you must know that it was a 'crack company,' as the term goes. In the fall of '62 John stumped the territory for Judge Bennett, the first Coloradoan ever sent to congress, and, it is said, was largely instrumental in securing that gentleman's election. My brother's commanding appearance and natural force of language stood him in good stead on the stump. He was so much in earnest that his speaches soon told in favor of his candidate. He was a warm friend of Governor Hunt's, and in fact of many of the best-known old-timers.
      «tab»"An instance of his fearful recklessness regarding his own personal safety was that which occurred at the old Tremont house many years ago. The Tremont house used to be the rendezvous for all confederate sympathizers in this city. They congregated there at all hours, and made plans which were not thought altogether safe for the general peace. Well, one day John marched up to the door of the Tremont house, and compelled all those southern sympathizers to come out individually and take the oath of allegiance. They complied one and all, but with a sullenness which boded no good will for the provost marshal. This is but one instance of his recklessness through which his friends always feared he would lose his life.
      «tab»"My brother ran the first livery stable, I think, that was ever kept in Denver. The stable was located where Hartman's is now. He once owned the ranch where the state hatchery is now situated. He brought the first blooded horses that were ever brought to Colorado, from Kentucky, but there were only a few of them, and he never dealt largely in stock. A celebrated horse brought by him to this country was long known in Denver as 'American Eagle.' This horse my brother bought in Omaha, and I finally sold him on the street when he was thirty years old for the sum of $600.
      «tab»"Yes, he had considerable property at one time. He made some important investments, and always spent very freely for himself and his friends. He sold most of his property here about eight or nine years ago, and left the city some three years since. The last work he did in Denver was some contracting on the Denver & Rio Grande railroad. He spent several of the later years of his life in California, where he went seeking health. My brother was a man of good physique, and was fond of everything stirring.
      «tab»"John's wife was with him when he died. He had been suffering from this paralytic trouble for some time and went to the Hot Springs hoping to obtain relief. He has several children scattered throughout Iowa and Nebraska. His married daughter, Mrs. Steel, resides in the city. I think she inherits much of her father's force and earnestness of character.
      «tab»"My brother was a Knight Templar, and the order has taken a great interest in him and has been very kind to him during his stay at Hot Springs. The probabilities are that he will be buried at Corning, Iowa, where his wife's relatives reside. My brother, Thomas Wanless, who recently resided at Colorado Springs, has gone to Hot Springs and will be present at the funeral. I regret to say that my affairs are such that I will not be able to attend those solemn exercises."
      ----------
    Obituary 31 Jul 1886  Laramie City, Albany Co, Wyoming Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Laramie Sentinel Weekly 
    • Col. John F. Wanless died Wednesday morning of last week, the 21st inst, of paralysis, at Hot Sulphur Springs, Arkansas. Col. Wanless was a "59er" in Colorado and one of the pioneers of Wyoming. He was U.S. Provo Marshall of Colorado during war times and did much to keep the southern turbulent element in check. He was in command for a time at Fort Halleck in this territory and laid out and established Fort Saunders, near this city, and for some years was post trader there. He built the big club house in this city and started about the first business. Col. Wanless was once the democratic candidate for delegate to congress from this territory but was defeated by Judge Jones. The Colonel was a man of great energy, whole-souled and public-spirited, liberal to a fault, and one of the most genial and companionable men we ever knew.
      We had no more written this brief notice of Col. Wanless's death when we are shocked at the sudden death, in this city on Tuesday of this week the 27th inst, of his wife Maria Wanless. On Tuesday evening Mrs. Wanless was suddenly stricken with an attack of apoplexy and died three hours after at 7 p.m.
      Mrs. Wanless had resided in this city for many years with her family. She was a woman of noble impulses and rare intelligence. A gentleman who was intimately acquainted with the family more than 25 years ago said "She had a heart larger than an ox." We remember when she was called the most beautiful and accomplished lady in Denver or Colorado.
      The funeral of Mrs. John Wanless occurred from her late residence and was quite largely attended by her old friends. The services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Koyt, pastor of the M.E. Church, and the pall bearers were all old pioneer friends of her husband. All her children but one were present at the funeral.
    Obituary 18 Aug 1886  Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Rocky Mountain News 
    • Deatn of Colonel John Wanless, One of Denver's Old Timers
      John Wanless was born June 7, 1833 in the province of Quebec, Canada. He left home when he was 14 and soon after found his way to the states. He was a self-made man and educated himself from that age, studying law, and was admitted to the bar in Ottawa, Illinois at the age of 21. His residence at the time was Mendota, Illinois. He was twice elected mayor of that city before he was 21 years of age, was chief of the fire department, and was quite active in politics. He was a thorough business man and at this early age had gained a competency speculating in wild land and handling real estate in Chicago. Here he soon made his mark in various business ventures, establishing the first city transfer line.
      His services during the war were varied. He was for some time inspector general of the district of the Upper Arkansas, for though not trained at West Point, he was a fine disciplinarian and well up in drill and tactics. A portion of the time he was in secret service, for which he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and at the close of the war to full colonel. After the war he was in command at Fort Halleck and Fort Sanders. About this time - 1866 or 1867 - he saw great opportunities for making money on the building of the Union Pacific railroad. He tendered his resignation nine times to the government. Eight times consecutively the paper was returned to him with this endorsement by General Emery Upton: "The services of this officer cannot be dispensed with at the present time.".
      During the past two years he has been but a shadow of his former self, being reduced from his ordinary weight of 230 to 140. He finally went to Hot Springs, Ark. in hopes to recover by means of those wonderful baths. He weighed just 129 pounds when he arrived. The physicians pronounced his disease a spinal complaint, caused by some injury, probably years ago, lifting, or perhaps a sudden strain had caused it. It was a hardening of all the length of his spine, and changing so that he often had the appearance of improvement. The disease has only been discovered five or six years, and four of these years he had suffered from it. He died painlessly Wednesday, July 21, 1886 at 10:15 a.m. surrounded by friends, newly made, and Knights Templars, who were very kind and attentive. He was buried with Knightly honors July 23, at 4 p.m.
    Buried Hollywood Cemetery, Hot Springs, Garland County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • There was (and may still be) a Wanless St in Denver named for John. 1890s city directories show a Wanless street. I found Wanless something in Denver, in Civic Center Park, very near the intersection of Lincoln & Sherman, where John lived in 1873 per the city directory. Can't tell if it's a circle in the park or what. [maps.excite.com] 1885 directory says Wanless street was in North Denver, runs first north of Fairview ave from Palmer ave west to Boulevard.

      1860 census: No Wanless, any spelling, in CO or Dakota Terr (which included WY), although John was supposedly in CO by 1859. CO was part of KS in 1860. Only Wanless in KS in 1860 was John from South Carolina, who is too young to be this John (but who, ironically, is related).

      Nobody from this family in Denver directory in 1877-1879.
      Not in 1882 Denver city directory.
      ---------------------
      Colorado Territory was established by Congress on February 28, 1861. The first Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Colorado convened on September 9, 1861.
      -------------------------
      GAR Post 022, WANLESS, JOHN, CAPT, , MARSHAL. Post 22 was at Colorado Springs, El Paso county. The sources of information for this listing were the Colorado G.A.R. rosters
      of members for the years 1895, 1910, and 1931. [Source: Denver Public Library, Index to GAR Members] -- note pub. dates are after his death, so I'm not sure what this means - maybe it's the name of the Post.

      11 Aug 1999: The Wanless-Fairbairn book by Reby Dodds says John died 22 March 1883, but this doesn't correspond to his obituary or the death record in his pension file.

      The family came from Scotland through Canada to Colorado. Our father claimed, and showed me in an old Brittanica Encyclopaedia that the name originated from Bruce. The family of Bruce were said to be redheads and when one appeared with black hair the name began Wan(Pale) less (less) or less pale. I know that when we purchased the Brittanica for our children, it was no longer listed. Dad's was from the late 40's or early 50's. [Margot Vogel]

      Apparently John & Maria took their children back to Canada to visit his family in March 1864, per the following baptismal record:
      Records of St. Andrews, Argenteuil, Quebec: "Wanless baptized - George James born at Smithville Canada West on the twelfth day of April eighteen fifty five. Emma Mary born at Mendota, U.S. on the twenty third day of August 1857. ---- Children of John Wanless & his wife, by her maiden name Gates, were baptized on this thirteenth day of March 1864 by me...witnessed by Thomas and Elizabeth Wanless"

      This family also appears in the St Matthews Episcopal Church Parish records of Laramie, Wyoming; parish register dated 13 Sep 1868 - 21 Aug. 1881. It shows John and children; Emma, George, Chas., Frank, and John Clark. It did not show Maria. Their records were transferred either to or from St John's in Denver. Also, in this parish record is John Clark Wanless baptism. It gives his parents as John Wanless and Maria Gates, and his birth date as 4 Sep 1869, born in Laramie, Wy. One last thing it shows Emma Wanless as a communicant received from Emmanuel Hall, Illinois. Transfered to St John's in Denver, Oct 1869. [FHL book #978.795/L1 K2s; email from Bruce Bagnall.]

      Found an Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Winnebago co, IL, a bit north of La Salle co where Emma was supposedly born. Also an Immanuel Lutheran in La Salle co. There are several other Emmanuel churches in IL, if it was a different denomination.

      See John's obituary for a good account of his life and personality. According to the obit, he spent the last (approx.) three years of his life in California and finally in Hot Springs, Arkansas, for his health. This coincides with the ad for the sale of his Colorado Springs house in June 1883. His children were living in Iowa and Nebraska at the time of his death, according to his brother George.

      Widow's portion of Civil War pension applied for & received, in 1917 in California, by John's widow (2nd wife) Mary E. (Clough) WATSON, for John's service as "Lt Col 5 US Vol Inf". App# 1093885, cert #869040. See her entry for extensive excerpts from this file.

      Was a member of Knights Templar/Knights of Malta.
      His Knights Templar certificate reads:
      date.:12th March 1866
      Colombia Commandry No 2 (??)
      Knights Templar holden in Washington D.C.
      created Knight of the Red Cross, dubbed a Knight Templar and Knight of Malta.
      -------------
      John was instrumental in getting the first volunteer fire department going in Laramie, after a fire destroyed his store. The Laramie Republican (Semi-weekly ed.) no. 14 September 27, 1911, page 4 has this article:
      "Workmen digging the trench on Grand avenue for a steam heating pipe from Second street east, unearthed the remains of the first "fire hydrant" the city ever had. This was a cistern in the street, about eighteen feet long, four feet wide, and nine feet deep, built of heavy pine boards by N.K. Boswell and others. The tank received its water from the city supply flowing down Grand avenue and in case of a fire near by, a bucket brigade was formed and water passed to the fire. The fire in Wanless store caused the tank to be built. Some of the timbers, after forty-three years, are in good state of preservation. A cave-in caused the uncovering of the tank."

      The Laramie Republican of Nov 16, 1912 featured John Mast and M.F. Knadler reminiscing about the early days in Laramie when a fire dept. consisted of voluntary hose companies, hook and ladder companies, and volunteer officers. There was an organizational meeting on 24 May 1879, and the original organization included a hose companies named Crescent, Excelsior, and Wanless.

      Laramie Daily Sentinel no. 168 November 16, 1875, page 3 mentions the first annual ball of the Wanless Hose Company #1. Laramie Weekly Sentinel no. 17 August 23, 1875, page 4 mentions an organizational meeting of the Wanless Hose Co #1, and Laramie Daily Sentinel no. 89 August 13, 1877, page 4 mentions that co is closing its business.
      ------------
      Should try to get divorce file (from Maria Gates) from Leadville.
    Person ID I895  3: George Wanless & Mercime Riddell of Yetholm, Roxburghshire, Scotland
    Last Modified 30 Mar 2015 

    Father Thomas Wanless,   b. 2 Sep 1796, Yetholm, Roxburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Feb 1873, Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Jones,   b. 25 Feb 1802, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Apr 1865, St. Andrew's, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Married 17 Apr 1820  St. Andrew's, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [12
    Headstones
    Thomas Wanless (1796-1873) & Elizabeth Jones, Argenteuil, Quebec
    Thomas Wanless (1796-1873) & Elizabeth Jones, Argenteuil, Quebec
    The 4 faces of this monument describe their children.
    Family ID F483  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Maria Gates,   b. Abt 1836, , Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jul 1886, Laramie City, Albany Co, Wyoming Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 50 years) 
    Married Est 1852-1853  Ontario or Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Divorced 10 Nov 1880 
    Children 
     1. George James Wanless,   b. 12 Apr 1855, Smithville, Canada West, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Mar 1912, El Paso, El Paso Co, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
     2. Charles F. Wanless,   b. Abt 1857, , Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Sep 1890, Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 33 years)
     3. Emma Mary Wanless,   b. 23 Aug 1857, Mendota, LaSalle Co, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Est 1920-1930, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     4. Frank W. Wanless,   b. Abt 1864, Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. John Clark Wanless,   b. 4 Sep 1869, Laramie City, Albany Co, Wyoming Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Mark William Wanless,   b. 18 Nov 1873, Denver, Arapahoe Co, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Oct 1940, Nogales, Santa Cruz Co, Arizona, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years)
    Last Modified 25 Jul 2002 
    Family ID F487  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Mary Ella Clough,   b. 14 Feb 1846, Penobscot, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Sep 1932, Long Beach, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years) 
    Married 1 Dec 1880  Ottowa, Franklin Co, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location  [13
    Last Modified 25 Jul 2002 
    Family ID F223  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Unidentified Wanless girl from the John Wanless/Maria Gates collection.
    Unidentified Wanless girl from the John Wanless/Maria Gates collection.
    Possibly their daughter Emma Mary Wanless.
    Lt. Col. John Wanless (1833-1886)
    Lt. Col. John Wanless (1833-1886)
    Lt. Col John Wanless (1833-1886) in military uniform
    Lt. Col John Wanless (1833-1886) in military uniform
    Lt. Col. John Wanless - his signature
    Lt. Col. John Wanless - his signature
    (a tracing of his signature from an original pay voucher, found in his pension file)
    Unidentified male from the John Wanless/Maria Gates group.
    Unidentified male from the John Wanless/Maria Gates group.
    Probably one of their sons other than Mark.
    Unidentified male from the John Wanless/Maria Gates group.
    Unidentified male from the John Wanless/Maria Gates group.
    Probably one of their sons other than Mark.

    Documents
    Commission of John Wanless (of Colorado) to Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Volunteers, 1865
    Commission of John Wanless (of Colorado) to Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Volunteers, 1865
    Lt. Col. John Wanless's Knight Templar certificate, March, 1869
    Lt. Col. John Wanless's Knight Templar certificate, March, 1869

    News
    1874: Description of John Wanless's Stud Farm, Denver, CO
    1874: Description of John Wanless's Stud Farm, Denver, CO
    Daily Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) Wednesday, May 27, 1874
    1858, Mendota, Illinois: John Wanless left Mendota within the previous 6 months or so
    1858, Mendota, Illinois: John Wanless left Mendota within the previous 6 months or so
    Chicago Tribune, 4 Mar 1858 - A convoluted account of how John Wanless paid for some molasses and the check was waylaid in what seemed at first to be a post office robbery but turned out not to be. By this date, Wanless had returned to Mendota.
    John Wanless tries & fails to arrest an embezzler in Mendota, Illinois (1859)
    John Wanless tries & fails to arrest an embezzler in Mendota, Illinois (1859)
    Chicago Tribune, 22 Feb 1859 - John Wanless and Joseph Sawyer of Mendota were engaged by a U.S. Marshal to arrest C.F. Linn, an embezzler from California, in Lee Center, but were threatened by a mass of men recently returned from California and then were themselves arrested for kidnapping Linn, who in turn escaped, aided by an uncle who pretended to be a US Marshal.
    Pioneers Plan Tribute to the late John Wanless, Denver, CO, 1886
    Pioneers Plan Tribute to the late John Wanless, Denver, CO, 1886
    Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) Thursday, September 09, 1886; pg. 8

  • Sources 
    1. [S24] GEDCOM from Bruce Bagnall August 1999.

    2. [S41] LDS IGI, MUST'VE BEEN BORN AFTER FIRST JOHN DIED IN MARCH 1833. (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S42] Pension file 869,040 (John Wanless), SUMMARY DOCUMENT LISTS AGE AS 32 IN MARCH 1865, BORN NEW YORK(!) (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S31] Obituary.
      The Rocky Mtn News obit gives his birth date- I wonder where they got it?

    5. [S43] Church records - St. Andrew's, 1829-1881.

    6. [S42] Pension file 869,040 (John Wanless).

    7. [S31] Obituary.

    8. [S144] Google Books, (books.google.com).

    9. [S42] Pension file 869,040 (John Wanless), PAGE 24 IN THE MAIN BODY OF THE FILE, WIDOW'S DECLARATION (Reliability: 3).

    10. [S31] Obituary, OBIT DATED 23 JUL SAYS THEY GOT THE INFO FROM YESTERDAY'S PAPER, WHICH STATED HE DIED "YESTERDAY", OR ON THE 21ST (Reliability: 3).

    11. [S30] Death certificate or record, COPY IN PENSION FILE (Reliability: 3).
      Hot Springs, Garland County, Arkansas
      John Wanless, age 51, male, born Canada, white, resides Colorado. Died of spinal disease on 21 July 1886; duration of illness 2 weeks. Interred in Hollywood on 21 July 1886.
      -- Note John's widow Mary Watson later says there are errors on this record and that he was not interred on the day he died. She says her 2nd husband George Watson is buried at Rosedale Cem. in Hollywood, Calif. - perhaps John is buried there too?

    12. [S40] Parish Records - St. Andrews, Argenteuil, Quebec, FHL 1430832 (Reliability: 3).

    13. [S42] Pension file 869,040 (John Wanless), MARRIAGE RECORD IN BOOK D, MARRIAGE RECORDS OF FRANKLIN CO, KANSAS (Reliability: 3).
      Marriage license: Ottawa, Franklin Co, Kansas - 1 Dec 1880 - Mr. John Wanless of Colorado, age 47 years, and Miss Mary E. Clough of Franklin Co, age 34 years. Married by James T. Hanna, a gospel minister of Ottawa.