A Short and Sweet Update

After several months of crazy work and personal time I am FINALLY able to get this post up. Jeeze!

Way back in March of this year I met with a woman named Jean who stumbled across my blog last summer. Last November I got a quick second note from Jean, who after reading my post about Samuel Sturtevant’s probate records, told me that her mother was the cousin who received the Sturtevant estate! The family of Joe’s wife, Anna Lyckman, remained in Colorado and the cousins stayed in contact with Sam and Lotta in Denver.

Jean now lives in the Denver-Metro area and we got together over lunch one snowy afternoon in March. We had a blast chatting about her family, Joe’s family, and we both learned a lot from each other! Jean brought with her some photocopies of just a handful of items she has from the Sturtevants…I was thrilled!!! There are some photos and drawing I had never seen before, certainly a wonderful collection of family treasures, and I was so giddy to see what she brought along!

I will have to go into more details in future post, but some quick items I learned:

1) The correct pronunciation of Lyckman sounds like “Lickman,” which explains the spelling variations I’ve come across. Being German, I had been pronouncing the “y” like the long “i” in pie, to which I am accustomed. I had a difficult time finding details about the Lyckman family but Jean filled me in on some of the family stories and shared some wonderful photographs. Some of the photos show both the Lyckman and the Sturtevants together…priceless!

This New Year’s Day 1902 photo was taken on the Peck’s front porch at 742 Marine Street, right next door to Joe’s house. I know William Peck is the gentleman seated on the chair on the right and his wife Jemima, (Joe’s mom), is most likely sitting next to him. The man in the doorway with the cap on is possibly William’s brother, Henry who lived with them for a time. He has that “Peck” look about him. The woman in front of the window looking to the right is Anna Lyckman Sturtevant (Joe’s wife) and her brother Gustav stands next to her. Gustav’s wife, Bertie Johnson Lyckman is the dark-haired woman seated on the steps. The other two young girls could be Joe’s two daughters, Florence and Blanche. I hope to see a clearer image soon with the hopes of better identifying each person. Photo courtesy of Lyckman family archives.

2) I knew Joe’s daughter Florence married into the Jones family, but I didn’t know they were apparently one of Denver’s society families. I believe her mother-in-law, Louisa (O’Brien) Jones owned some Denver hotels which I think Florence helped operate for a time (need to check into that a bit more). Florence also ran the Kilbourn Apartments at 847 East Colfax beginning in the early 1910s until she died in 1928. The building, unfortunately, is no longer standing. Despite Florence’s husband William turning out to be a deadbeat, she remained in good graces with her mother-in-law, Louisa. I know “deadbeat” sounds harsh, but according to their 1910 divorce papers Florence claimed William never held a job very long and had no interest in working while she was the sole breadwinner. The divorce was granted. According to Jean, Florence was quite popular and apparently mingled in the same social circles as Margaret Brown (famed Titanic survivor “Molly” Brown). Should be fun researching Florence in more depth!

Florence Sturtevant Jones with her niece Blanche Josephine Sturtevant, daughter of Samuel and Lotta. Photograph taken before 1916 when Blanche died suddenly in Denver at the age of 10. Photo courtesy of Lyckman family archives.

The Kilbourn Apartments “The Home of Old Fashioned Hospitality” was owned and operated by Florence Sturtevant Jones. Originally located at 847 East Colfax Avenue in Denver, the building site today is a parking lot. Photo courtesy of Lyckman family archives.

3) I knew Lotta was adopted by William and Jemima (Sturtevant) Peck in St. Paul around 1879-80 but Jean told me the story that she was left on the doorstep of the Peck’s boarding house as a baby! They took her in and raised her as their own even though Jemima was nearly 60 years old and William was in his 40s. I will need to see if there are any official adoption papers or if in those days you could just keep the child you “found.”

4) After Sam and Lotta married they moved to Grand Junction, Colorado where Sam worked as a pharmacist and owned a drug store. Sometime in the 1910s they moved just a bit west to Fruita. I always assumed that Sam just continued in his trade, but apparently he and Lotta also owned an operated a little movie theatre, the Majestic Theatre! It looks like another fun side research project is in store for me to find out more about what life was like in Fruita for Sam and Lotta.

Entrance to the Majestic Theatre run by Sam and Lotta in Fruita, Colorado. Photo courtesy of the Lyckman family archives.

I hope to meet with Jean again soon! Time flies when you are sharing information and stories, three hours just are not enough!

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