Tuesday
May102011

History

Gwillimville

Gazette, The (Colorado Springs), Sep 18, 2001 by Jeanne Davant

Place names that were familiar to early settlers in northern El Paso County - Gwillimville, Husted, Edgerton, Breed and Borst - have faded into history.

Gwillimville. A family from Wales founded Gwillimville, a small settlement about five miles east of Monument, in 1870. Gwillim Rees Gwillim, his wife and their small son arrived in America in 1869. They spent a few months in Illinois but so disliked the climate that they came to El Paso County and built a house about six miles east of Monument.

The next year, Richard J. Gwillim followed his brother to America. Like Gwillim, he first settled in Illinois, but eventually came to Colorado to join his brother. In 1873 Richard Gwillim brought his bride to Colorado to live on a ranch adjoining his brother's. He named it Bryn Mawr.

Two more Gwillim brothers and about a dozen other families soon joined the little community. They built a one-room schoolhouse, a store and a church.

The Gwillim brothers bought a store and cheese factory in Monument in 1878, and Richard Gwillim moved his family there. The Gwillims sold 25 pounds of butter a week in Colorado Springs and raised potatoes and other crops.

A blight struck the potato crop in 1895; the same year, the original Gwillim home burned down. It was rebuilt but soon sold. Richard Gwillim and his family moved to Colorado Springs in 1900; he went on to become county assessor from 1913 to 1915.

After the blight, the other families gradually abandoned Gwillimville. Over time the buildings fell apart until only a few foundations remained.